A Guide to the Best Strategies for Rummage Sale Shoppers

Bargains hunters are familiar with rummage sales, the home based sales used to get rid of excess or uwanted items. Also called yard sales, tag sales, jumble sales, and even garage sales, such events can be your opportunity to save.

Whether you’re shopping for inexpensive baby items, cheap clothes for your rough and tumble kids, furniture for a first apartment or vacation cabin, a few good books, bargain videos,computer items, or you’re seeking antiques at low prices, you’re likely to find what you want at a local yard sale – the variety of goods for sale can be amazing!

These tips will help new bargain shoppers make the most of their rummage sale experience.

First, find the sales. Read the classified section of your local paper for listings. Many sales list some of the items they’re offering for sale so you can narrow down your search to the sales that have what you seek. Other sources to find the sales include weekly penny saver free papers, community bulletin boards, and call-in radio swap or trade programs. Many people even post notices about their sales on road sign posts so keep your eyes open. Make a list of the sales you want to visit and then organize them so you’ll hit the sales without random driving.

Next, be sure to wear your most comfortable footwear. Depending on the location of the sales and how many sales are in a single neighborhood, you may be walking and you don’t want aching feet to distract you from the pursuit of bargains!

Leave your bulky purse or bag at home. Opt for a change purse tucked into a pocket or a fanny pack so you’ll have both hands free to browse.

Try to have smaller bills, fives, ones, and tens. Don’t expect a mom and pop garage sale to have change for larger bills! Coins are great because many purchases are often under a dollar.

Stash some shopping bags in your car for the sales that don’t provide bags. If you think you might be making larger purchases such a used bike or furniture, tuck some rope into your trunk. You may need it to tie down the lid.

Ask a friend to go along. Company is nice and two minds are better than one when it comes to spotting bargains. A friend may also come in handy to help carrying the loot back to the car!

Bring batteries to test any battery operated items you might want to purchase and ask that any electrical item be plugged in so that you KNOW it works before you buy.

Be an early bird to snatch up the best bargains while the selection is largest – or go late in the day to pick up on marked down items that rummage sale hosts would rather sell than carry back inside.

Barter. Don’t be afraid to ask for a price reduction. The question “Would you take less for this?” or asking “Would you take a quarter?” often cinches a sale because people want to get rid of their excess items or they wouldn’t be having a sale.

If you’re seeking antiques, know your items and know values. It’s not uncommon for shoppers to pick up valuable or very old items for almost nothing because the seller has no idea what the idea is worth. Be careful, though, some items that look old may not be so it’s wise to know the item. If you’re looking for Carnival Glass, for instance, be sure you’re familiar with what is authentic and what may be only a reproduction.

Know your sizes if you’re hoping to find inexpensive, tenderly worn clothing. Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to pull on a pair of trousers without undressing or to try a blouse for fit.

Look for large sales, like church sales or sales sponsored by an organization where many families have contributed items for the sale. Some communities even sponsor city wide rummage sale days so check local media for annoucements of such events.

Most of all, have fun. If you don’t find something you want at the first few sales, don’t despair. There are always another rummage sale down the road!

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