Garage & Yard Sale Strategies

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Garage and Yard Sales

Alright, we all know that yard sales are a place to get great deals on stuff. But how do we go about making yard sales a premier product source for our eBay business?

Using yard sales as a product source for your eBay business has almost become a cliché. However, in this section we'll talk about how eBay PowerSellers go about utilizing yard sales for big bucks.

Know Your Product!

If you don't know your product then you won't have any idea what it's worth, and you'll probably end up paying way too much for it.

So, rule number one: know the value of what you're buying.

Are the Products You're Looking for Available?

Next, if you're going to make yard sales a major source of products for your eBay business, make sure that the items you're looking for are going to be available in your area.

For example, if you decide that you want to sell surfing equipment, you probably won't find much at yard sales if you live in Montana. As such, you'll simply be wasting a lot of time to come home empty handed each weekend.

So, rule number two: make sure items in your product niche will actually be available at yard sales in your area.

Everything is Negotiable!

Decide in advance how much you are willing to pay for particular items and go in prepared to negotiate the price down to that point no matter what the seller is asking for it.

People hold garage sales for two reasons. One is to make money. The other is to get rid of stuff they no longer want or need. They know that if somebody doesn't buy something, they'll have to take it back into their home where it will likely continue to collect dust and take up space.

If a seller has an item listed for $20, but you've already decided that you're only willing to pay $3 for it, start negotiating and don't back down. If you've done your research, then you know what you're going to be able to pay for something and still turn a profit with it on eBay. Don't convince yourself that it's okay to pay $10 because, hey, it's a great deal at half off!

You'll feel good about your negotiating skills for about 30 seconds, at which point you'll realize that you're going to have to take a loss on it when you list it on eBay.

Don't ever forget that as the buyer, you hold the power. If a seller isn't willing to meet your price, turn around and start walking. You'll be surprised at how often the seller will stop you to accept your offer.

There are obviously exceptions to this rule. A good friend of mine once bought a comic book valued at over $100 for just $1. I am not joking here! This is a true story!

Anyway, to make a long story short, my good friend knew what the comic book was valued at when he first made the decision to buy it. Trust me, walking away from the seller were he to say, "Sorry, but I'll accept no less than $25 for this comic book," would have been a very big mistake!

But you get the idea.

So, rule number three: know what you're going to pay before hand and always negotiate the price to your liking.

Finding Garage Sales

Finding and getting to garage sales while there are still deals to be had is almost an art form unto itself. The most obvious place to look for garage and yard sales is in your local classified ads.

Go through the classifieds and find out what yard sales are being advertised. Write down as many as look interesting. Be sure you get the addresses and note at what time each sale starts.

Plot Your Course

Next, pull out a map and plot a course that will allow you to hit each yard sale most efficiently. In your mind, visualize how you are going to go about finding bargains. Visualize yourself negotiating a great deal on something. Even visualize yourself walking away from a sale that didn't go the way you wanted. This can help prepare you to walk away if the need arises, as well as prepare your negotiating skills.

Get a good night's rest so you'll be aware and awake in the morning as you go about looking for and negotiating great deals.

Get to Know Your Fellow Garage-Sale Junkies

During the course of attending yard sales, get to know some of the other buyers. In most towns, they are a social group and would be happy to trade tips and tricks for getting the best deals with you.

Try not to give away your secrets to buyers looking to buy the same types of items as you. The last thing you need is more local competition!

Next: Liquidation / Closeouts


The Basics
eBay Drop Shippers
Government Auctions
Garage and Yard Sales
Liquidation / Closeouts
How to Find Wholesale Suppliers
Finding Manufacturers in China and Other Asian Wholesale Suppliers
Selling eBooks and Other Digital Media
Chapter 7 Summary & Takeaways

Jump to another chapter:

Chapter 1: Driving Traffic to Your Auction Listing
Chapter 2: Listing for Higher Profits
Chapter 3: Does Any of this Stuff Work?
Chapter 4: eBay Stores
Chapter 5: Auction Management
Chapter 6: What to Sell on eBay
Chapter 7: Finding Products to Sell on eBay
Chapter 8: Mining eBay's Traffic
Chapter 9: HTML Tutorial
Chapter 10: Acting Like a PowerSeller
Chapter 11: Final Words