Tips for Efficient Garage-sale Hopping

My wife and I have been avid garage-sale shoppers for years. During that time, we have learned a few tricks of the trade, as they say.

Here are a few tips and suggestions describing how we have streamlined our weekly treks into enjoyable, efficient and productive “tours-de-jours”. And, perhaps some of these tidbits can help you enjoy YOUR experience a bit more as well:

Day before:
-We’d have a copy of the local news flyer that had all the garage-sales listed, and we’d have the sales prioritized by starting time, location, ‘travel-route-position’ and advertised items.
-We’d have some extra bottles of drinking water chilling in the fridge.
-We’d have a few snack food items packed in a plastic bag.
-We’d have our map of the area we intended to focus on (if needed-we knew our way around most areas we frequented).
-We’d have filled the gas tank and checked out other items on the vehicle as needed!

Day of:
-We’d don our “fanny-packs” around our waists with our filled-up ‘quarter-holders’ weighing them down.
-Special Note: Mini M&M’s once came in round, plastic containers, just the right size for quarters. Each container holds over $10 when filled, I believe. So, pick up a ‘quarter-container’, and enjoy the M&M’s too!
-We’d review our “mental-map” of where the public rest-rooms are located in relation to our proposed garage-sale route.
-We’d have extra newspapers and plastic or paper grocery bags in the back, just in case we need to wrap glassware, etc.

Here’s a few tips on garage-sale etiquette:
DO:
-Respect any signs or ads which say “No Early Birds”.
-Feel free to “dicker” on prices.
-Feel free to ask if electrical items can be tested.
-Feel free to ask other pertinent questions about an item.
-Respect peoples’ property…not only as you mill around their lawn, driveway, etc., but also remember that the people are parting with pieces of themselves when they sell their things at tag-sales. Just be considerate of that.
-Enjoy yourself, and have fun!
-Move about with purpose and focus; and remember…there’s another sale just up the road, waiting for you!

DON’T:
-Insult people with ridiculously low offers for items.
-Drive on peoples’ lawns, unless you are instructed to do so.
-Park in driveways, unless you are instructed to do so or the driveway is extra long and parking is available where the garage-sale is setup.
-Make a fool of yourself or others, by asking if the people will sell the (obviously NOT FOR SALE!) nice, new lawn tractor parked on the side of the garage!

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