I LOVE a good deal. Sometimes too much. Too many times I find myself buying something just because it is a good deal. Sometimes if is for the near future or the very far future or maybe for someone else. When Wendy and Rachel had Evie and Eleanor, I went garage saling and bought tongs of girls outfits and then took them to their house and let them pick through the stuff! 🙂 And currently I have about 8 pairs of knock off crock shoes for little girls sitting in my closet because they were an amazing deal at Walmart! Let me know if your little cutie will wear a size 5 or 10 shoe for the summer cause I need to clear these out or return them to the store!

And now that the sun is shining and the temps are warming up… all I can think about is spring cleaning and GARAGE SALING! 😉 I am so excited… I finally feel like I have the Iowa City/Coralville/Solon/North LIberty area figured out! And WO-MAN… I made a list of all my tips. I’m sure other people have found things that work for them, but this is my bargain shopping 101 list! 🙂

-Find out the city wide sales for Coralville, Solon and North Liberty and clear your schedule! I think Coralville’s is on May 5th, but I’m not sure of the other two yet. I do garage sale all spring and summer, but if you time is tight and you want the biggest bang for your buck… I say start here!
-When I am trying to sort through which sales to hit (most of the time I”m looking for kids clothes, but there are other times that I need something else) I look for “key” words. “Excellent, TONS, Name brand, (or even better when they list the brands) (oh and a note on the name brand clothes…. I find that people who list those things often have clothes that are well taken care of. Not sure why… that is just what I have found. Random sales that just say “girls clothes” more often than not are old, very used, stained or just not taken care of very well)
-Ok, so lets say a sale starts at 8am- plan to be there about 7:45. I know a lot of people say “no earlybirds”- but trust me, if they want to sell their stuff, then they will probably be anxious to get you in the door. If they are still setting up, don’t be shy to ask if you can start looking around.

-As you start browsing… take an inventory of how many people are around you.  Say there are 1 or 2 other people there looking at a table of girls clothes.  I grab all that I can as soon as I see something that looks like it has promise.  And I keep it in my hands or ask the lady hosting the sale to hold my stuff.  If there is even a remote chance that you want something, hold onto it!  You can always decide “no” later.  I usually then go off in a corner to go through the stuff  for a second time or once I am ready to pay.  But too many times I’ve thought “That is cute, but I will wait to see what else there is” only to have someone swipe it right under my nose! 🙂

-Be READY, WILLING AND EAGER to low ball people for their stuff.  Now, that is not to say that you should insult them by offering them pennies on the dollar.  But in general, I’ve found that most people are having a garage sale to get rid of their stuff and then to make money. (However, some people want to make money so they have a garage sale!  So they don’t like to give you a good deal!)  But most of the time people would like to get rid of some stuff and end up with some cash at the end.  And usually when I have a sale I am not hard nosed about the price… just an educated guess.  But if someone wants to offer me $1 less for a pair of pants… take them!  My other option is to ship everything to Stuff Ect so offer them some dough and see if they take a bite!  And along with that!  Use small bills with your cash!  Nothing like talking someone down for an item from $10 to $8 and you hand them a $10 bill! 🙂  Have the small bills out in your hand when you offer them the deal. AND be willing to walk away!  Sometimes they do say no on your deal and the item is just not worth what they are asking.  WALK away!  Sometimes they will yell down the drive way that they will take your deal or meet you in the middle or something.  Or sometimes they won’t. Last year  I had a lady tell me she would not take my deal because she wanted to make money with the kids underwear that was marked $.10.  Pretty sure I walked right out of her garage and didn’t look back! 🙂

Anyway, those are my thoughts/tips/advice.  If there is anything you are looking to snag second hand this summer… let me know!  Cause I will be out there looking!  Come on April!!!!!!