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How to Get the Most Out of Your Neighborhood Yard Sales

How would you like to buy books for 50 cents? Hand-painted china for $2? Or a 3-speed bike for only 50 bucks? Yes, great deals like these still exist, and can be found at your nearest friendly neighborhood yard sale.

So if you’re looking to score some really good bargains, get ready for a trip around town and find out what’s in store. Check our list below for yard sales going on in the next couple of weekends.

But first, make the necessary preparations, so you’re sure to get the best deals and have the most fun.

Create a Game Plan

Check out Patch events and announcements for a list of yard/garage sales available in your neighborhood. You can also inquire from the town clerk, community or church bulletins. From the list, plot your itinerary. Plan the most reasonable route so you don’t waste time (and gas) searching aimlessly, or going back and forth from one address to another.

Make a List

Jot down what you need to buy, so you know what you’re looking for. Search for those items first before giving in to the unplanned charming little trinkets that you just can’t leave behind. This helps you save valuable cash and avoid taking home stuff you really don’t need.

Double-Check Items

Be sure to double check each item carefully as you can’t return them afterwards. Inspect for torn or discolored fabric, chipped china, or broken furniture. Make sure appliances and gadgets are working properly. You don’t want to bring home something you can’t use, let alone resell.

Haggle! Haggle! Haggle!

Even if a tag price seems already a steal for the quality of the item, try if you can still bring the price down some more. Sellers usually make room for haggling when they price an item, and most are willing to lower the price rather than not sell the item at the end of the day.

Timing is Key

Early birds sure get the best stuff, but if you want the cheapest rates, late afternoons are the best time to haggle, when most sellers are willing to let go of items at really low prices. If you’re simply scouring the heap for potential gift items, you might want to try your luck an hour or so before closing time. There could still be real treasures left behind and you’ll most likely be able to get them at a giveaway price.

Prepare Small Bills

Unlike retail stores, yard sellers don’t have a load of change and small bills so help them out by bringing some. Having smaller bills on hand also makes it easier to haggle for lower prices.

Protect and Hydrate

Make sure you put on sunscreen, especially on the kids if you’re bringing them along, as you’d most likely be out in the sun for more than a couple of hours. Have bottled water handy, to keep you properly hydrated and refreshed all day long.

Food Plan

Don’t forget to bring snacks as hours of treasure-hunting can make you really hungry. Better yet, take note of the nearest eateries and fast foods and make them part of your game plan, too, so you get enough fuel for the day’s activities.

Finally, get ready for some pleasant surprises along the way. Some yard sales have really good items to offer, especially those tagged “Moving Out Sale.” You might also chance upon “Estate Sales” where the house is on sale, and thus, everything else in it. If the sellers have good personal tastes, you might score stylish furniture at really reasonable prices.

Yard Sales This Weekend and Next:

217 Greylock Parkway – July 9 & 10; July 16 & 17

38 Continental Avenue – July 9 & 10; July 16 & 17

Check back for updates or inquire with the town clerk.


Rose Sartaguda July 09, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Add'l Yard Sale Addy: 12 Hickory Court, Belleville

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