"I'm calling to tell you about a huge community yard sale!" My sister said excitedly. I looked down at Trey and thought, 'Uh, yeah, NOT going to happen.'
"It's so good, " she went on, "that I'll take Trey for you so you can go."
And that was how I ended up in the car with my mother in law as we filled the car with bargains.
After two hours of successful negotiations, I thought - 'Wow, I'm on to something!'
5 Tips for Successful Yard Sale Negotiation
.25 cent mugs for the camper
Tip #1 Look Sellers in the eye & Smile
When I enter a yard sale, I find the person in charge (usually a woman) and look her in eye with a cheerful smile and a 'Hello, How are you today?' This develops rapport and if you can strike up a conversation, even better!
Tip #2 Go Upscale, Go Big
Newer developments tend to have nicer quality items, and most people aren't trying to pay their phone bill - they're just trying to get rid of stuff. When you can find an upscale housing development or community yard sale, even better - less driving around for you and more competition keeps prices lower.
mixer w/ meat grinder
Tip #3 When Negotiating, Be Direct
Most people don't mind some negotiation. But don't ask them to come up with an alternate price. I successfully negotiated a number of bargains today - and I told them what I wanted to pay. On the flip side, I heard a woman attempt to negotiate by saying, "Would you go lower on that?" without giving a direct offer. The answer to her question was 'no'. Not one of my offers were refused.
95% off Wal-Mart's price
Tip #4 Be Willing to Walk Away
Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace University) taught me this concept. Found something you like but the price is too high? Make an offer, leave your information, and then walk away. Chances are pretty good that if you're patient, you'll either find a similar item for less later on in the season, or the seller will contact you if the item doesn't sell.
waited a year to find this juicer!
Tip #5 Make a List
A list is a beautiful thing - it keeps your brain focused. There were a few things I have been looking for, but unwilling to pay the full price at the department store, I've held off on buying. One item I'd been on the lookout for for almost two years. A few other items I'd really wanted, but they were totally not necessary items and I wasn't going to add them to my budget. Today, I bought all three items: a jerky making kit, a juicer and a stand mixer with meat grinder attachment for less than SEVEN dollars. Cha Ching!
93% off retail!
Bonus: Say a Prayer!
That's right. God cares about every aspect of your life. Is there something you need or would like that just isn't in the budget right now? Try asking God to supply it. Be specific. You'd be surprised what He has waiting for you...
For instance - I needed a pair of sandals for banging around the homestead and farm. I had a conversation with God and asked for top quality (I am prone to orthopedic problems) and cheap. Today I found a pair of sturdy, brand new, Dr. Martin sandals. For less than the tax on a pair if I'd bought them at the department store. Thanks, God!
"We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well."
(1 Corinthians 10:24b MSG)