Hosts don't generally appreciate early birds, but they do love to sell their big-ticket items! Snagging the best items early from a garage sale can be a tricky business, but with the right combination of charm, tact, and cleverness, you may be able to take a look at the good stuff before anyone else starts pawing through it. Follow some of these tips to get the garage sale items you want, when you want them.
Start by casing local sales -- go around your neighborhood a few days before sales really start up during the week and see if you can spot any signs people put up early. Then, follow them to the house, and see if you can chat with the host about looking at the items now. Be careful with this method! Sometimes, the host will be very irritated (or simply unprepared for shoppers), and you won't be allowed back at the sale at all.
Next, try seeing about social networks. These are good for finding local sales early, because people start advertising early. Also, you can contact them without showing up at their door, something they may appreciate as opposed to having to turn you away in person. Just send them a personalized message letting them know that you're interested in some of their items and would like to take a look early -- remind them that it's guaranteed business, and you may have an intrigued host!
Remember that this is best done when you know you want an item for sure. This is because if you go to look at someone's items without knowing what they have or what you might want, it could become a huge inconvenience for nothing for both you and the host. Even if a sign or an advertisement doesn't specify what items are available, press further to see if you can discover what they've got before you put the effort into it.
Also, remember that you may have to pay more if you get an item early. There's no guarantee that other shoppers will even be remotely interested in the things you want, and if it's available late into the host's sale, they'll be more inclined to give you a good deal. If you go early, though, they don't know how much interest it will generate, and so they're more likely to tell you that you can either pay full price or leave.
Search out local garage sales on our website. It's a great place to be a shopper or a host!