Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A New House? Decorating With Garage Sales

We've had a busy summer, selling our home and moving into a new place out in the country. A new house always means some things have to go and others have to be added, so being the dedicated garage salers we are, we're making a list of what to start looking for.

- Big plant pots. We have a big, rock porch and need something out there. The big, decorative pots are pricey! But not at a garage sale.

- Lamps. Yes, you'd think we'd have plenty, but when things are rearranged in a new house, some things don't work anymore.

- A nice accent piece for a long, granite counter.

- Rustic back porch furniture. We already had a patio set, but this house has an upper rock deck off to the side where that went. Now we need something additional for a rustic, wood deck. We'd love to stumble upon some vintage tin signs to put out there, too.

- A long, console table for a big, long hallway and a nice folk art piece to put above it.

These are all things we will be able to find for great garage sale prices, if we're patient and wait for the right things. Patience is the key here. Until then, we have plenty to do with a paintbrush!

If you're thinking about decorating a new house and the price seems overwhelming, it doesn't have to be. Just be patient and start hitting those garage sales. The right pieces will be there. Craigslist is another great resource if your patience starts to wear thin! Happy shopping.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Free Download Time - Grab It Now!

Starting at midnight tonight Pacific Time, our Kindle download is free. 24 hours only, so be sure to spread the word!

Grab it here:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Are You Planning Your Route Right Now?

It's Friday night and if you have read our book, you know it's time to be planning tomorrow morning's garage sale route RIGHT NOW, before you get tired and settle into that recliner.

What to do? Check your local paper, Craigslist and other sources from the book to be sure you know of all the sales in your area. List them and prioritize them by type of sale and geographically. Map them out if you aren't familiar with the addresses. Be prepared to have something ready for a quick bite in the morning before you leave. Have the coffee on timer, ready to go when you get up. Be sure the car is gassed up and ready to go.

Don't wait till morning. If you do, the pros will be out there an hour before you've had your coffee. C'mon, people, lets' go! Happy shopping!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Free Garage Sale Shopping? Yes, You Can!

In a clever new post on the site, garage sale shopper Crystal shares her approach to garage sales. Be sure to read her article and find out how she is able to shop and buy what she needs at garage sales for absolutely free, and even making a profit.

Resellers do this already, but her "rules" are great for the average garage sale shopper, enabling her to get whatever she is looking for at no cost. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April Free Kindle Download

It's freebie time again! Download our book for free, today and tomorrow only.

Already have the book? Let us know how you liked it. Which parts helped you or taught you something new?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Vintage China - Use It for Everyday

I love beautiful, old vintage china sets and there are plenty to be found at garage and estate sales. Operating a couple of booths at an antique mall, we find that fine china moves very slowly these days. Most young couples don't have any interest in "fancy" china sets they feel they will never use.

I say use the good china every day! Go ahead and get a gorgeous set, but don't tuck it away, only to be pulled out for holiday dinners. It is such a shame to see these treasures discarded. Much better to break or chip a piece of fine china using it every day than to see them stuffed away in a closet or garage.

You can get full china sets for unheard of prices at garage and estate sales, sometimes as low as $20 for a full set. We recently bought a small set of the Staffordshire "Dickens Coaching Stages" by Grindley pattern (shown above) for $25. Unusual scenes from Dickens are in brown with hand painted accents in yellows and reds. You can't get a set of plain stoneware for that, and how much more character and history this has!

Don't be afraid. Buy that china set, use it every day, put it in the dishwasher, whatever. It deserves to see the light of day.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FREE Kindle Download Starts at Midnight!

Starting at midnight tonight, The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping will be a FREE download for 24 hours only! Expires at midnight tomorrow, March 20th.

This is the perfect time to brush up on your best garage sale bargain techniques as we move into the busy garage sale months. Grab this one for free and tell your friends. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

About Those Hard Working Antique Dealers

If you have already read our book, "The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping,"  then you know what incredible bargains are out there for the dedicated garage sale shopper. These can include some of those rare, vintage and retro items you may be seeing at your local antique store.

So, if the antique dealers are finding things like you are, at garage and estate sales, and maybe for bargain prices, why would they cost so much more in the antique stores? Are the dealers ripping us off?

We'd have to give you an absolute "no" on this one, and here are some of the reasons why:

- Dealers have spent a lot of time, sometimes many years, learning what sells, researching what things are worth and are certainly not out of line for pricing accordingly.

- For every treasure a dealer may be selling in their store, there may be many items that didn't move that they have lost money on. It is always a gamble for them.

