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Author Topic: Yard Sale Etiquette  (Read 1070 times)

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Yard Sale Etiquette
« on: February 25, 2013, 04:11:21 PM »
I did a search for "yard sales" and found a couple, but they were older discussions and not on the etiquette of them really. What I wanted to talk about was the etiquette of yard sales for buyers with advice from both buyers and sellers.

I haven't been to a yard sale in many years mostly because I dislike shopping and because I often feel that bargains are no bargains if you have to spend a lot of expensive gas to go to various ones. However, I am thinking seriously about trying again. So ... what advice do you have? What kind of experiences can I expect from both sellers and buyers? Are there things I need to know? What kind of bargaining is welcome and what is not? How do you deal with special snowflakes (who I am sure must exist at yard/garage sales), including the eBay and Amazon reseller variety? Is it unwelcome to show up early and wait? How do you map out your route and choose what look like good ones on CL? Stories welcome, of course, but advice will be appreciated. Thank you.

*edited to add additional questions*
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 04:13:37 PM by Amara »


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Re: Yard Sale Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 04:20:28 PM »
I love to yard sale, but the gas has gotten too high. So I wait for town wide yard sale days. An entire village will have one massive yard sale, or at least there will be many individual sales. Better for gas. Please take lots of small bills and change, but scatter it about your body. Some in this pocket, some in that one. That way, if you talk someone down from $5 to $3 you then don't hand him a $10 and expect change. Please don't insult the item to get a better price. When you park your car, don't block a driveway. If you are looking for children's toys, bring some batteries and small screwdrivers to test them out.

I'm sure I'll think of more...

ETA: write out the sizes of everyone in your family that you would be buying for and carry that with you. Bring a tape measure to check clothing. If you have a smart phone, set up the Consumer Protection Safety Committee's webpage on it. Check items for recalls, if you can. No sense buying a recalled item.

I find that yard sales run in two different mindsets; either they are trying to clear stuff out or they are trying to make money. If they are trying to clear stuff out the prices will be reasonable. If they are trying to make money, then the prices will be high. Watch your local newspapers yard sale listing, Craigslist page, etc. The places that have perma-sales, every weekend they have a sale, are trying to make money. They probably clear out other people's clear it out sales (or Freecycle) for their stock.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 05:10:49 PM by otterwoman »


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Re: Yard Sale Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 04:33:06 PM »
I never put that much thought into it. Hope others respond to this. I just collect what I think I want to buy. Take it to the "cashier". Many times items are not priced. I ask what do you want? If its reasonable I pay that price; if it's not I make a counter offer.

IME most sellers have plastic bags to put your stuff in

Be sure & park with an idea as to how you will exit. People might block your vehicle in. Would not want that.

If showing up early is frowned upon the ad will say "no early birds"; otherwise early is normally ok.

Don't forget to have plenty of cash.

If you haven't been to a thrift store lately you might want to go & get a feel for pricing of various items. Because IMO garage sales should be cheaper than thrift stores.

I have googled items at garage sales to see if the price seemed reasonable or an item was a collectors item.

That's all I can think of for now but if I think of something else, I'll add to this list. Hope more people chime in.