Garage Sales and Haggling

We had a garage sale a few times already this spring. It’s been years since I’ve had one.. but I have spend a couple years helping out at the flea market. And one thing I noticed is there are two main types of shoppers.

One is the shy person. They accept the price marked on the item(s) as set in stone.

I had a man with a thick accent ask how much I wanted for a child’s convertible rocker chair. I told him the price I had on it was $12. He asked again, ‘how much will you take for it?’.. and I replied that I had given him my price, what did he want to offer. He told me he didn’t want to ‘hurt my feelings’. I chuckled.. I told him, it’s a garage sale, let’s haggle.. We settled on a price.

Some people won’t even go as far as he did, but his comment gave me some insight into why some people just accept the price as ‘the price’. People don’t want to offend.

To you shy folks, we may not offer a lower price.. I find I’m less willing to haggle with people who aren’t willing to engage. Chat a bit.. about the weather, about the traffic, about other garage sales, anything.. heck, some lady today told us about her false teeth and how her bottoms ones fit better than the top. My daughter and I looked at each and chuckled as the woman drove away, but we remember her and she got a deal on a few things.

The other type of person, the one who’s ready to get a deal and get it for the best possible price. They may ask how much you want, or they may just say ‘Will you take $x for this?’

Either way, I love this type of shopper. It makes the day more fun. And every item someone buys is one less item I need to move back to the garage – or drive to the thrift store.

One thing to keep in mind, as you set up your garage or yard sale, is many times people attach a sentimental value to items. Sometimes this is good.. but if you are attaching sentimental value to everything you’re trying to sell, you may not do very well. Mark your prices for what you’d be willing to pay, if you saw it at the store or flea market. If it’s worth more to you than you’re willing to part it for, don’t sell it.. save it for the next time.

Don’t be shy. Worst we can do is say ‘no.. that’s too low, how about…. ‘… Just ask. Most people like to haggle, wrangle or dicker.. and this term, I don’t think I’ve heard before.. higgle. What funny words. Just think of those when your out there and remember to higgle a little.

Happy Garage Sale-ing!