Friday, May 17, 2013

Garage Sale Weekend!

I was thinking about the garage and yard sales that will be ensuing this weekend, all over North America! Check out your needs and wants list, and see if you are able to check off some of those items at your local garage sale.  It's a buyers market! 

I am always interested in vintage and antique things and I operate a small shop on Etsy.  It could be a great time to find much needed inventory, especially if you hit the best garage sales and find unique and valuable items!

There might be some great things to grab for your own home decor, outdoor patio, husbands tool chest, or perhaps an upcoming Father's Day Gift.  So, here in Canada, I usually start my garage sale hunting on, online or in the newspaper classifieds, to spot out the best sales but also if you stay tuned to the neighborhood signs.  You can write down and plan your garage sales by location.  If they are close to home, maybe you can take a walk there on a nice sunny day.

In Canada, there will be garage sales starting now, and continuing through the summer.  In the U.S.A. it's likely been warmer since March, so there probably were lots of sales to get to! It is a great hobby if you have the time and a few dollars.  Depending on how far you would like to travel to get to the garage sales, and what you want to purchase perhaps a minivan or larger car is handy.

Otherwise, it can be a sustainable hobby if you keep it local, and some people do take transit.  I suggest purchasing a cart on wheels if you are taking the bus or train,  or perhaps just a sturdy material shopping bag.  This way if you do find something on the larger side you can haul it as comfortable as possible and it could be a good weekend for exercise!

In the past I have got quite lucky, with either cheap or free finds.  Yes, many places have free bins or if they don't sell certain items, they wind up free at the end! In that case, if you are struggling and need everything for your home, you could scope the sales out and then go back and see if anything turned up for free nearing the end of the sale.

This is a super way to budget and use your money for other things, while still being able to decorate with something or make your home more comfortable looking. I have found items in the past and some things brand new with price tags on for a fraction of the price at garage sales! They just needed a good cleaning or a small and cheap repair. 

Also, there are free listings for items again, on or other online sites that post items for sale.  Just use your discretion and perhaps don't contact people if you aren't serious about picking the item up or needing the item.  This way they don't hold it if someone else is more desperate. Also, I would use caution none the less, please don't meet up with people you don't know, unless you have another person with you as a witness and safety and in general use your street smarts.  I believe you can even meet with people at the Police station to make your Kijiji purchase.

I have spotted cool items around, and if you watch enough antiques roadshow or brush up on your antiques knowledge, you could spot something really valuable for not that much! Scour the sites and eBay that are selling antiques as well, and get your base knowledge down. Also, I find if your eye is attracted to something, even though it isn't that appealing when it comes to modern trends it most likely is worth something.  It is usually that love at first sight item that could be the cat's pyjamas! 

Here's a tip on being a buyer.  Don't act over-excited, unless you don't care about the price you are paying..... if the seller is open to negotiation, then  it's acceptable to try to bring the price down. If the owner or seller is not open to negotiations, determine if the item or product is what you really want.  You may find other items during your day of garage sales or the same item for much less, that you never thought you would find and now have spent less than your budget!

I would also suggest covering antiques or expensive collectibles with insurance, if you are serious about keeping your investment. You can consider how much money it would be to also insure that piece.  Years ago, I had a very unique and vintage blue glass and antique collection and it was stolen. I have since wrote off the collection (personally let it go even though I know who took it), as a donation to those that decided to lift it.  Also, I believe if they truly needed what they took then it was all worth it in the end, and it proved a lot.

I also donated a vintage dresser to The Interfaith Society. They will resell the dresser, but it's a place to find items for less and for families either just getting started or looking for true quality craftmanship.  It's nice they can afford something there.  When various organizations ask for money donations and with some good intent, perhaps it isn't always money we must think of as donations.  We can help out Interfaith or Women In Need Societies as well, by donating nice and gently used clothes and items you are not using anymore.

You may also opt to re-sell the item (s), if you are in need of money.   I have done it a few times and end up breaking even in terms of what I have bought versus sold.  It's a nice way to collect some funds back and use them for future purchases you may need at garage and yard sales.

Perhaps I will post more about this topic at another time, and if there is anyone who is reading this post, and have any tips when it comes to vintage and antiques,....please feel free to comment more suggestion below! Have a happy long weekend!

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