Looking forward to garage sale season

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What is a garage sale?

A garage or yard sale is an informal event where used (sometimes new) items are sold. Homeowners hold this in their garage or front yard. Garage sale season is from spring to summer.

You can buy appliances, furniture, electronics and other household or personal items at a lower cost. A garage sale is a practical choice. It’s also a great way to meet your neighbours!

Some garage sale tips (for buyers):

  1. Be nice and friendly
    Greet the sellers. Don’t expect items to be shiny and perfect. They are used. It is impolite to criticize or complain loudly about the items on sale.

  3. Double check items. Ask questions.
    • Check items for damage, missing parts, or for rust or molds.
    • Ask to test electronics. Sellers would have batteries or an electrical outlet.
    • Ask questions when buying more expensive items. Ask the year they bought it or how much they used it (for example for a bike or an exercise machine). You may haggle if the item was well-used or if the seller has had it for a long time.
    • Get an idea of how much items originally sell for. Check online or bring a friend with you who knows market prices. This will help you know if you are getting value for your money.
  4. Don’t buy these things
    • Upholstered furniture, mattresses, bedsheets and stuffed toys
    • Old shoes and hats
    • Underwear (including socks) and swim suits
    • Used cosmetics (make-up)
    • Helmets, child seats and some sports gear.
  5. Haggling
    Haggling is ok. But don’t haggle when they say the price is “firm” (or if it is already very cheap). Give a reasonable bid and ask nicely. Don’t get mad when the seller refuses your request. Get a bigger discount for buying a group of items. Remember that sellers are trying to get rid of these items. You will be making it easier for them to do so.

  7. Return policy?
    There are no returns or refunds in garage sales. Check items thoroughly before buying them. Test appliances as soon as you get home. Try to return the item as soon as possible if it doesn’t work. The seller may give you a refund or give half of your money back. Don’t let two to three days pass. They can say that you broke or damaged the item yourself.

  9. Best times to go
    The best time to go depends on your needs. Go there early if you know what you want to buy. Go on the last day if you just want to look around. Haggle for the lowest prices on the last day. Sellers will be more willing to say yes.

Sources: The ultimate yard sale guide: All my yard sale tips to make the most money, Lynnette, Household Tips Guide; 21 things you should never buy at garage sales, Reader’s Digest. Accessed April 26, 2017.

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