- Dealers are spending many, many hours hunting for these items wherever they may be. If they actually added in their time, the prices would be much higher than they are.

- Many dealers pay a monthly storage fee somewhere for storing their inventory that is not yet in the store.

- Dealers are paying for rental space in an antique mall or paying for the building itself if they are the owner. Often, they are working some days in the store as well. They often pay the building owner a percentage of every sale on top of that. There is a lot of overhead that might not be visible to the shopper.

The next time you are browsing through your favorite antique shop, we hope you'll have a greater understanding of what goes on behind the scenes. When you think about it, maybe that dealer price is a pretty good deal after all!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

We Appreciate You!

Wow! Sales are up, two new reviews and all good things after our last FREE book days last week. We want our readers to know how much we appreciate you. It's so nice to hear that you picked up some new ideas or got motivated to try garage sales for the first time.

Any writer would tell you how personal it is to write and publish a book, even a basic self-help or money saving guide. When we hear that our writing has benefited someone, it's just such a rewarding feeling.

A big thanks to all of our readers!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kids' Birthday Parties on the Cheap

We loved having birthday parties for our three kids as they grew up, and coming up with themes was always fun. Among them, we had pirate parties, snow princess parties, Barney parties and everything else under the sun. But those parties can get expensive, with refreshments, cake, games, prizes and more. Using things you have and shopping garage sales for more materials can save the day.

A few examples:

My husband pulled out his old graduation gown to use as his "wizard' costume" for a party. We just applied stars and moons with glitter glue and added a cardboard cone shaped hat to match.

Bake your own birthday cake. Does that not go without saying? It's fresher and you can decorate it with plastic animals or whatever figurines match your theme.

The dollar store is likely to run as much as 1/2 price on party items you might buy at Wal Mart or Target, like tablecloths and wrapping paper.

Use the comic section or brown paper decorated with rubber stamping for wrapping paper. Do you seriously think the kids care? It will look just as festive and cute with a big, bright bow on it.

Shop garage sales and be watching a month or two before the party for all kinds of things....wrapping paper, bows, table decorations, prizes, costumes and more.

Here is an estimated price comparison for a basic "pirate" party:

Store bought cake- $15
Pirate goody bags with favors (10)- $20
Pirate tablecloth- $2.99
Pirate invitations- $3.99
Pirate chest and game supplies- $20
Total- over $60

Here is just a guess at how much it could be using do-it-yourself, dollar store and garage sale resources:

Homemade cake- $4
Goody bags and favors (10)- $10
Tablecloth- $1
Invitations- $1
Pirate chest and game supplies- $3 (garage sale)
Total- $19

Not only are you saving on the household budget this way, but it does give you a sense of accomplishment to put a creative party together on a dime. You'll remember these parties for years to come and so will the kids, so start planning now!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

To Hoard or Not to Hoard...

We have a lot of our garage sale treasures stored in the garage. Our daughter kidded us recently about being "hoarders." Of course, in our case, we do maintain two vendor booths in an antique mall, so we are not hoarding, but storing items for the store.

But what if you do find yourself overbuying at garage sales and your house is starting to overflow with "stuff"? When do you determine when it's OK and when it's not?

That's something important to consider when shopping garage sales or anywhere else. If you're a bargain shopper like I am, it is hard to pass up great deals when you see them, but here are some questions to ask yourself before buying:

- Am I sure this is something I will use in the next 1-2 years?
- Is this something I need or just clutter?
- Where am I going to store this item?
- Is this a want or a need?

As a culture, we do tend to have way too much "stuff" and most of us could benefit from stopping to think before making any kind of purchases.

There are things that I believe are practical to buy and store, such as craft supplies (IF you will really use them), wrapping paper and cards, and gifts. Even these have to be thought out ahead of time. At our house, I have a huge amount of brand new yarn from garage sales, but I am using it. I am also to the point where I know I have enough and will have to put the brakes on if I see more. I also buy and store Christmas cards every year after the holidays at a huge savings, as well as wrapping supplies. During the year, if I see the perfect gift for someone on my list, I'll buy and store that, too. These are all things that are being used, not hoarded for years with no future purpose.

If you think you've gotten out of control, start by having your own garage sale and be ruthless. Anything that hasn't been used in the last 2 years can go, and if it doesn't sell, don't put it back. Donate it. There are charities that will bring their truck over after your garage sale and pick up whatever is left. After you have cleared out, you can start fresh and buy only what makes sense.

Enjoy those bargains, but be sure to think before buying!