Getting the Best Deal

After the initial greeting of a host as you approach his or her sale, there's often not much to say unless you have a specific question for them.  In order to butter up the host and get a better deal on whatever they later buy, some customers will sidle up to the sales table and strike up a conversation -- but this can be awkward and forced and actually make the host very uncomfortable.  There are a lot of ways you can establish rapport with the host without even saying a word, and get a good deal in the checkout process.

A paper bag to bring home the item you got from getting the best deals.When you first approach the yard sale, smile and nod at the host, as well as returning whatever greeting they holler your way.  And many times following that when you make eye contact, make your expression as friendly and open as possible.  Even a simple disarming expression can put a host at ease and make them feel like you are willing to make a connection, something that will unconsciously make them more favorable to you in the checkout process.

As you browse the items, act interested without seeming overeager.  You don't want to overplay your excitement at every little thing, or you will seem ingenuous, but if you freely express your genuine interest, the host might see it as more reason to sell you (and not someone else) the object you're planning to purchase.  By the same token, don't make derisive sounds as you peruse the objects -- so no snorts, giggles, coughs, or negative words.  If you spot something you think is stupid, keep your opinion to yourself, and the host will not feel looked down upon in your dealings.

One of the most irritating traits of garage sale customers is their seeming inability to put things back the way they found them.  This applies in particular to clothes, which the host laboriously folded in the weeks before the sale...only to have them carelessly tossed around and the nice presentation destroyed.  So as you go, fold clothes you unfold and put them back where you found them.  You can even take a moment and straighten the other customers' mess, something the host is sure to take note of.

Similarly, use noticeable care when handling fragile objects.  So many shoppers just wave around glass figurines, china plates, and sensitive electronics before slamming them back down on the table or display, and the host is probably sitting there gritting her teeth.  Be the thoughtful person who gently cradles a fragile dish or sets a figurine down with extra care, and you will have the host on your side.

Keep your kids and/or pets under control.  Nothing is as irritating to a host as a dog pulling over tables with his leash or wild children screaming at the top of their lungs as they veer around shoppers.  If you make sure that your companions are well-behaved, you will often get comments from the other customers and the host ("what well-mannered children you have!"), and the relief a host feels may be enough for them to let a low price slide.

For more tips and advice on how to be a good garage saler, check out GarageSaleCow.com.  It's the world's fastest-growing online garage sale community, and it's completely free!




Comments (7) -

Marian Apugan
Marian Apugan
2/13/2013 9:55:53 AM #

I completely agree!!! NOthing is more annoying than dogs in sales. Could they just leave their dogs at home and they're not going to a park, they're going to a freaking garage sale Laughing

Christine Sparks
Christine Sparks
2/13/2013 9:58:53 AM #

woahhh... I really need to improve my acting skills since I can really hold myself back when I see an interesting object. I tend to get the attention of the seller to much that I would end up buying that thing for a high price Frown Really need more practice and more sales to attend to...

jack michael david
jack michael david
2/13/2013 10:05:11 AM #

Thanks for these great tips!!! I would apply these the next time I come around a garage sale. Jmd

Devyn James Porter
Devyn James Porter
2/14/2013 1:56:47 PM #

IF you want to get best deal, you need to establish rapport with the seller first. Get to know him/her a bit more but do not be too pushy and become too close, just enough for him/her to like/trust you. You could then lay down your bargains, i suggest to bargain with the lowest reasonable price and don't show that your frustrated when they reject your offer. JUst keep your cool and keep on bargaining and know when to back out and stay away if the seller is not keen on your price set. Just act naturally and act what your doing.

Walter Bouffard
Walter Bouffard
2/23/2013 9:11:46 AM #

Master the art of bargaining and surely, you'll have a fighter's chance of getting the best deal. Before you go into bartering, you need to gain the trust and ease of the hosts. Get to know them better, talk about current events, news or anything that interests them, then slowly incorporate the garage sale and eventually bargaining. Talk about how nice and exquisite an item is, ask for the history, how long has the item been their property, etc... That way, your not being too pushy and direct about having a good deal with them. It's an effective method but you need to polish your skills and practice over and over again by joining a lot of garage sales.

Lillian Mayfield
Lillian Mayfield
2/23/2013 9:17:24 AM #

Act natural when you're trying to get a deal especially when it's your first time meeting the hosts. A common mistake is going too hard and directly about getting a deal even if you're just a new costumer. Some people show that their frustrated if they can't get an item at their desired price. There are just some things that you need to pass up upon and act that you understand why they're not selling that item for a lower amount because it may have sentimental value. That way, your the nice guy even if you didn't get the deal you want.

Billy Elson
Billy Elson
2/23/2013 9:28:43 AM #

Just keep on practicing Christine. It takes time to improve and master how you interact with the hosts. Don't be discourage if you have obstacles and failures along the way because those would prepare you to become a better shopper and those are your stepping stones for your goal, whatever it may be.

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