Wednesday, June 22, 2011

yard sale etiquette

The thrill of the hunt.

It starts on Wednesday morning, when I begin to scan the newspaper, section 360.  I make note of any sales starting on Thursday, although that is rare.  I tend to stick to Mac-Groveland, Highland, and Summit neighborhood sales.  This year I have started scanning Craigslist as well.

On Thursday morning, I check for new additions and formulate a plan.  Most Friday mornings will find me driving my little red Fit through the leafy green streets, scanning to see if the sale is in the front yard or alley.  My Fit is the PERFECT rummaging car, my back seats can fold down, I could fit an entire dining room set in there if I had to.  It's small enough to fit into nearly any parking spot.

I have rules.  I rarely ever park in an alley, as most of the time our city alleys are narrow, and garbage trucks still need to get through to do their jobs.  And it doesn't kill me to walk from a cross street.  I even enjoy checking out people's backyards, and seeing beautiful alley gardens.

I won't go to a sale on the second day.  I won't randomly stop at a sale that I haven't seen an ad for, I figure if they don't take the time to advertise what they are selling it generally isn't worth going to.  I bring coffee to keep me fueled between stops, and lots of change.  And reusable bags.

When arriving at a sale, I always figure out who is in charge and give them a warm smile and hello.  Later on, if I want to negotiate a price, they will remember me as the happy person who actually acknowledged them.  I look for something I can comment on "That's a beautiful milk glass dish, my grandma had one just like it."  Even though they are selling their things, it's nice to know someone else appreciates their belongings.

I rarely ask for a lower price, unless it is warranted, and then I do so kindly.  "Would you be willing to take $10?"  I have rarely been turned down.  And then I always thank them for giving me a reduction.

Upon leaving, I always wish them luck.

I adore the thrill of the hunt, and meeting new people.  It's a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer morning.  (or lately, a very wet one....)  And on top of that, I have collected some wonderful things!

1 comment:

  1. You are a complete pro! Unlike me, who usually stumbles upon a garage sale with a stroller load of daycare munchkins. One time, I actually put a chair (from a sale) in the stroller and the little ones walked. was only a block!

    Happy rummaging.


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