Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yard Sale Season begins in Florida

     Yard sale season has begun in Florida.  Maybe in some other warm states as well, don't know.  I just know it is hunting season for me.  Bargain hunting season begins for me and lasts until November.  

     Before we go off hunting there are some thoughts I would like to share.


      Yard sales are any impromptu sale of new or used goods privately owned offered for sale in a home, yard, garage, backyard, porch, barn or churchyard.  You are in someone's personal space.        

      A friendly, “Good Morning!” will get you a long way!  Always greet the person who looks like they got up way too early to drag their stuff out in the yard and have dealt with the rude people that just left.  Compliment them on their signage or tell them the county guy took all their signs if it was hard to find.  Tell them you found their sale on Craig’s List or gsalr.com.  The homeowner likes to know they did well.      
Caroline, on the ride home.
Do not pet other peoples' dogs!
     Never pet the family dog.  If there is a dog or cat in the yard, ask if it is friendly.  Be respectful of the homeowner’s misguided adoration of their pet.  If you are uncomfortable, either ask if the owner will move the animal, or leave politely.  Feign an allergy if you want to look at an item or browse the sale.  They will move their pet away from you.  If you feel threatened, do not scream or scold the homeowner.  Just turn and leave at an easy pace.  If they call out to you, tell them you are afraid of big dogs and nothing else.  Just smile and wave.  

     Treat their kids like the family dog.  Do not pet them; do not engage them in conversation, smile and move on.  Do not barter with the kid for toys or any item without asking the parent if they have the right to sell. 

     When you ask for a price and don’t like it just say something like: oh, that’s more than I can spend today, sorry, or hmm I just paid my mortgage and sigh quietly, I wish....  The price will either come down or the owner will defend the number.  If they defend, walk on.  There is no good to come from an argument.  

      About half the time the owner will tell you what they paid for it new first.  Don’t roll your eyes or laugh.  Don’t say it isn't new anymore or point out the dust on it.  If you just have to say something when you don’t like anything you have seen, you could say, “We collect the same stuff!”  Or “Sorry, I tried to find something I don’t already have!” 

     Ask if they will consider a lower number, only if you are going to purchase it at a lower number.  Don’t barter or dicker for fun.  This is not a sport. 

     I have been to yard sales and found boutiques that have been run out of business by the economy or the high overhead and are liquidating inventory to get some of their investment back.  I don’t stay long at these shops in the driveway.  This is not usually a prepper's sale. 
     I went to a yard sale once where the people were sure they were going to get rich selling monogrammed key chains in countless styles as they traveled across the country from fair to fair.  Apparently, they didn’t read the fine print and registered for an art fair only to be turned away as they neither designed nor made their wares.  You will be surprised the amount of information laid on you by strangers while you sort through their goods.  Listen to them for a while, you may learn something that can help you get a deal.

     Be prepared to laugh.  If the owner is engaging, don’t ignore them.  Laugh along about the weather or the crazy people that come to yard sales.  A friend will get a discount.  A sympathetic friend gets a good discount. 

     Don’t take it personally.  Some people are just angry and rude.  Don’t be one of them.  The worst thing you can do is take your money home with you.  Walk away with a smile and a thank you.  

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