Ever since collectibles and antiques became so mainstream, and the popularity of collector-type reality shows has taken off, garage sales have taken on an entirely new meaning.
It certainly isn’t difficult to draw a crowd to almost any garage sale, and while not every one has hidden treasures to find, they are out there. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.
Finding the Sales
Naturally, if you want to find some valuable collectibles at garage sales, you must have garage sales to visit. Websites like Craigslist and Kijiji are good places to look, as are the classifieds of your local newspaper. People still place signs up around town so watch for those, especially in areas or neighbourhoods that have a lot of older homes. Sometimes, retirees are getting rid of ‘junk’ which may be decades-old.
Make a Plan
It’s always a good idea to have a plan when you are looking for collectibles at garage sales, because you’ll be a lot more productive and efficient. Plan to get there as early as possible, because other collectors will be there early, and your prized find may be gone if you take your time.
If you have more than one sale to attend, make a list and try to predict which one will have the items you value most, then hit that sale first.
Getting a Good Price
A good deal is one of the things many garage sale junkies look for, and you can usually talk the seller down to some degree. It’s wise to know what certain things are worth out on the open market. This way, you’ll have a better idea of what you can pay and still make a good profit if you choose to sell it.
If you’re actually in a garage and the light is low, take the piece out into the light so you can check the condition before you hand over your money. Damaged goods won’t help you much later on. Some people aren’t comfortable negotiating or bartering too much, and if that’s you then make sure you’ve checked the values ahead of time.
Since You’re Already There
Also, it never hurts to ask if they have any other items they’d be willing to part with. This may include items in your collection category or something you feel they may have based on the other things for sale.
Things to Bring
For a truly rewarding and productive garage sale experience, plan on bringing a few things. A stash of smaller bills and change will make it easier for seller and may help you get some deals. A map of the area, or your smart phone with Google map or GPS. Some water and snacks in case you’re out all day, packing materials in case you but fragile items and a basic magnet to help you determine if something is real brass or brass-plated.