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Good For Your Wallet
Good For Your Wallet
Good For Your Wallet


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Successful yard sale shopping starts well before any of the sales do -- and not just because you're an early bird. For serious, savvy shoppers, the secret is planning a smart yard sale route each weekend. To do that, you have to pick the best yard sales for your route.

To choose the best yard sales (and estate sales), you have to figure out what each one has for sale -- or at least learn enough to make an educated guess. For that, you need to know:

the age of the sellers
the age of the house
how long the sellers have lived there
how long it's been since their last sale
Decode the Yard Sale Listings-For each sale, start by reading the merchandise list (if there is one). Pay attention to the types of merchandise listed, as well as the order in which they are placed. Sellers tend to list what they have the most of or what they think is the most desirable first.

Look at Listing Photos
You can't rely solely on the written text in yard sale listings. Some sellers are great at writing garage sale ads, but their merchandise isn't so great. Fortunately, today's technology lets you take a sneak peek at many yard sales that weren't available for previous generations of yard sale shoppers.

Know the Neighborhoods
Choosing the yard sales on your route based on neighborhoods is pretty effective if you live in a large city where different areas have majority populations of the same age, stage of life, or income level.

For example, if you're shopping for children's clothing, toys, and furniture, your best bet is frequently new construction subdivisions full of young families. Within that criteria, you'll find the best quality in middle-middle class and above subdivisions in good school districts.

For good quality newish furniture and adult clothing, plan your route in upper-middle class and above neighborhoods with owners of any age.

Check Your Own Records
If you're not keeping notes on every yard sale you attend, it's time to start -- even if you're not a picker or dealer buying for resale.

Over time, you'll probably customize your yard sale records to suit your specific needs, but start with the following information:

the address
the sale dates (all of them if the seller has multiple sales over time)
whether early birds were welcomed (if you tend to be one)
the types, age, and quality of the merchandise
what you bought and for how much
how open the seller was to haggling
whether the prices were on the high or low side
whether the yard sale ad was accurate, or if it overstated or understated the merchandise
the approximate age of the sellers
anything noteworthy the seller said regarding future sales (for example, if she says she's planning another sale for fall once it's cool enough to clean out her elderly mother's attic)

In addition to recording information on the yard sales you attend, note the addresses and dates of sales you skip if they take place in neighborhoods where you might attend in the future.

Keeping yard sale records may seem like a lot of work, but it doesn't take that much time if you do it at the end of each shopping trip -- and the effort pays off. Next season when you're trying to decide whether or where to place a sale on your yard sale route, your records from this season may very well give you your answer.

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For serious yard sale shoppers, spring means the beginning of garage sale season and early morning treasure hunts. They go well prepared and they know how to find the good stuff. If you're new to yard sales -- or if you just want to improve your game -- study the do's and don'ts of yard sale shopping before attending your next sale.

1. Do plan your yard sale route in advance, either in the morning before you shop or the night before. Mark the sales you want to shop on a map -- manually or with mapping software -- which saves both time and gas.

2. Do try to get to the best-sounding yard sales as close to their starting times as possible. The good stuff sells fast. That's not possible with every sale if you're shopping an entire route, but do your best to get in and out fast. When you're mapping your yard sale route, order them according to starting time as well as geographic location.

3. Do prioritize group sales -- such as neighborhood, church, multi-family, and highway yard sales -- because you'll find more available merchandise in one location.

4. Do attend yard sales in neighborhoods most likely to have the merchandise you're seeking. If you're looking for baby clothes and kid's toys, shop newer suburbs full of young families. If you're looking for antique and vintage goods, attend yard sales in older neighborhoods, especially those with lots of original residents.

5. Don't rely solely on a smart phone or online yard sale finder. Use the apps as a starting point, or to map your final route, but read the yard sale ads from both Craigslist and the local newspaper yourself. Many yard sale finder applications aggregate from just one or the either. Additionally, if an ad lists an address that isn't formatted properly, the app may not be able to understand it. The app won't understand what "two miles from the bridge and across from the old stone church" means, but you may.

6. Do watch for yard sale signs, and feel free to detour if you spot one that's not on your route.

7. Do shop with a pocket full of cash, including lots of one dollar bills. Most yard sale sellers don't take checks, and you don't want to pull out a twenty if you've just told the seller you can only spend ten.
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Firm means the price is not negotiable. There is an upside. When you see tags marked firm, it means the seller is willing to haggle on the other stuff.

Don't dis the goods. Insulting the merchandise is the same as insulting the seller, and that's not an effective way to haggle. If you can really buy it cheaper elsewhere or make a better one yourself, go do that.

