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Earlier in the week I noticed a sign in front of one of my neighbor’s house advertising a garage sale. Very legible and posted early to attract maximum traffic I figured these people knew what they were doing. I got excited! We are on the hunt for a couple of inexpensive bikes, so my plans for Saturday morning 8am were set.

We have had three garage sales (tag sales, yard sales, whatever you call them) ourselves in the past year so I knew I needed to come prepared with cash. David and I went to the ATM at 7:50 and were at the appointed address at 8am eager to find our new-to-us beach cruisers. As we arrived on the scene there were already a few people milling about and the lady in the car in front of us seem to sprint out of her car towards their garage. Oh no, she is going to get my bike!

With two trailers parked in the drive way we were forced to walk on a narrow part of concrete towards the area in front of the garage where the sale was being held. I just knew this was going to be good! Almost there, now side-step around this tree and . . .  well . . . apart from the few pieces of furniture in the trailers they had an odd assortment of coffee makers, frames, a watering can (that was not for sale blast it!), a few other odds and ends, and some books. Books this man was trying to sell for more than a dollar a piece. Over a dollar a piece at a garage sale? Were these signed copies or something?

Arriving home with my cash in my pocket and lamenting the near miss of finding the bike  I know is just waiting out there for me to give it a home, I decided to let y’all in on the secrets David and I have learned doing garage sales in the South:

1. Put your stuff on tables. If you don’t have any, beg, borrow, steal (not really) some from a neighbor, friend, church, wherever. No one will buy that Mickey pillow you are having a hard time parting with when it is down on the ground. Mickey stands a much better chance of finding his forever home if he is resting comfortably on a table.

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2. Price things. I have read recommendations that you should consider not pricing your items and get people to make an offer. Who has time in the heat of the garage sale battle to negotiate every transaction?

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3. When you price things, check your emotions before you put pen to sticker! Believe me you will not care one whit about that article at the end of the day when you have to pack it (and all the other stuff you did not sell) in a box and take it to Goodwill or haul it somewhere else. Price things to move!

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4. If you do not have furniture, or what I like to call big ticket items (and more than a couple of pieces of them), be prepared to make about one to three hundred dollars. This was the case with our last garage sale, although we were on the lower end of that range. This put a serious crimp in my camera fund.

5. Finally, be prepared for those early birds. They are always out looking for the best worm. Will you let them it? Will you be ready to let them in?

So, that is garage saling in the South. I suspect its a lot like garage saling anywhere. Be sure to add your own pointers in the comment box below.

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About Southern Adventuress

Transplant from California now living in Charleston, South Carolina after getting married in September 2010 to a Southerner. Join me as I reinvent my house on a strict budget, navigate the streets of my city; meet the challenges of pet ownership; and delve into education after institutional learning.

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