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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shopping the Garage Sales

Today is Saturday and, like most saturdays all year round, I am joining my buddy to go garage/estate sale shopping.   I started going to these sales when I was MUCH younger with my ex-mother-in-law.    As a young (and poor) married bride, we didn't have the funds to go out and buy new furniture and other household items, so she introduced me to sales and auctions.  I quickly found that it was fun and exciting to seek and find these treasures and credit her for instilling in me the love of the hunt!  Today, I conservatively estimate that 85% of my household stuff including furniture has been purchased at garage and estate sales - and I am SO proud of it!

Here are some pointers to make your experience at garage sales successful - professionally-run estate sales are a different animal and I will deal with those separately:

  •  Do your homework in advance - Craigslist and local papers are your best sources 
  • Bring the right sized vehicle for your intended purchased (you'd be surprised!) and large bags for carrying your loot
  • Plan your route carefully - the first arrivals usually get the best stuff so it is important to look at start times and plan routes to get to as many of the best sales as early as possible - just before set-up is ideal (some people like dealers arrive at ungodly hours and often get cursed by frantic sellers who are not yet quite ready)
  • Offer less than asking - unless the price is already ridiculously low, bargaining is expected - but don't insult the seller - I find that offering 10-30% off of the asking price is about the right amount (more if it is later in day)
  • If you are looking for a particular item, ask to make sure you get to it as quickly as possible - AND, something that has happened to me quite often, sometimes the seller does have what you are looking for but has forgotten to put it out
  • Check over the item very carefully before offering to buy 
  • Never insult seller by telling them their stuff is overpriced - it's not your place and they'll find out anyway (exception is if they ask you if their prices are in-line with other sales - it does happen)
Good Hunting!

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