Budget Friendly Upcycling

5 Tips for Garage and Estate Sale Shopping

Garage and Estate Sales are one of the best ways to get furniture décor that is both unique and affordable. It is also super rewarding and fun when you find something great. However, it is a lot more time and effort than just going to a regular furniture store.  Here are some easy tips to help navigate and make the process easier and more efficient.

1. Start with looking at the Garage Sale and Estate websites and apps. 

There are lots of apps and websites where upcoming sales are posted.  There are some companies that will host estate sales as well and they will usually take tons of pictures and post them beforehand.  Also you can get on their email lists and find out first whenever they are having upcoming estate sales.  Since there are tons of pictures posted on the websites and apps you can scan through each listing and decide which one is worth going to.  Some of the apps and websites I use are Estate Sales.net and Yard Sales Treasure Map.

2. Go during the week days if you can

On the websites and apps they will post the hours and the days that they will be open.  Some of them start on weekdays.  A lot of the better items tend to go really fast so being able to go the first couple days can help you get a better chance at getting good items before they are picked over by the weekends.  A lot of times when we go during the weekends there is not much left.  However, the flip side of that is on the weekends during the last few days of the sale they are more willing to negotiate and you can get better deals.

3. Haggle and negotiate prices 

I love haggling and negotiating on items.  Some of the tips I have are first be friendly.  People are more likely to want to give you a good deal if they like you and can relate to you.  A lot of sellers we run into like that we are young homeowners starting out and want to give us better deals and pass on their treasured items to someone that will take good care of them.  

Another tip is to try and bundle items.  You can get better deals sometimes if you buy more than one thing and ask for a discounted price on the whole purchase.  

At the end of the day it never hurts to ask if the seller can do a lower price as long as you are respectful there is nothing to be intimidated by.

4. Bring somebody to help you move heavier items

At Estate and Garage Sales you can find some great deals on bigger pieces of furniture. However, you have to carry it out yourself. At one estate sale we went to everyone kept asking my husband to help carry stuff out.  They were nice enough to help pay for some of our items though.  Sometimes the cost and hassle of renting a truck and movers doesn’t justify the savings so you have to weigh that into consideration when buying bigger items.

5. Ask to try things out before you buy 

We recently bought a grill at an estate sale and it looked pretty new so we didn’t try it out before we bought it.  It turns out that one of the pieces were missing so we couldn’t get it to work. 

My dad bought a snow blower for us and it was a little tricky to figure out how it worked so he had the seller demonstrate how to use it before he bought it.  This prevented a lot of confusion later on when we went to use it.  

Now that I have learned my lesson I definitely recommend asking if there are any special instructions and requesting to try certain items first.

I found this trunk at an Estate Sale and made it into a couch side table

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