THE best deal I ever got at a garage sale was when I bought the restaurant down the road. Well, lots of the restaurant anyway. And an ape.
I walked away that morning with timber tables, bentwood chairs, quality flatware and beautifully seasoned woks, all pretty much for a song.
But then there was Gorr Rilla.
The toy ape with red boxing gloves had a $20 price tag that morning, and I offered $10 for him as a thank-you gift to my teenage son who'd single-handedly lugged the furniture to our house for me.
The seller wouldn't budge. "No problem," I said, and shuffled off home to find a place for the tables and try out a stirfry in the woks (they were great).
I dropped back into the garage later that day, and there was Gorr Rilla, still sitting, sad and lonely.
"$5?" I said. The seller sighed and handed over the plush primate.
A decade later, and minus one eye thanks to an over-affectionate puppy, Gorr Rilla is still with us. What a guy.
The October Garage Sale Trail is supported by CQ News. Why not declutter all year round - book a garage sale or sell individual items for free in print & online with CQ News Classifieds.
On the other side of the ledger, the best bargain I ever sold at a garage sale was a working dishwasher which I let got for $10. Bloody heavy thing it was too.
The etiquette of haggling
- BE prepared to walk away.
- KNOW how much you're willing to pay before you start.
- TAKE lots of spare change so you can make offers - it's a bit hard to haggle and then ask for change.
- TRY bundling a couple of things together and make an offer for the lot, especially if you are shopping with friends.
- THE later it is in the day, the more likely people will be to drop their prices.
- DON'T answer with a flat "no" - suggest a compromise.
- REMEMBER, the goal is to get rid of this stuff, right?
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.