In light of the fact that I will be attending a yard sale this weekend, I decided to to do a little research to find out how to shop at yard sales and get the best bang for my buck.
I can see it now, my favorite things – clothes, shoes and jewelry – all in one front yard. It’ll be like a poor woman’s paradise. Although, most people I know who shop at yard sales aren’t poor at all, they just want quality items without paying retail prices. We’ll call them frugal.
Here’s what I learned, along with some things I already knew:
- Timeless Basic pieces like a nice pair of slacks or a feminine blouse will never go out of style. When attending a yard sale of this nature, look for quality and simplicity.
- Fashion risk On the other hand, don’t be afraid to buy that leopard print jumpsuit either. Trends are cyclical. It is highly probable that, if animal prints aren’t in style at the time of purchase, they could be a few months down the line.
- Bring plenty o’ cash This could work for you and against you. Bringing plenty of cash ensures that you walk away with all the items you spotted that you just can’t live without, but not having enough cash might help you avoid buyer’s remorse. Once you are able to walk away from the item, if you feel going to the ATM, getting cash and driving “all the way” back would be too much of a hassle, you didn’t want it that bad to begin with.
- Try it on If allowed, try clothes on before you purchase them. Also, if the weather permits, wear a camisole and leggings, so you can try clothes on with ease. There may be make-shift dressing rooms, but it’s not guaranteed.
- Timing is everything You would think arriving early would be ideal because you have “first dibs,” but there is also an advantage to arriving late. Experts say that arriving late could land you the biggest bargains because, late in the day, sellers are trying to get rid of whatever’s left. [I know, finally a scenario where the early bird isn’t the only one getting the worm].
- Fully inspect merchandise This seems like common sense, but I guarantee yard sale amateurs, like myself, have walked away thinking they got a steal only to realize later that the cashmere sweater they bought has a kool-aid stain on the sleeve. Make sure items you’re planning to purchase have no unforeseen defects, as I’m pretty sure you’ll be unable to return them once you’ve handed over the cash.