Hi, Travis Lutz here, the founder of Glickin. I thought I would share a little garage sale-ing tip I call, the Anti-haggle. I discovered it in the Okanagan, BC area, and it can save you a bit of cash and put smiles on peoples faces all over the place. And isn’t that what it’s all about? Now for those who don’t know, the Okanagan area is a very well-established retirement hotspot. It’s basically Canada’s Florida and because there are so many retirees, it’s an awesome place to garage sale. So what do retirees and awesome garage sales have in common you ask? Bonus Tip; old people have old stuff! And the best way to negotiate a great garage sale deal with a retiree on an antique, is to do the exact opposite of what you might think.
Now normally, when you find something you want at a garage sale, your tendency might be to downplay how awesome you think it is. What I like to call the “Shit Talk”. Where you basically call the item down so the seller thinks it’s basically garbage and they should accept your super low offer because they’re lucky you’re nice enough to even make an offer at all. But in this case, with this particular type of seller, you actually want to do the opposite. Tell the seller exactly how amazing/rare/beautiful you think their item is, and here’s why:
If the item is as old as the seller, chances are high that the seller has some sentimental attachment to the item and could be having a hard time parting with it at all, let alone for a better price. A seller could potentially become offended if you try to offer them less for an item that they hold in great esteem. Here’s where the Anti-haggle comes in; tell the seller exactly how awesome you think their vintage items are and they are more likely to want you to have them. Many older vendors are sad to get rid of some of their items, even though they have to, due to downsizing or what have you. I’ve found that if I express a true joy in any of their items, they quite often wanted me to have them, so they would lower the price to something amazing on their own. I’ve even had some things given to me, and some of those, were the best things too. I guess I get a little sentimental when someone tells me a story about a particular item. I’m already sentimental about antiques but if there’s a good story to go along with it, I basically can’t say no.
Now when I say, “Tell the seller their stuff is amazing”. I don’t mean pull their leg. I always mean everything I say, unless I’m joking, like the “shit talk” part before. But, what I mean is, don’t be afraid to be honest and even go a little over the top. Someone bought that item with their hard earned money and then held onto it until now. They obviously liked it at some point, maybe even loved it. So when you come in with your shit talk strategy, it may not work like it usually does, especially on a coo coo old bird who’s headed into a home and has nothing to lose. My advice is to be honest, nice, and polite and you’ll never know where it will take you. I suppose that’s good advice for all areas of life.
Do you have an awesome garage sale-ing story? Or do you just want to share your garage sale experience? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!