Ask instead of demand. Some sellers (though not all) just see red when they hear "I'll pay x" or "I'll give you x" from a shopper. They think the customer is telling them what to do. That's probably true with a handful of aggressive shoppers. For most, it's just a way of communicating what they're willing to pay.

If you do this, switch to an actual question just so there is no question of your intent. There's no reason to alienate a group of sellers when there are so many other haggling phrases you can use.
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Flea market and yard sale shoppers haggle, so sellers set prices high enough to come down. Since sellers mark the prices up, shoppers feel like they have to haggle. Make it fun for all parties by avoiding the worst haggling mistakes. Here's how not to haggle:
1. Don't ignore the seller until it's time to haggle.
2. Don't be stingy.
3. Don't haggle over individual items the entire time you shop.
4. Don't walk away after the seller accepts your offer. It's just bad form to pass after you've taken up the seller's time and he's lowered the price to suit you. Agreeing on a price is agreeing to buy.
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Do pack your treasure hunting tool kit, which should include your room measurements, paint and fabric swatches, and a measuring tape. If you're shopping for clothes, take a list of sizes of the members of your immediate family. You should also take a large mesh bag or a cart on wheels if you tend to buy lots of small items. You'll really appreciate the wheeled cart if you're walking a neighborhood sale.

Do practice basic yard sale safety. Keep your cell phone with you and make sure it's charged, especially if you're shopping yard sales alone. You may lock your keys in the car or have engine trouble -- in addition to shopping among strangers.

Do say hello to the seller when you arrive. It only takes a second or two, and the seller may recall your courtesy when it's time to haggle.

Do feel free to make an offer or ask for a lower price. Haggling is part of the yard sale experience, as long as you don't do it the rude way.

Don't offend the seller by asking for a 90 percent discount, but it's fine to offer a little more than half of the tag price. If the seller makes a counteroffer, you'll likely end up somewhere in the middle.

Do offer a group price if you're buying multiple items from the same yard sale. Sellers are more inclined to agree when they can clear out lots of things in one transaction.

Do swing back by the sale at the day's end if you couldn't come to an agreement on price. Sellers are hot and tired when it's time to close the sale, and most would rather take less than drag big items back into the house.

Don't expect to get huge discounts in the first hour or two of the sale. Most sellers will wait to see if the pieces sell for the full prices before giving discounts.

Don't insult the merchandise while you're asking for a discount, and don't tell the seller the sale up the street has the same item for far less. The seller may tell you to go buy it at the other sale.

Don't take young children or pets to yard sales. You can't shop and watch them properly, especially when you're trying to get in and out fast.

Don't buy items you can't use just because the prices are low. If you don't have room for it or can't think of a way to repurpose it, you're wasting money, not saving.

Don't linger for a chat after you finish shopping a yard sale. The goal is to get in and out fast so you can get to the next sale before all of the good stuff is gone.

Don't light up a cigarette on someone else's property, even when the yard sale is outdoors. Non-smoking sellers who don't like smoking on their property may worry you'll toss your butts on the ground. Even if you don't, they may hold the smoking against you when you want to haggle.

Do carry some packing materials -- newspaper or tissue paper, grocery sacks, bubble wrap, etc. -- in your vehicle. Most sellers won't think to provide them, and you want to get your new goods home intact.
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Be there early, at all markets the early bird does catch the worm! Even as people are setting up you can find great items. When you discovered that special thing, get it: … and don’t give up! Just taking a gander at something on a slow down is insufficient to be considered as approach to claim it. In the event that you like it, you should grasp it. This is an approach to keep other individuals from taking it from you.
The whole unique idea behind Trash & Treasure markets, is to bring private buyers, sellers and swappers together at a venue, run by a well organised team of experienced staff, enabling them to deal with each other in an attractive and vibrant market atmosphere.
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Good For Your Wallet! You know what, I have just finished reading a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Increase your financial IQ. Very interesting read and we always say, never too old to learn! How true that is and how low is your financial IQ?

I have learned some wonderful lessons from this book, 2 things that are stand outs for me, a 62 year old Grandma, Mum and Wife.
Number 1 is ALWAYS pay yourself first. No matter how many bills etc you have always pay yourself just 10cents on every $1 you earn.

Number 2 is the number one intelligence for finance and wealth, MAKE MORE MONEY!
Hence if I pickup a piece of good but old furniture from the side of the road, renovate it and then sell it, I am making more money.

There are hundreds of ways to making more money...
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New post (Black Friday 2016: Leaked ads, deals from Walmart, Target, Macy's, Kohl's) has been published on Good For Your Wallet
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