Saturday, June 5, 2010

Garage Sale Rules

My mom and I started our day the way we spend every Saturday morning in the summer.    We go garage "sailing".  It is amazing what some people want to get rid of for a very small fee.  I have gotten all my children's bikes and helmets from "garage sailing".  The total cost of all the bikes and helmets does not equal the cost of one new bike.  So proud!  If you want to snag some good deals here's how it's done. 

The 5 rules for "garage sailing".

1.  Forget about "pancake Saturdays", "Waffle Weekends", and any notions of making an elaborate breakfast!  Tim Hortons will have to do for this morning.  Tip:  I usually pack 2 sippy cups and fill them with milk for the "little people".  This saves on the cost of breakfast at Tim Hortons.  Tip 2: Drive through is best.  Try going anywhere for breakfast in a hurry with a 4.5 year old, 2.5 year old, 22 month old and a 1 month old.!   You basically want fuel that is fast and accessible.  (If you live south of the border- find your coffee drive through equivalent.)

2. Set a budget and stick to it.  I usually say 40 dollars on days of plenty and 20 dollars on days on a real budget.  Occasionally my budget has known to include my mother's wallet and my son's change from his paper route!  Okay I do pay them back.  My son would not let me forget it!  On second thought about setting a budget... try your very darnedest! Who can say no to a designer bag for $5.00?  Find that woman and bring her to me! (I'll set her straight.)

3.  Leave your husband at home.  Better yet forget to tell him you are going. He would probably appreciate the opportunity to sleep in.  See what a nice wife you are?  Many may be under the illusion that men might appreciate the efficiency and budget saving concept surrounding  "garage sailing"- they don't.  They still consider this shopping.  Crazy I know!  It doesn't matter that you are paying a 10th of the price or that you found your "item of the day" in 10.2 seconds.  Items+ people+ exchange of money - money in the bank = shopping.  I don't get the math either.

4. Negotiate.  When I was a newbie at this garage sale stuff I would ask how much an item was.  If the price didn't match what I wanted to pay I would just put the item back.  Here are the most important words you need to know: "Will you take ____ for this?"  People have garage sales to help ease the loss for their possessions.  They really do want to get rid of the stuff.  Trust me.  I was Ms. Never-Ask-For-A-Discount until my mother snagged THE designer bag for $5.00.  (Still bitter about that one.  Well not really.  I get to use it and she paid for it.  Moving along.)

5.  Be the early bird.  Many times we have pulled up to a garage sale mid morning to find that our dream lawn furniture has left with the early bird.  I know it's hard to be every where first... That's a lesson for another day.  Try to go to your favourite spots early and leave the less desirable areas for later.

Got more tips?  Share please!

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