Since it is absolutely pouring out, I decided to do a video on tips and tricks that you can use at a yard and estate sale.
- Get there Early! The early bird gets the worm for a reason. There is not much worse than walking up to a yard sale and seeing someone walking away with something you have been hunting for.
- Get to know the dealers that run the estate sales. Sign up on the mailing lists and like their Facebook pages. This way you are the first to see what Estate Sales are coming up and sometimes even preview the items before the doors open.
- You can use your phone to check eBay/amazon on the items you want to flip, but don’t stay glued to your phone. It is best to use your gut. You don’t want to waste time looking up all the past auctions on an item that you can get for just a few dollars. Take that time to check out the entire sale. Research the items at the end of the day.
- Use www.estatesales.net to map out what estate sales you want to hit. For yard sales, I use the app Yard Sale Treasure Map. You can plot out your map the night before, search for key words that you like to buy, and sometimes even see pictures of what that sale has to offer.
- For estate sales, don’t bring large bags or purses. Estate sales are usually in someone’s home and there are a bunch of people. The people who run the sale do not allow large purses because you might knock something over. It is best to bring and reuse plastic store bags.
- Bring Post It notes or Masking tape to mark items you bought as SOLD. I have seen countless fights between people who bought an item, put it down because they didn’t want to carry it, and when they returned it was in someones bag. You can avoid these misunderstandings if you mark your items clearly as SOLD.
- Bring a magnet to check for silver or gold. You can buy heavy duty magnets at Home Depot or Lowes. When you see a pile of jewelry, just run the magnet over it. If it sticks to the magnet, you know it is not gold or silver. Costume jewelry is magnetic. (You might still want to buy the costume jewelry depending on the designer)
- Talk to people. Talk to the people running the estate sale and the people who own the house at the yard sale. You can ask for specific items, items they may have but may not have put out at the yard sale. Also talk to the other people at the yard sale, sometimes they will let you in on a great sale down the street that they already hit. You will see a lot of the same people at yard sales, it is good to get to know them. They are not always your competition.
- Bring a flash light. This especially applies to estate sales. Estate sales tend to be in the home of elderly people and elderly people always have dim lighting. Beside the dim lights, you will also have access to parts of the home that might not have lights at all. Basements, Garages, and sheds are never well lit, so it is good to bring your own flashlight.
- HAVE FUN. Some weeks you might find a $300 item for $3, some weeks you will find people asking $300 for a $3 item. Try not to take negotiations personally, and always try to be friendly. You can catch more flies with honey that vinegar, so be friendly and the negotiations will be easier.
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