Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yard Sale Tips

I always look forward to Summer weather for several reasons, one of them being yard sales. Yard sales or tag sales are a good way to find bargains on needed items. (Yes needed items, not additional clutter of unneeded or duplicate items.)

My husband and I will go to yard sales on Saturdays during the Summer. We enjoy seeing the bargains, meeting people and just spending time together. 

Some tips for yard sales are:
  •  Wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
  • Go to nicer neighborhoods, they usually have brand name items.
  • It's not easy to shop with little ones, they like to look too and wander off, finding something you don't want them to have. 
  • Fanny packs, back packs or a wallet in a deep pocket is easier to shop with then a purse hanging from your shoulder.
  • Search the newspaper, bulletin boards, or listen to your local radio station (if they announce yard sales) for locations.
  • Start early. You find the most and best items this way.
  • A bargain isn't a bargain if it's an item you don't really need. 
  •  Buy clothes that are your size. If you buy clothes hoping you will lose weight you may very well  just be adding more clutter to your home and wasting money. 
  • For children buy clothes that are their size if they need it and it is appropriate for the season now. Or buy clothes for the next season a size larger. Usually kids clothes are the best buys because they grow out of them before they wear out.
  • Don't buy stained items believing you can get the stain out. You are taking a chance and maybe wasting your money. 
  • Also look clothes over for tears, broken zippers, and missing buttons. It may be an easy fix and the seller may sell cheaper then the asking price if you ask. 
  • Beware of electronics. Test them before buying to ensure they are fully functioning. I believe the seller is selling them for a reason and may not be honest about why.
  • Microwaves are a scary buy to me. Microwaves can work and heat but may not be fully functioning and leave hot spots in your food, which could burn you or a loved one. 
  • Run your finger around edges of glassware and dishes to ensure there are no cracked or rough edges that may cut you.
  • To avoid lead contamination look at dishes and glassware to note what country it was made in. Some countries use lead in many of the products they manufacturer. You can look up on line to review which countries goodies to be aware of. 
  • Measuring cups and spoons are useless unless you can read the measurements on them. 
  • Try out and look over on all sides and underneath any furniture to make sure nothing is broken, stained, torn and possible have some kind of infestation before agreeing to take it home.
  • It never hurts to ask a seller if they are willing to take less then the marked price as long as your offering price is reasonable.
  • Never buy used shoes, underwear, swim suits or mattresses. The possiblity of viruses, infestation and body fluids are too great of a health risk. 
  • Open cases, boxes etc. to make sure what is on the label is what is inside the package. 
  • Look DVDS over to make sure there aren't scratches. 
  • Used computers are always a no-no. Too many possible risks for internal damages, viruses etc. 
  • Personal care products are another no-no. You don't know how old they are, how they were stored or if they have been tampered with. 
  • Craft items like yarn are usually a good bargain. 
  • Accessories like purses, scarves etc. I tend to buy used. They are easily cleaned and disinfected.
  • If you collect books, yard sales are a great place to add to your collection. If you don't collect then don't buy them go to the library instead and avoid more clutter and wasting money. 
  • Pots and pans need to be looked over well. I've found most are very worn and not something I would want in my home. 
  • Stationary and boxes of cards are usually a good find.
  • Holiday decorations are generally in good condition and inexpensive.
  • Estate sales and moving sales tend to have good items the sellers are trying to sell at lowest prices to get rid of the items. 
I hope these tips help with your yard sale adventures. Happy Shopping!!

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