In Canada Victoria Day Weekend or the May 2-4 weekend as its commonly refered to, marks the begining of the summer season. On this three day weekend many of us head out to camp grounds for the first trip of the season or, head up north to cottage country to to open up and ready our summer retreats. However, if you are like me the May 2-4 weekend means the beginning of GARAGE SALE SEASON! There is something so exciting about stumbling upon a really good garage sale or estate sale, I absolutely LOVE looking through other people’s stuff in hopes of coming across a hidden treasure of some sort. I think this speaks to the fact that I am a positive kind of gal, always seeing the glass half full—OR it makes me some sort of mercenary scouring garage sales looking for a big score. I prefer the former description even if the later does hold a grain of truth. I mean who hasn’t heard about the guy who bought an ugly painting at a garage sale for $4, only to find it hid an original copy of the Declaration of Independence. That $4 investment parlayed itself into a gain just shy of 2 million dollars. While these instances are few and far between bargain hunters are always out looking for the item that will make give them a 1000% return on a $5 investment. Of course it can be argued that these people usually own second hand or thrift stores and have made of living of identifying the treasures among the trash. It is possible however, if you are so inclined to make some money reselling garage and estate sale finds. Garage sales are also a haven for people who want to spruce up their homes and wardrobes on a budget. We have put together a little list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to garage sales;
1.) Wood Furniture: Garage sales are the best places to find solid wood furniture like, coffee tables, chairs, bookcases etc. With a little refinishing these pieces can be sold for a tidy little profit. Stay away from furniture with fabric cushions, couches, futons etc., these are more often than not soiled and stained and could even contain bed bugs. Re-upholstering is costly and time consuming and not worth your investment.
2.) Books: People are always selling their books, and people are always looking for books, there is a whole industry devoted to the resale of books. Stay away from stained, and damaged paperbacks, unless of course you really want to read it!
3.) Electronics: Want to go on a new smoothie or juice fast? A garage sale is a perfect place to pick up a juicer or a blender for next to nothing. People are always getting rid of small appliances and electronics that take up counter and cupboard place. Make sure the items work BEFORE you leave the sale.
4.) Clothing: This is a great way to add stand out pieces to your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Make sure clothing is in reasonably good condition, buttons are all present, zippers work etc., there are no stains or funky odors.
5.) Children’s toys and clothing: This is great way to buy big expensive pieces such as sand boxes, wagons, playsets etc for a fraction of the price. Sellers of these items will let these pieces go for next to nothing if they know they are going to a good home.
6.) Sports Equipment: Want to start weight training ? Your kids have decided they want to be the next Milos Raonic? Start hitting the garage sales!!! I once picked up an mini trampoline for $5 once ($170 on line) it was a steal.
7.) Albums: There is a definite market for old vinyl records. Make sure they are in good condition with no scratches or cracks. However, even if you do find some interesting albums and they are scratched never fear, the album covers are in demand for their art work.
In addition to these tips, you will fail miserably in your quest if you do not know how to bargain! Most people think haggling for a deal makes them look cheap and distasteful, this need not be the case as long as you remain polite and respectful. Once you get to the garage sale try to connect with the sellers, everybody loves to talk about themselves and their stuff; establishing a report with the seller will go long way when it comes time to cash out.
Please remember if you are hosting your own garage sale and are left with some unsellable clothing, shoes, purses, bedding and small housewares, please call us at the Oasis Clothing Bank . We will pick up your items for FREE. Not only will you be freeing up space in your home and garage but you will be helping someone trying to reclaim thier life. Together we can enrich lives and improve communities. Call us at 416 751 0553.