One of the best lessons my mother has ever taught me is the lesson on having a good eye for great deals. Because of this I love to shop at yard sales, garage sales, and "vintage boutiques". I don't have to tell you the old saying but I will anyways (lol), "One mans junk is another mans treasure". I know some of you have fears of buying used items especially if you have a germ phob. But don't worry I will help you ease your pain of shopping "second hand". I hope these quick tips will open you up to the new possibilities of shopping (if this is your first time) and to help re-freshen veterans. Much Love & Fashion Fun.
1) WAKE UP EARLY-The earlier you get out the house the better items you will get. I try (notice how I said try) to get out and in my car driving by 6 am. This is when all the good stuff is out, especially the big ticket items like t.v.'s furniture, clothing. Seller's are harder to bargain with in the wee hours of the morning. If you want a better deal go later in the morning.
2) BE NICE-It's hard to believe but some shoppers and sellers can be rude. I'm not sure if its the lack of sleep, the missing cup of coffee, or just a plain bad attitude. Walk up with a smile on your face and say hello. A little goes a long way & you might even get your item for the price you want to pay.
3) MAKE SURE TO HAVE ENOUGH CASH & GAS-Make sure your tank is at a good level depending where your driving to. Set a budget of what you want to spend and then make sure you have enough small bills and change. Please don't negotiate a price down to $2 and pay with a $20. Plus the seller may not have enough to break your large bill. Bring extra cash if your looking for big ticket items.
4) DRESS ACCORDINGLY-Comfy jeans, close toe shoes, and layered tees with a jacket/sweater is ideal. You want to be comfortable hoping in and out of the car quickly, bending over picking up things, and carrying items to your car. Also leave your overlarge fashionable bag at home. I like wearing my small messenger bag so I can cross it over my body and have my hands free while shopping.
5) BRING YOUR OWN BAGS AND BOXES-IKEA! IKEA! IKEA! I always bring my big blue bags from Ikea when shopping at yard sales. I can hold almost everything I purchase (non-breakable of course) in one-two bags. If you don't have these bags bring along recycle bags that have sturdy handles. A large box is good too for storing items such as vases or wine glasses.
6) ON TO THE NEXT.... QUICKLY-If you don't see what you are looking for or anything that looks good within the first 5 minutes LEAVE! So many times I go to a sale and look at everything for 10-20 minutes just to realize there isn't anything I want there. Try to be as quick as possible, you're wasting precious time. The next sale might have items your more interested in.
7) ITS CLEANING TIME-Sanitize everything! Clothes, dish-wear, electronics, jewelry, etc. Depending on the item you can use hot water, bleach or vinegar to clean items. Find the method that works best for you and that your comfortable with.
*Bring spare batteries if you are looking for electronics.
*Bring hand sanitizer for in between sales.
*Bring water with you and a few snacks just in case your shopping trip last longer than expected
*If buying furniture measure spaces where items will be placed. Bring your measuring tape.
*Have old blankets/towels in your vehicle so your interior wont get dirty/scratched. Don't forget the rope.
*Don't be afraid to ask for a lower price. My tip-if an item is $10 but I want to pay no more than $7 I ask the seller if I can purchase it for $5. They will most likely say no but offer $8. Then I will offer $6. Then they will offer $7. Smile and say thank you.
My mother always had the gift of finding something that looked like nothing and then turned it into something beautiful.
Images from myaptportal & theantiquebarnonline