How to Negotiate at a Garage Sale


Who can honestly say they don’t love getting amazing stuff for pennies on the dollar? That’s what garage sales do for us. They give us the opportunity to find lightly used and sometimes down right new stuff.

One thing that may be frustrating is when you find a highly overpriced garage sale. I mean, what are they going to do with this stuff if they can’t sell it? Most likely throw it out. So wouldn’t you think you’d rather get a few bucks out of it then nothing? I don’t want you broken stroller for $30.

Don’t fret though, there is always room to negotiate!

What is the lowest you will take for this?

This open ended question is great, because it allows the seller to feel in control. Also, they may end up giving you a price below what you were going to ask! On the opposite side of the spectrum, they may also give you a price that is far above what you are willing to pay. If this happens, you can always try one of the other options below.

Will you take “x” amount for this?

This question puts you in the position of control. You let the seller know what you want to pay, and they can either say yes or no, or give you a number that they feel comfortable taking for it. Just be sure the amount is realistic for what they are selling. If you find a brand new pair of Nike shoes that have never been worn, and they are asking $50.00, $.50 may be insulting to them.

Also be prepared for people who might scoff at you or have a rude response. Sellers tend to think their stuff is great and worth a lot of money, even if that’s not the case.

If I buy all of this, will you sell it to me for “x”?

Or another variation: If I buy all of this, will you throw in this for free?

With both of these, you have the upper hand because you are getting a lot of items off their hands at one time. They spent a lot of time doing a garage sale, so knowing they are going to sell a lot makes it worth it. Also, they can’t be sure that they will sell any of it to anyone else, so they may be getting a great deal! As stated above, be sure not to low ball them. Just because you are buying 50 items doesn’t mean you should be able to purchase them for 50% of the asking price. At that point, it would be worth it for them to hold off for a better offer.

A few more things to keep in mind…

  • Going towards the end of the last day will help you get things for A LOT cheaper, but be aware that the items will be picked over.
  • Don’t be afraid to pull your phone and look up the price of an item new. It’s always the pits to think you got a good idea, only to get home and realize you didn’t save much.

Happy negotiating! Do you have tips and tricks you use to negotiate at garage sales, tell us about them in the comments!



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