As I talked about last week you have to be careful with bargains.  They can take over your home and you may not value them as much as a piece that you have something (time, money, etc) invested in.  At the same time, I do love a good deal, you just have to be careful not to get swept up in the moment.  Make sure to have a list of what you are looking for (I dare not say need because many of us don’t lack basis needs), budget, and leave home the “Antique Roadshow Mentality” (that you are going to find that $75,000 item no one else found).  🙂 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind going to consignment shops, Goodwill’s, and garage sales.  For me it’s one of the best places to get clothes (especially children’s clothes), baskets (for gift giving), craft supplies, and some misc household items.

Over time my quest for bargains has proved some helpful tips for me that I will share.  Here are mine and please let me know if you have some.

  • When going to a Goodwill type of store try to find one that is in a “wealthier” part of town.  Usually the things that are donated can be of higher quality (at times).  You know there are some of these organizations on-line as well.  (They do have people that know or research the value of items that’s why it is rare to find something for 10 cents that’s worth $100.00.)
  • Sell your stuff to them.  Take in your high quality items (clean, no stains, ironed-if needed) and they will give you cash or credit for the items they want.  This way you don’t pay for your items.  This works great for me and kid clothes.  I go to a Mom’s consignment shop and find wonderful clothes for me and the kids!!!!  They also have sales so get to know the store.
  • Find a consignment shop that fits you.  There are really high end consignment all the way down to a lower end, if you live in a city that is.  Visit a few and find one that matches your style and budget.
  • I use to try and visit garage sales that were also in wealthier areas but over the years I have found that a lot of them have higher prices.  Some of them had a hard time letting go of the items for a low price and that’s why they are not donating the items.I now stay in a neighborhood that is in my economic bracket or one step higher it and find that it is usually right on with what I am willing to pay.  Again, this was just my experience over time.
  • If you do go to the garage sale and you like many of the items (like clothes) but it’s too high, either try to offer a lump amount for the group (like Al in Toy Story 2).
  • Always bargain.  In this type of environment it is ok to negotiate. All they can say is no and your no worse off.
  • Make sure you know the return policy for consignment shops or resale shops.

If you have some tips, please let us all know.  I am sure this type of shopping is different in all parts of the country so share what works for you in bargain shopping.

Have an Inexpensive Day!