One of the things that really screams, “It’s summer!” is the appearance of rummage sale signs and flea market advertisements. If you’re pining to spend some of your hard-earned cash at a jumble sale this year, here are some tips to make the most out of them.
Bring your map and a plan
Have a plan. Some sales will start at the crack of dawn, while others might slowly meander towards opening halfway through the morning. If there is a specific advertised item that you are hoping to pick up, make sure you are one of the early birds to the sale. If there are several estates sales that open around the same time, chart your route on a map to give it the best
On this same note, if you can’t comfortably pack something out, you can’t buy it, so if you think you may want to purchase something relatively fragile, the only way you’re going to be able to use it is by bringing some packing material. Typically, rummage sales do not provide things like tissue or boxes, so being prepared can help you immensely. Bring some old newspapers or a quilt so that you can comfortably place your new-to-you breakable items in the boot of your car.
Let’s make a deal
Don’t assume something is a good deal just because it’s being sold second-hand. There are entire businesses that make their profits from buying and selling used clothing, furniture, and accessories. When you spy something you really would like but think the price is too high, make a deal. Not sure how to do that? You can learn how to price haggle pretty quickly, but make sure you do it with confidence.
With the advent of the internet, rummage sales have taken on a different approach. Now, if you’re uncertain if something may be overpriced, you can quickly identify if that is true but perusing eBay, using antique appraisal websites, or simply asking in a forum the worth of something.
Don’t buy stuff you can’t use
Make a list of things you want, whether it be Tiffany-inspired lamps or collectible baseball cards. When you use a list, you’re less likely to purchase something you don’t really want and frankly can’t use. Keep this in mind: there are no returns to flea market sales. What you get is what you get to keep, or sell in your own sale later on in the summer.
Give it a second chance
Go back through some of the sales later in the afternoon, when people are likelier to give you better prices. If there were some places you considered making a deal, but couldn’t arrive at a compromised price, you may want to make the trek back to an estate sale right before they are posted to close down.
This tip might be the most important one of all; eat before you go! A hungry stomach can make you want to give up the hunt early, so bring your cup of coffee or tea, stay hydrated, and make sure you’re not shopping on an empty stomach. Now, go have fun, and score some deals!