RW Learning Center – Buyers – Finding a Treasure

Buyer / Seller Learning Center

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Rummage / Garage Sales – Finding Bargains and Treasures

What’s trash to one person may be treasure to you. That’s why shopping at garage sales, rummage sales, yard sales can be a great way to find some bargains. But, before you hop in the car and head out to the next garage sale, here are some tips to help you find some great deals:

Pick the Right Neighborhood

Picking the right place to shop can mean the difference between going home empty handed or with a car full of goodies. If you’re looking for antiques, experts suggest heading to older neighborhoods. If you looking for things like baby clothes and cribs, younger neighborhoods are the place to go.

Timing is Everything

If you’re looking to get your hands on better quality items, go to the sale early in the day. That way, the merchandise won’t be picked over. But, if bargain basement prices are more important to you, head out to the sale at the end of the day. Chances are the person throwing the sale will be willing to slash prices to simply get rid of the items.

Inspect the Merchandise

If someone is trying to get rid of something, it may be for a reason. So, before you spend your hard-earned money, inspect the merchandise carefully. For example, if it’s a lamp, plug it in and make sure it works. If it’s made of glass, look for chips.

Ask Questions

If you’re looking for a particular item, don’t be afraid to ask. The owner may have something else he or she is willing to sell.

How to Haggle

When it comes to getting a good deal, never offer a price for anything. Instead, ask the seller how low he or she is willing to go on the price. Then get ready to haggle.

Recalled Items?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls hundreds of items each year. If you’re unsure about an item you bought at a garage sale, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at (800) 638-2772 or check out its Web site at


Here are some of the things you should consider taking along with to your next garage sale:

Small Change

If you’re looking to make a purchase, the seller may not have the correct change. So, make sure to bring small bills and change with you.

Tape Measure

If you’re looking to buy furniture, bring a tape measure with you. That way you won’t buy something that won’t fit in your home.

Size List

If you’re buying clothing for family members, consider writing down all their sizes on a piece of paper. This list will help you when you get to the sale.


Take along lots of water and some snacks. It can get hot as we approach the summer.


If you’re heading to more than one garage sale in one day, bring a map. This will help you get from place to place. (remember, Rummage classified ads include a printable map for each event)

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