It’s time for the annual Holiday Shores yard sale this coming weekend! This is a massive event with so many houses participating. The sale is Saturday, June 5th, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but many houses participate on Friday evening as well. Over 40 houses are participating, and you can find all sorts of stuff from kids and adult clothing, toys, tools, kitchenware, scrapbooking items, boating stuff, to furniture. Oh, and don’t forget to support those little kids trying to make some money selling water and lemonade. Going to a garage sale is like going on a treasure hunt. You’ll never know what you might find, and with so many houses, the opportunity to find things went up substantially.
Tips for Scoring at Garage Sales
If you enjoy browsing through neighborhood garage sales searching for great deals, here are some tips for you to score the best deals.
Plan your route ahead of time
Make sure to stop at Behme’s to pick up a map of Holiday Shores and see what addresses are listed to have garage sales. There might be more houses that aren’t listed, but this is a great place to start.
Know What you are looking for
Successful shopping on a budget boils down to listing what you need or want beforehand. So before hitting sales, Figure out what household items or clothes you need, or anything else, in particular, you will be searching for.
Time your visit right
You’ll find the best selections within the first half-hour of a sale when you may find yourself competing with professional secondhand dealers scouting for great products they can resell. This can be particularly true for higher-end furniture and works of art, for example.
But if you’re willing to make a purchase only if you get a great deal, go later in the day, when sellers may be more prepared to lower their prices to increase sales. When you get close to closing time, sellers are often ready to give things away to get rid of them practically. By then, the desperation factor in getting rid of items rises exponentially, and in some cases, unsold items will creep out to a trash pickup area. You might even see unwanted items put out for trash pickup that you can get for free.
Take your own packing supplies
Put some boxes, bags, bungee cords, and newspaper into your car so that you’re prepared to safely pack and transport any fragile items you buy. Clear out your car’s trunk to make sure there’s plenty of space for larger items.
Inspect items closely
Take batteries to test battery-operated electronics to ensure that they work. If a product requires electricity, ask the seller to let you use an outlet. Check clothes for stains, rips, and missing buttons, count any items that come together to make sure the set is complete, and run your finger around the edges of glasses and dishes to check for nicks. Measure large items such as furniture to see whether they’ll fit in your home. Feel free to ask the seller questions about the age and condition of the products being sold. Ask to take that bike for a spin up and down the block. Always, always test consumer electronics or mechanical items before you buy them, and ask lots of questions about their use. If the owner can’t answer, you have room to negotiate.
Look out for Collectibles
If you have an eye for specific items, from rare baseball cards to fine art, always keep your eyes peeled. You always hear news stories of the person who purchased a rare painting or a complete set of 1950s baseball cards for peanuts and then made so much more money reselling them.
Use the eBay test
Download the eBay app and use it to look up items you’re interested in purchasing. That will give you a reference point on how much you should pay. If it’s priced for less than it’s selling for on eBay, then that is a good deal. If it’s marked at more than the eBay price, that’s where you start negotiating.
Half the fun of garage sale shopping is haggling with the sellers. Just keep in mind that you may insult the seller if you offer less than half an item’s asking price. If you’re buying several things, gathering them and offering a bulk price could get you a greater discount. And make sure you have plenty of cash on you.
Items to Avoid Buying
You should never buy used cribs, car seats, or bicycle helmets, because older models may not meet current safety regulations. Upholstered furniture can be risky—it may contain bed bugs. For other items, it’s a good idea to check Recalls.gov to make sure you’re not buying something unsafe or defective. Old TVs are lousy buys at garage sales, no matter how cheap, as they’ll prove costly if they need fixing. Take a pass on older printers and one-dimensional appliances such as bread makers. And absolutely, don’t buy anything on impulse.
Directions to the Holiday Shores Annual Garage Sale
Coming from Highway 55: Take the IL-140 exit, ECIT 30, toward ALTON/GREENVILLE/HAMEL. Go towards Hamel & Alton
Coming from Highway 255: Take the IL-140 exit, EXIT 10 toward ALTON/BETHALTO. Go towards Bethalto.
Coming from Edwardsville: Take Route 159 North.