Friday, July 27, 2007

It's been a good week

My lovely swap package arrived from Heidi . The photo is a little off center because I only had roughly 10 seconds to take it. Before I could bink Jack was throwing balls, wearing knee pads and browsing magazines while trying to eat the lemon drops. (Yes, half of those are missing from the photo.) And then the cat decided it was his nest . Obviously we *all* love it, thank you Heidi!
I have had some more excellent yard saling luck this week also. Loads of tablecloths and aprons have found their way to me. Good thing I hung up the apron hangers last week! Many thanks to Jennifer for the excellent idea. I will put more of the apron photos up on Flickr. The one above has the most gorgeous 2 tiered ruffle. Her ruffling is really meticulous.

Kirsten reminded me of something I have been meaning to ask all of you about yard sales. What days do they have them where you live? When we lived in Florida it seemed like any day of the week (including Sunday!) was fair game. Here it is mostly a Wednesday/Saturday thing, but some people are starting to have them on Friday nights. If you were having one of your own, a Friday evening sale would be a great idea. You don't have any other competition for shoppers, unlike Saturday morning when people are trying to get to 20 different sales.
Onto junking strategy #3:

The art of bargaining.

Most of the "book" advice is to always keep your poker face on. In other words, don't let them know you love it. I have mixed feelings about that. Do I think you should jump up and down and squeal like Jack when you find something you like? No. LOL But, do I think there is value in saying to someone "I really like this" or "These will go to a good home"? Yes.

Before you get to that point though, have a price in mind. Since I tend to buy a lot of similar objects, I have a pretty good idea what price the local market for those items tends to be. If I were setting out to buy a particular item then I would spend a little time looking on Ebay and googling to see what internet prices for that item look like. A lot of times you are going to come across people who will just say "What'll you give me for it?" so, you need to be prepared. If you have no idea at all what to offer, then simply say "How about if you start?" and work from there.

It often pays to sort of "buy in bulk*." If there is a big pile of aprons I will just ask "how much for all of them?" Because you will be spending a larger amount of money instead of a dollar or two, the price per item is usually a lot better. (There will be a few in the pile I am not at all interested in. I freecyle them, sell them or give them away and I still come out ahead dollarwise.)

This also works in the opposite direction also. If there is a huge box of china and you really are only wanting the sugar bowl then ask if they will sell you that particular piece instead of all of it. Success on that will vary, but it is worth trying.

Which brings me back to my first point about telling them you like it. 2 or 3 weeks ago I bought 3 boxes of old ornaments at an estate sale. Nothing was priced, so when I asked he said $7 a box. Which is a fair price. But I didn't have that much money with me. I offered $5 a box, which was what I had in my pocket. He stood there for a minute waffling. His sister said "Those were my mom's from the '50's." So I replied with, "I have a large collection of them. I love them. I use them on my Christmas trees every year." She went on to say that she had most of them from her mom already, but that she was too scared to use them. I encouraged her to get them out and enjoy them and by the time we were done talking he agreed to sell them for the $5 a box. I hope that was a win-win situation in the end.

*On one occassion this has backfired. I think the woman thought I was trying to rob her blind. She really freaked out about selling me some ornaments when I asked if I could buy them all instead of buying them one at a time. However, I had never before and have never again seen someone react that way. Maybe she was a little off kilter.

Whew. So, need any tips on anything else junking related? Only one week left until I am at the World's Largest Yard Sale !


  1. What a pretty swap package, I just love the colours!!!
    And, again, super tips!! I like the idea of offering to buy the whole "bunch" of whatever it is. I'm going to keep that in mind if I ever get to go to garage sales again.

    Oh, and Saturday mornings only around here :0

  2. No tips that you already don't know! Boy, I sure do look forward to hearing about your yard sale trip though! Take lots of pictures please.

  3. I'm envious! We don't have yard sales. Actually I lie. I saw one advertised (a small sign in the middle of nowhere) a couple of weeks ago. The first ever UK yard sale maybe? (And I missed it!)
    We have car boot sales and that's pretty much it (other than antique and collectors fairs).

  4. Wednesday yard sales? Weird! Here we have them Friday-Sat-Sun but Saturdays are still the most popular. I do like Friday sales, but I always forget to get up and go! Where I grew up and where my parents still live Friday sales are pretty much nonexistent, as are Sunday sales. Saturdays are it!

    Great swap package! Is that orange crepe paper that I spy? :)

  5. love those tablecloths!
    ours our mostly saturdays only. starting to see more friday ones, though.

    i forgot - i did use your tactic #1 once! last summer I saw a 14yo girl in her yard in the middle of a neighborhood sale. she had an american girl sleeping bag she wanted to sell, so i asked if she had anything else AG that she might want to sell. well, of course she did, and i got my daughter's santa present that way!

  6. Love the swap package, the tote is great :)

    Thanks for all the tips, I will have to be more bold and try some of them, perhaps bargains will be more abundant if they do. Can't wait to hear of your largest yard sale adventures!

  7. Love the aprons and tablecloths! And lucky you on the swap package!

  8. Looks like a fun summer swap package.
    Thanks for all the good sale tips. Our sales around here tend to be Friday through Sunday. The most amazing thing is that many of them don't start until 9 or 10 am. I'll get up early and be ready to go only to find that I have go wait for a couple of hours. Very strange!

  9. Oh my gosh what a happy fun swap !!! You are killing me with your table clothes. I can not find any around here sooo sad. Clarice

  10. great post sarah!!! love the swap stuff!! and thanks as always for the info!

  11. Great swap package and great tips. I live in Mn and rarely do you have sales other then Friday night and Saturday morn. Every once in a while it will start on thursday. My husband who is from Wa state finds this odd because when we lived there we could go Saturday and Sunday.
    My best money makers are Friday night I always make twice as much then on Saturday. Even when I have restocked for Saturday morn.

  12. It is a lovely swap package! I can't wait for mine to get here!

    Here there are mostly Friday and Saturday sales and occasionally Sundays. Where we used to live it was strictly Saturdays. I like the Friday sales although I am handicapped by my little ones on Fridays so I don't usually get to them.

  13. Love that tiered apron.

  14. You are a good garage saler! We would have a great time together! I'm in the midwest and our sales are only on Fri and Sat. If I go to the wealthier parts of town they seem to think their stuff is worth more and overprice stuff. Regular parts of town have the best deals and seem to have more estate stuff!!! Around here you have to go to a lot to find good things....but I love to go! Your yellow and orange stuff is so refreshing. IT made me smile!

  15. Good tips. Garage sales here are Sat mornings only. The dealers swoop in early as they can. I go later and pick up bargains and haggle when pple are tired and want to pack up ;)

  16. What a cute picture of your kitty on flickr:)

    Around here garage sales are always Friday mornings/Saturday mornings, and most people seem to have their garage sales run both days. So if you don't go Friday, you won't find anything good. Which is kind of a bummer, because I always forget to go on fridays! :)


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