Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer is Here, Time for Hunting at Estate and Garage Sales

 Thanks to Bill Guest from Pagan Cellar Jewelry for this great post!

My favorite time of the year has arrived. Garage sale/Estate sale season is in full swing. While many people flock to Estate sales I lean towards garage sales more myself. You will always be surprised at the great treasures you can find at a garage sale, not to mention the huge price difference had you found the same piece at a company ran Estate Sale. 

When I am out and about at these sales I always head straight to the jewelry section. This is usually located near the check out area. I rummage through each and every piece looking for signed items, shiny items and things that spark my interest. When looking for things to resell I have to put my own opinions to the side and think about what my consumer will like. Is it a popular brand or design? Are all the stones in tact? Is this something that will sell fast?

Than I have to consider the profitability, is the price something I can still mark up from and make a profit. Many times at Estate sales I find there is not much room to mark up the piece, however with a garage sale I usually have plenty of room.  After I find a few things for my shop than it's time for things I WANT!! I am a lover of cameos and rings, my favorite thing are old cameo rings (best of both worlds) after I have gathered my treasures I always do the next step NO MATTER what.  

Never be afraid to ask for a discount or break if you are buying several items (I even do it if I am only buying 1 item) These sales are usually intended for downsizing and getting rid of unwanted items not a retail environment. They will usually not be offended when negotiations are brought up an often more than not they will give you the deal. They would rather sell 10 pieces at once than spend a whole weekend waiting for top dollar to sell only half of them. Any money you save increase the profit when you sell it in your shop.

Another tip to save $$ - revisit estate sales on their last day (usually sunday)
Most Estate sale companies that run a sale for their client want everything to be sold so they have a discount the last day (usually 50% off) this is one of the best days to find things for reselling and to definitely get a deal when you buy a lot of pieces. On many occasions I have gone on a last day and if I have grabbed lets say 15 pieces i will ask for even more off. Remember they want this all sold so that their clients get the most out of their sale. No one want to lug things back into the house or have to box it up for donation. With that said don’t be discouraged if they say no, you will eventually run into that person who will not budge on their prices ever. When this happens go back to the profit margin, if you can’t mark it up than perhaps pass on this one. Remember there are tons of great finds out there so don’t spend the whole pocket book at the first sale!

I am a jewelry junkie and therefore find it exciting to go hunting each weekend that I can. Shopping at estate or garage sales is the most economical way for myself considering that I am in the Chicago metro area. Antique shops and consignment shops are always too expensive for me to shop at and ever try to resell. I hope you enjoy my little tips and hope that you will consider them the next time you are out shopping/hunting for jewelry. and please leave a comment and tell em some things you do! I love to hear shopping strategies.

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