How To Win At Garage Sales

It is that time of year again, garage sale season.  I love going to garage sales because I can get a lot of preps for little money.  A question I get a lot from my viewers is, how do you get such good deals at garage sales?  Here are a few tips for you to use when you go to the next garage sale or thrift shop.

The first person to talk loses.  People hate silence.  This is probably the most important rule in negotiation.  When I go to a garage sale I just walk up and start looking around.  I will touch a few items until the person having the garage sale says something.  Usually it will be something like, “Are you looking for something specific?”  I will make short statements or ask short questions then, be quiet.  I will let them talk for as long as they want.  When they are done, try to see if you can stay silent just a bit longer.  Usually they will start talking again.

Use what they say to get a better deal.  If they said that they are moving out of town next week, you know that everything that they do not sell has to be taken with them or thrown away.  If they tell you that the wife told them to clean out the garage or else you can get a better deal because if they don’t sell it X will happen.  End everything you say in a question.  This will force them to speak again giving you another glimpse into how to get a better deal.

Ask them for something that is not out.  I buy and sell older video games.  When I don’t see any out, I will ask if they have any video games for sell.  Sometimes they will go inside and bring out a box of games from the closest that they thought no one would ever want to buy.

Do not show your excitement or true interest in an item. “I have been looking for this painting for years!  This thing is worth $1,000.  I have to have it.  How much do you want for it?”  Try “I’ll give you $5 for that old painting; I have a picture that will go nice in that frame.”

Ask for a better price.  Remember the saying, “Ask and ye shall receive”?  Even if something is a good price at a garage sale, I will still ask for half or more off the price.  What is the worst thing that will happen?  They say no? You look funny?  You smell bad?  I have developed thick rhino skin.  My cocoa krispies will be just as crisp tomorrow morning weather they sell it to me or not.  Don’t let “no” affect your life.

Try a bundle.  Instead of asking how much that one item is, offer them X amount for the whole box.  I do this with video games all the time.  If you only want two items and they are $5 each.  Offer $5 for both.

Be willing to walk away.  There are plenty of times that I have walked away from a deal only to have the other person cave in.  Just tell them that the price is too much for you and slowly walk off.  Do not run.  Give them the chance to think about it as you are leaving.  If they do not stop you, it wasn’t meant to be.  If you have to have that item, go back the next day and see if it is still there.

Always check the free box.  I have found a lot of good stuff in a garage sale free box.  Knives, rope and camping gear.  Once I even found a little gold coin.  Just because someone thinks it is trash does not mean a prepper couldn’t find a use for it.  Last year I got a huge box of never used prescription bottles.  I made a bunch of fire starter kits for the house, go bags, bug out bags, the cars and even some set aside to use as trade in a SHTF situation.

Practice makes perfect.  I use to practice on my wife all the time.  My favorite was “If I could would you”.  My wife would ask me if I could pick up our daughter from school.  I would say something like, “I was planning on doing the laundry.  If I pick her up, would you put the clothes in the wash?”  Make a game out of it.  Ask someone keep saying no to whatever you ask them a question.  Have them be mean about it.  They can call you names or insult your hair style.  After a while you will find out that it doesn’t really hurt you at all.

I hope that this helps you all find great deals on your preps at your local garage sales this summer.