July 2, 2008, 6:00 am

The Garage Sales Season

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Frugal,Miscellaneous
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It’s Saturday morning. I wake up after getting under attack. I still can see the face of my opponent but I can hear him scream his rage out loud. I see all kind of colors in front of me and everything is going so fast I think I better fight back before it’s too late. My son is playing dinosaur rumble in my bed and it is getting pretty ugly! At the same moment, I can hear people working outside. I lift up the curtain and put my glasses on: they are preparing for another kind of war; Garage Sale!


garage sale

This phenomenon is creating great interest for me since I love shopping. In Montreal suburbs, it is getting so popular that cities are now organising their official Garage Sale Weekend. So you can get your schedule and book your summer weekends in different city in your area. I would never thought garage sales could be as organized as a business!

Ads in the newspaper, balloons, people on the corner of the street directing you; sometimes I believe I’m going to see The Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre! But beware; dinosaur rumble is nothing compared to the Garage Sale Rumble! Some people have really good stuff to sell at a very low price while others are ready to do anything to get what they are looking for. I’m telling you, human beings are not far from the beast!

Make a list of what you are looking for

There are now too many people in the street that it is preferable that you walk instead of driving. Therefore, you are more limited in term of time/distance. You need to establish your priority and start looking for them. While there is good stuff to buy, there is also a lot of things that should never leave some people’s basement. If you take the time to look around, you will never end-up buying what you are looking for.

Determine a budget and bring cash

An easy trick to make sure that you are not wasting your money around is to forget your check book and only bring cash. Anyway, in negotiation, cash is king, especially when you are dealing on the corner of the street!

Don’t be afraid to negotiate

When people are selling their “old” stuff it is because they don’t see a big value into those things. So what you think is a great deal and exactly what you were looking for is just something gathering dust in somebody else basement. I remember that I bought a $4000 marble table with Italian leather chair for only $600.

The guy I bought it from was probably 30-32 and had for $300,000 in cars in his driveway (and I’m not talking about his house). So what was the most amazing deal I ever found for a kitchen table was actually keeping one of his cars away from his garage!

Since we have kids, I am trying to buy more used stuff for two reasons. The first one is that it cost way much less and the second one is to give our Earth a little break 😉

image source : flickr.com


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But don’t negotiate too much! I just had a garage sale last weekend and some people offered 25 cents for something that was obviously worth something; things that had a price tag of up to $5. It was insulting and didn’t work.

Second, if you need something get it! We had a great ladder for $50, which is about 1/3rd of the price and it was in excellent condition. It was from my previous house, which was one story taller than my current and I didn’t need the large ladder anymore. So many people wanted it but were scared to buy it because they didn’t know if it was long enough or too long or whatever. Several people needed to go home and “measure” their house then come back to get this ladder. Eventually someone just bought it and those who wasted their time to come back were out of luck.

by: The Financial Blogger | July 2nd, 2008 (7:34 pm)

TS… some people are very cheap 😉 25 cents? tssss!

You gotta know what you are looking for… and be able to recognize it !!

[…] Financial Blogger prepares for the phenomenon known as The Garage Sales Season. Get ready to do the “Garage Sale […]