Tips for smart yard-sale buyers

We just realized that over the last several weeks we’ve offered lots of tips to yard sale sellers, but very few to buyers.

Here are some tips culled from some of the most seasoned yard sale veterans:

  • Look at the classified section in the newspaper. Circle all the yard sale ads that are of interest to you.
  • Make a list of the addresses and make sure you have directions. You definitely don’t want to waste time by getting lost.
  • Bring your sunglasses, suntan lotion and a cooler of beverages.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers are great. DO NOT wear flip flops.  We learned this the hard way.
  • Arrive at the yard sale at the designated time listed in the ad. Do not be the dreaded “early bird”.
  • Bring small bills and change. Even though one of our prior tips was for the seller to have small bills, a lot of them do not and cannot give you change for larger bills.
  • When buying DVDs or CDs, check to make sure the DVD or CD is in the case. Again, we learned the hard way on this one.
  • If you are looking to buy furniture pieces, measure the area where you want to put the item and write it down. Carry a tape measure to make sure the piece will fit. There’s nothing like buying a piece of furniture and getting it home and it doesn’t fit. Few yard sales accept returns!
  • Carry batteries in case you find something that requires batteries. You don’t want to bring the item home and find out it doesn’t work. Also, check the battery compartments in toys and other items for corroded batteries.
  • Be wary of buying car seats and other baby items at yard sales because they might have been recalled.
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