Last spring at about this time we published a blog with some suggestions of items to avoid when buying or selling at a garage sale. That advice seems timely again but we also have some suggestions for those who want to make smart purchases at a sale.
- It is important to know what an item is worth to know if you are indeed getting a bargain. If it is a collectable item, brush up on prices by looking at collectors’ magazines or webpages. Even eBay can be a quick resource.
- Look for brand names that you trust for high quality items. Avoid overpaying on the strength of the brand name alone.
- Be sure that your really need the item. A bargain is not worth it if it is something that will just take up space at your home but not be useful.
- If you are looking at a major investment, a car, boat, or large appliance, give yourself time to think about the purchase. You may even want to consult a mechanic or repair person for advice. The repairman may know what part of the appliance wears the fastest and the expected life of the appliance.
- Be realistic about the actual price of the item. If it requires a lot of repair before it is useable, it may not be a bargain after all.
- Try to arrive at the sale early as you will have more of an opportunity to evaluate the item.
- Don’t assume that the price marked is firm; be willing to negotiate for a lower price. Be realistic about true value of the item.
Taking some time to do a bit of research should help you know a bargain when you see one. Happy shopping.