Garage Sale Finds Friday and some negotiating tips

Welcome to another week of garage sale finds Friday, where I share with you a few of my favorite garage sale finds.

This week, I found a few rocking chairs.
I was out shopping with my favorite accomplice whose name is like Voldemort's so we will call her "the garage sale accomplice who can't be named".  Nah, we'll just call her Epiphany.  Yep, that sounds awesome. 
So Epiphany spotted this awesome child sized rocking chair and immediately called me over to take a looksee.  

I was sold the moment I saw the price tag, but no good garage sale is complete without a little bartering, so I offered $3 and they took it.
Sweet find Tiffany, I mean, Epiphany.

Our next adventure took us across town to find this really cool craftsman style rocking chair.
It's got some amazing nail head detail and leather upper and seat cover.

It's a pretty sweet gem just the way it is

But the guy immediately saw that I was interested and I asked him what the story was behind the chair.  I was really hoping for him to tell me about how it was his grandma's rocking chair and how it had traveled along the Oregon trail on a covered wagon before his grandfather died of dysentery and his sister fell ill due to typhoid.  

It wasn't, but see what fun stories we can come up with when we look through other people's stuff.  Don't get me started on the story we can up with on the "never before worn" wedding dress!

This guy (who was nearly a hundred himself), told me that he picked it up for $150 as a "project", which then sent me hunting for flaws.  There were a few nail heads that need pounding in, but the real kicker was the chip of wood out of the back.  A project indeed.

I told him I wasn't interested in a project for $50, to which he replied "well, how much would you pay for it?"  Ah, now I get to really bargain.  I told him I would pay $5 for it. 

**Tip--always start your negotiating low so you have wiggle room

 I knew this was a super low offer for something he wanted $50 for, but I wanted room to negotiate a bit and to see how serious he was about getting rid of this rocking chair.  He came back with $15 so I knew he was willing to negotiate.  If he would have laughed off my low offer, I would have left it at that, but I knew he was willing to play, so I went back with saying that I really only was interested in paying $5 for it and ran down the chair's flaws again so that he could see how much work it was.  

**Tip--when negotiating, always point out what's wrong with the item.**

He became busy with another customer and I stood looking at the chair.  I was getting ready to leave and started to walk away when I called back to him "you sure you don't want to take $8 for it?"  

**Tip--always be willing to walk away

He nodded and I paid the man thanking him and telling him that the chair was coming to a good home.
I think that always helps people when they have sentimental attachment to an item.

So when people ask me how it is that I can negotiate such good prices at garage sales, this is my number one tip...

**Tip--remember the worst thing someone can say is "no"

And that my friends, is how I was able to negotiate down a chair that was priced at $50 and paid only $8 for it.  If I did math I would tell you that was like 95% off or something, but I don't, so you get the simple version...I got an awesome deal.  

So, have you scored any awesome deals lately?


suzieQ said...

I have got to learn to negotiate. People must love to see me coming, I never negotiate. I feel sufficiently ashamed and promise to do better. Thanks for the tips.

Tezz Hagelin said...

Wow! That's a great bargain! I have to admit I'm not good at negotiating prices. Have to get better. Thanks for your advice :)

Michelle said...

I'm not good at negotiating prices either. Hopefully I can put your advice into practice next week!

Dewdrop Gardens said...

Good grief!! $8.00 for a $50.00 priced chair?? I need to take lessons from you...I'm always afraid to offer lower. Mind you, I don't go to yard sales often (and that will be changing after the last 2 outings this month when I found some fabulous items!!). I should read up on how to barter and win.
Saw you linking at Serenity Now.
Debbie :)

Heidi Lisa said...

Can't wait to put your tips to use!

~ Liz ~ said...

Hi Rachel, I've been getting better with my negotiations. Sometimes I have to fight with myself not to worry about offending people. I generally have a $5 limit, unless something is just obvously beyond that (which happened this weekend) so it's easier to haggle when I just can't break my $5 rule and only have x amount of cash. I still struggle with it sometimes though. I like hearing about others who are good hagglers though. Such fun to hear what you scored!

Laura said...

I appreciate these tips. My hubby always says that's the price they're asking, so that's the price you need to pay. But you're right- the worst they can say is no. I recently wasn't brave enough to offer less for an item at an estate sale, and I still regret not doing so!

Glo said...

Way to go and great tips! I would love for you to share it and others on my new blog hop Frugal "I Did It!" Tuesday.

kirstin & tricia said...

This is so silly, but I feel like starting out 90% lower than what they're asking is so gutsy! I never can bring myself to do it. If your friend Epiphany/Tiffany needs a day off (and if you're in Denver), call me up. Maybe I can learn just from being around you. :)

Michelle said...

We've got a chair in the family that travelled the Oregon trail -- but I don't think anyone died along the way.

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