Note To Self: Never Garage Sale at $800,000 Homes

This Post Contains Affiliate Links - Disclosure Policy

Too funny!!  My mom and I went garage sale-ing for the first time this year this morning. We were on the hunt for some size 6 summer clothes for my daughter since this week it suddenly went from winter to summer over the course of about 2 days.

My strategy, in general, for yard sales is to find community ones.  This way, even if we have to drive 25 minutes to get there they are all in one place and they are 50-100 sales to choose from.  We don’t really have to worry about maps or anything.

Most the time this is great- but today I think they all had a meeting beforehand and decided that no one was going to do any bargaining (which is a staple of garage sale shopping!!).

I should have known from the very beginning that it was not going well.. It was a gated community and instead of letting up for the day they were giving every car that came in a parking permit and writing down our license plate numbers.  So it took us 10-15 minutes just to get through the gate.  The line of cars was crazy.

OK, so we get in and start shopping..

House #1- I am interested in a wet suit for my daughter..
me: how much is this wet suit?
lady: $5
me:  would you take $4?
lady:  you have $5!
me:  um, ok..

House #2- I am interested in a pair of pink sparkly shoes.
me: how much are these shoes?
lady A: those are lady B’s, lady B, how much are these shoes?
lady B: $2
me: would you take $1?
lady B: all the shoes are $2
me: blank stare

House #3- I am interested in a small plastic (used) coupon organizer for my purse.
me: how much is this coupon organizer?
lady: $1
me: would you take $.50?
lady: it’s $1
me: blank stare
lady: it’s worth $1
me: blank stare

Needless to say I did not walk away with a lot. I did buy the wet suit for $5, but I think I was just in shock, to tell you the truth. And I did get one great deal, a Roxy Lunch box for my daughter that was almost new for $1. I thought that was probably under-priced. I only came out of there with 1 pair of size 6 shorts.. but I came home and cleaned out my back closet and actually found several size 6 pieces I forgot were in there.

I though about overcharging myself for them.. ;)

This Post Contains Affiliate Links - Disclosure Policy


  1. LaCrisha says

    Yeah, I have been to sales like that. At one house this man was selling a table for $1500! I mean who carries around that much money to a garage sale?!? i’m assuming this was his first garage sale,lol.

  2. Crystal says

    I think it is rude to ask someone to lower their price, unless it clearly states OBO. When I have garage sales, I post “All prices are firm”. If someone ask me to lower the price, I ask more for it than originally priced!

    I also always give people all the non-profit thrift stores in the areas numbers, so they can donate what they do not sell! I would rather have some great organizations get the items, sell them, and do great things with the money!!! You stated it is a staple… ask a lower price!! Not here! It is a rarity! Do you ask Target to take less for an item? Do you ask McDonald’s to take less for a happy meal?

  3. chelle says

    haha! I’m guilty of that – I never budge on my prices because I feel I price them way cheap. my husband on the other hand will take a dollar for something he stickered for $10 (his theory is get this stuff out of here, lol)

    • frugal jen says

      yes.. husbands (at least mine) seem to always want to give every thing away..

      last year we went with my girls and a guy sold my daughter a LeapPad for like $.50 (I even thought it was way too cheap). His wife was not pleased!!

  4. says

    I have to agree with the previous posts. When I hold a garage sale, nothing makes me more angry than when customers ask me to lower the price on my items. I only sell good quality items, and my prices are already the lowest I intend to take for them. Now if somebody has bought a ton of stuff, there have been times when I threw in some items they want for free. But I think it’s generally rude for people to lowball the seller, when the price is already fair. Just my opinion.

  5. ashley says

    When I price things, I try to price very fairly. So, when I have a shirt NWT for $4.00, I get frustrated when people want things for less. I also have lots of baby/toddler clothing and toys in which I have taken extremely good care of (most of our clothing has never even been inside a dryer and there is rarely a stain on anything we own), so if I am pricing something that looks darn near brand new I don’t expect to make .50 on it.

  6. frugal jen says

    I think more of my beef was not that these folks didn’t want to come down, that was fine, it was more how they said it.. I would have been fine with a nice, “no, I really want $2 for those”. I still may not have bought them, though .


