Smart Buying Tips for Yard Sales

yard-sale-01The Summer season is officially here, which means -- among other things -- that tens of thousands of homeowners will be holding yard sales to get rid of their unwanted property. Yard sales offer a fast and effective way for homeowners to de-clutter their home. Rather than tossing all of their unwanted items in the trash, they can sell them to people who will use them, putting some money in their pockets during the process. If you're thinking of attending a yard sale this summer, though, you'll want to follow the tips outlined below to increase your chances of coming away profitable.

Bring a Smartphone

Don't leave your smartphone in the car when attending a yard sale. If you come across an item that you believe is valuable, you can use your mobile device to research prices online. The easiest way to determine the value of a used item is to search for it on eBay, at which point you can see actual listings of the item being sold. Keep in mind that researched prices should only be used as reference purposes, meaning you won't necessarily get the same amount for the item when you sell it. There are dozens of factors that affect how much a buyer will pay, and you must consider all of them when selling an item.

Dress The Part

What exactly does "dress the part" mean? Basically, don't show up to a yard sale dressed in a formal business suit. Sellers may assume you have lots of money if you do, at which point they may remain firm with their pricing. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should dress in a t-shirt and sandals, but avoid wearing formal attire to yard sales. The way you present yourself can and will affect your success at yard sales.

Negotiate Lower Prices

If you aren't negotiating at yard sales, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways to increase your return on investment. Yard sales offer the perfect opportunity for negotiations, with sellers often expecting this to happen. When you come across an item that you would like to buy, ask the seller if he or she will accept a lower price. Ideally, you should offer just a slightly lower price, as going too low may hurt your efforts.

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