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Garage Sales

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The Curt Jester:
My wife wanted to have a garage sale this weekend, so we've been sitting around for a couple days taking petty cash from people with rusty cars.  Since I'm thinking about it, I started wondering what makes people stop at garages sales.  Individuals, that is, not people in general.   So here are some questions for anyone who stops at garage sales (or anyone who wants to join in).

Motivation
Do you tend to look for specific items?
Do you just enjoy browsing through random items as a form of leisure?
Do you look out of curiosity only if you pass one? 
Do you search for them in the newspaper (or elsewhere?)? 

Style
Do you haggle on price?
Do you go for wholesale discount?
Or do you just pay what is asked?
Do you ask for items which clearly not in the sale?
Do you scout early and return at the end of it in the hopes of getting something rock bottom?
Do you pick through items and toss them different tables because you're too lazy to put them back from where they came?

Also, how much have you made in a garage sale?  Out of the three or so I've had, the best one was $290.

For myself, I tend to actively look for sales in the summer.  I live in a town which doesn't charge for having them or put a limit on sales, so there are usually plenty of them around every week for three months of the year.  A couple times a year, I'll take the family on a morning garage sale hunt.  The kids love it and I've picked up some really good items over the past five years -- good items that I actually use.

Also, I'm not a much of a haggler.  Once in a rare while when I see something I'd like but the price is way too high, I might offer something lower, but I won't insult the person by trying to reduce the price to a fraction of what they are asking.  If I buy lots of items and the person wants to cut a deal of his own accord, fine, no complaints.

Also, random observations:

1.  Talking to customers results in more sales.  I'm not always in the mood (because I don't really like talking to strangers) but when I feel like it, I'll keep them around for awhile by talking with them.  Usually they will keep looking as long as the conversation is going.  If I see them look at an item more than once, I'll steer the conversation to a topic related to the item to pique their interest.  I've made a lot of sales that way from people I was pretty sure were going to walk away.

2.  Sit in the front, not the back.  People do try to take stuff here and there (although not in my recent sales).  Also, making people pass by generally results in human interaction because many people most likely feel uncomfortable walking right by someone, looking at his items for sale, yet ignoring him.

3.  Rustbuckets stop the majority of the time they pass the sale.  Cadillacs never stop.  Grandmothers are the biggest customers for toys and children's clothing.

Insanis:

--- Quote from: The Curt Jester on June 05, 2021, 02:08:52 PM ---Motivation
Do you tend to look for specific items?
Do you just enjoy browsing through random items as a form of leisure?
Do you look out of curiosity only if you pass one? 
Do you search for them in the newspaper (or elsewhere?)? 

--- End quote ---

Yes.
Not really unless it seems like it might contain something of interest.
Sometimes yes.
No.



--- Quote ---Style
Do you haggle on price?
Do you go for wholesale discount?
Or do you just pay what is asked?
Do you ask for items which clearly not in the sale?
Do you scout early and return at the end of it in the hopes of getting something rock bottom?
Do you pick through items and toss them different tables because you're too lazy to put them back from where they came?

--- End quote ---

Most people overvalue their junk and if they are unreasonable from the start, I just pass by. But if it is in the realm of possibilities, I'll haggle. If it is extremely low, I'll take it and go. Try to make prices convenient: single bills or easy combinations are best. Err on the side of low. If something is $25, but I offer $20, it might be because of what bills I have on me, not haggling. If you ask $75, and I offer $40, it might be haggling based on my assessment of the item and hope that the seller understands that I know what I am doing and not mindlessly lowballing. If it is $100, but I think it is worth $10, I don't bother.

I don't disturb layouts, and I don't dig. I usually find yard sales full of actual junk, so usually, I have to see something of interest or know that the people have good stuff.

If it is dominated by kids toys and such, I barely look. But if I see electronics of any sort or vintage or antique things, I'll look closer. Nice furniture draws my eye from a distance, even if I don't want the furniture, it usually means there are nicer things there other than kids junk.

My suggest is to consider what you want from the sale: are you getting rid of stuff or trying to make real money? The yard sale approach will different according to your goal.

Don't overprice junk though unless you are playing a very long game.

And be sure to know local laws on it. Apparently, some areas are tightly regulated.

dellery:
I buy all of my household furniture from garage sales. You pay half the price and get twice the quality than the mass produced crap in the stores assembled with Chinese slave labor. Most people in my area advertise their sales and you seek them out to specifically to go garage sale-ing. I never haggle on the price and pay what the sticker says. Never had a garage sale of my own.

The Curt Jester:

--- Quote from: dellery on June 05, 2021, 02:33:18 PM ---I buy all of my household furniture from garage sales. You pay half the price and get twice the quality than the mass produced crap in the stores assembled with Chinese slave labor.

--- End quote ---

Same here.  Or secondhand stores.  Or picking things up from the side of the road (got a bookcase and a nightstand that way).  People also like to give me their old furniture.  I don't think I have a single piece of furniture that I bought new, unless you consider a folding table to be furniture.

dellery:

--- Quote from: The Curt Jester on June 05, 2021, 02:35:40 PM ---
Same here.  Or secondhand stores.  Or picking things up from the side of the road (got a bookcase and a nightstand that way).  People also like to give me their old furniture.  I don't think I have a single piece of furniture that I bought new, unless you consider a folding table to be furniture.

--- End quote ---

You ever consider learning how to upholster? I've re-upholstered some stuff and it looks great. So much so I've contemplated buying up used furniture to resell after re-upholstering it. Started with dining room chairs and progressed from there.

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