Saturday, May 03, 2008

Great Deal Oppty - Local Yard Sales

"One person's trash is another person's treasure"

As spring and the warmer weather approaches the Northeast region of the United States, it brings a great opportunity to find great deals in the local yard sales. I am not sure about you, but every weekend I come across homemade signs advertising the next yard sale in the neighborhood. When I see these signs, I see $$$

I always try to take the time and see what is being offered in each local yard sale. Not only are these venues to practice my negotiation skills but the sales also serve as profit potential visits. Just recently I came across a yard sale towards the end of the afternoon ~3pm....As I approached this multi-family event, I can instantly read their expressions that they were tired of sitting around trying to sell their "garbage". I was able to grab a few items that I deemed valuable for a unbeatable price....."Free"

That is right, FREE....The families involved were at a desperation point in their yard sale experience by trying to just get rid of their stuff. Within 3 hours of obtaining these free goods, I had them posted on EBAY. My auctions have just ended with a profit of $45 for about 2 total hours of work...I will deposit this into my savings account.

If you are interested in finding great deals at yard sales, here are my major tips:

1. Before you visit a yard sale, know your market....I would strongly suggest that you capture data on a few focus areas (i.e. sporting goods, books, clothing, etc)...Visit EBAY and see what items have a great track records of selling and for approximately how much.

2. Time your entry appropriately....If you are looking to capture the few quality items that sometimes appear at yard sales, plan to go early. If you are looking to try and pick up items at a deep discount, wait until the later afternoon to visit.

3. Go in with a negotiation strategy....Don't get caught up in the moment of trying to strike a deal. Know your limits (a.k.a. "walk away price") for items and stick to it. There is nothing more frustrating that buying some items from a yard sale and taking a loss on the transaction.

4. Shipping costs are not a profit oppty....Some ebay sellers try and capture additional profit by increasing the shipping costs needed to send the item. I am not a fan of this at all and would recommend that you try and estimate as close as possible for these expenses. Savvy buyers look into these costs and if they seem unusually high for the item you are selling, it deters them from bidding.

5. Track your progress and document any lessons learned....This step is critical if you want to try and make these visits as profitable as possible in the future. Learn from your mistakes and adjust your strategy as you enter each transaction.

If you have any other tips for successful yard sale transactions, please feel free to comment.


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