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Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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Inspect Potential Purchases

Before handing any money over for an item, inspect it thoroughly. It is generally understood that purchases at yard sales are sold as-is, so if it doesn't work - you're stuck with it.

If you are considering an electronic item (TV, stereo, computer, etc.), ask the person holding the sale if you can plug it in to test it. If you are looking for a battery-operated device, you may want to have an assortment of batteries in your car so you can test with them.


Get There Early

The best selection is found when a sale first opens. If you think a sale may have the exact item you are looking for, get there before the opening time. If the person won't allow early birds, just wait until the advertised starting time. You may just snag that perfect item before anyone else.


Get the Best Price

Refer to the list you made before you headed out that has the prices you are willing to pay for each item on it. Remember, a fair "Yard Sale" price is typically 25% to 40% of the price of a similar new item, depending on its condition.

If the person is asking for more money than you think an item is worth, give them a counter-offer of a price that you think is fair. People having yard sales expect this, so don't be shy about it. Remember, they are selling things that they have already decided they can live without.


Ask Questions

Ask as many questions you can think of about an item you are considering buying. "Does it work?", "Do you know of any problems with it?", "How long have you had it?", etc. are all good questions to ask.

This is your chance to do what you can to protect yourself from making a bad purchase. Notice not only the answers to the questions, but also the way the questions are answered. This will help you determine whether you think the person is being honest or not. Go with your gut feeling.


What Not to Say

Always be polite no matter what you think or how the seller acts. Do not insult the seller or any of their items. They may become offended if you refer to their stuff as "junk" or "trash" and become difficult to negotiate with.

Also, don't jump up and down screaming for joy about finding the perfect item before buying it if you are planning on haggling with the person. They will consider you sold on the item at the marked price and will doubtfully come down.


Be Comfortable

Make sure you dress according to the weather forecast for that day. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be on your feet a lot.

Bring along some snacks and cold drinks with you, especially on hotter days. Keeping hydrated can help you think clearly about your purchases.


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