Yard Sale Buying Strategies that Work

2757958581_2af9a20a89_zEach year, thousands of homeowners throughout the country host yard sales to get rid of their unwanted items. Regardless of where you live, chances are there's a yard sale happening nearby. Attending these yard sales is not only fun, but it can also be profitable, assuming you take the right approach. For some helpful strategies and tips to increase your chances of success, keep reading.

Set a Budget

It's always a good idea to set a budget before shopping at a yard sale. In other words, allocate a fixed dollar amount that you are willing spend -- and don't go over this amount. Even if a deal sounds too good to be true, it's best to stick with your budget, as this keeps your finances on track.

What are You Looking to Buy?

Another helpful strategy to increase your chances of success is to know which products you are looking for before attending a yard sale. Maybe you're looking for autographed sports memorabilia? Or perhaps you're seeking vintage/antique furniture? Regardless, you need a plan of attack.

Negotiate Lower Prices

Just because an item is listed for $10 doesn't necessarily mean that you can't buy it for less. Yard sales typically use flexible pricing, meaning you can often negotiate a lower price for items. Don't be afraid to ask the seller if he or she will accept a lower price for an item. If they can sell it NOW for a couple dollars less, chances are they'll do so. Besides, the worst that can happen is they'll say no, forcing you to pay the full amount if you still want the item.

Shop Early

The adage, "the early bird gets the worm" holds true with yard sales. The sooner you visit a yard sale, the greater your chances of scoring great deals. If you wait until the second or third day, on the other hand, the items will have been picked through, leaving you with the scraps. Always try to attend yard sales on the opening day, especially if you are looking to turn a profit on your shopping.

Plan Your Route

Assuming you intend to visit multiple yard sales, plan your route ahead of time. Choose yard sales that are nearby, allocating a specific amount of time for each one. This, combined with other tips listed above, should set you on the right track for a successful and profitable yard sale shopping trip.

Photo credit: Julie Falk

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