  7. Darlene says

    I really am not one for garage sales, having them or going to them. I don’t have a handle on the art of bargaining. One time my sister had a sale at my house because I have a better location. I had some things in there also but basically it was her sale. She had a friend who wanted to sell a table & chairs set. A woman came, said she wanted it. It was put aside for her because she was going to come back later with the money and a truck to move it. The sale was over by the time she returned. I was told that when she came she was to pay for the merchandise and then take it. She came and offered a lower price for it because it hadn’t sold during the day. Well, the reason it hadn’t sold was that it was being held for her! I said no. I told her to come back the next day when the sale was resuming and talk to my sister.

  8. Laurie says

    We always bargain at yard sales, including when we have them ourselves.

    And to the poster above who said you don’t bargain at Target or McDonalds. Maybe not, but you do when you buy a car, or a house, or (on a smaller $ scale) at the flea market. Some places it’s just expected – yard sales being one of them.

  9. judy follin says

    I yard sale 2x per year at community sale, very high dollar homes. But I love to bargain so I go with that intention. I do not “sell my soul” on anything under one dollar- not worth it. But being experienced my friends and I can usually tell if items are fairly priced so we are very “gentle” in lower offers but when we feel items over priced we go for it. We look for brgains but want to have respectful fun, too.

  10. kim says

    i always bargain for a lower price at yard sales- thats part of the fun in going.
    if i want to pay full price (or close to it) then i will go to the store. I DON’T CARE WHAT THE PERSON HAVING THE YARD SALE PAID FOR IT- it is now used and i expect a good deal. :) i posted a bunch of yard sale tips on my blog… i will have to repost them and send you a link. :)

  11. Crystal says

    Around here people always ask the seller to take less~it’s bargaining~lol! I sometimes ask the seller to come down on a price if I feel it’s worth less & when buying kids stuff-I sometimes ask if they will take $x for this stack of items~like if the stuff adds up to $8, I might ask if they will take $5. I like to ask & try to make a deal with people & around here, that is common. When I have a yard sale-I usually do mark the items a bit higher than my “lowest price” b/c I know people will ask & our signs will say make an offer.

  12. Linda S. says

    There’s nothing wrong with bargaining, but when the prices listed are realistic, I pay that price without asking the seller to lower the price. When I have a yard sale, I price my items very reasonably. I’m usually not willing to lower the price unless it’s at the end of the day and I want to unload the stuff more than I want to give it to the Goodwill. I’m all for getting a good deal, but we need to take into consideration that the seller’s would like to make a “little” something on what they’re selling! :)

  13. susan says

    When an item is priced to give good value to a buyer, and then they come in and expect to get it for half of that, this is just annoying!!! I have had garage sales, several over the years, and nothing, absolutely nothing is worse than this scenario…
    I guess when we do our next one in a few weeks time, we will have to mark everything 20-25% over what we expect to get for each item, just to have some wiggle room on the prices…

  14. RM, says

    Hey it’s a yard sale My opinion is that there will be people that will want to negotiate your price (so with this in mind) just up your price a tiny tiny bit that way everyone feels like they got a deal. I am not offended if someone wants to negotiate a price .

  15. Amanda Passmore says

    When you’re at a yard sale, the items are used or pre-owned, you’re not at Target or McDonald’s. If you see something you’d like but do not feel the price is right, it doesn’t hurt to ask or try to bargain. People have yard sales to get rid of stuff and most sellers understand it’s better to be NICE to customers and maybe do some bargaining to get unwanted items out of the house. Bargaining is part of yard sale etiquette, don’t think the person is rude by asking (only if they are asking rudely). The people who are coming to your sale are doing YOU a favor by buying your items. If you don’t want to budge on a certain item, don’t, but do it with respect. You do not know that person’s finances or situation. And if taking 50 cents less isn’t going to kill you, pass on some kindness and make someone’s day. There’s nothing worse than having a rough week at work, looking forward to yard sale day (the only YOU time you get for the week), getting up early and being excited, and then having your day ruined by some rude seller who embarrassed you in front of other buyers. Be kind to each other. Life is hard enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>