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Top tips for negotiating yard sale prices

Don't be afraid to negotiate - all the seller can do is say no.
Don't be afraid to negotiate - all the seller can do is say no.

It is garage and yard sale season time, are you ready? Being successful at garage and yard sales involves more than getting there early and bringing enough cash. Many eBay sellers don't negotiate prices at garage and yard sales either because they are too intimidated, or they don't know how. Here are a few strategies for getting the best price on garage sale item so you can flip them for more profit on eBay.

Most people having a sale will take less if you ask. If something is marked with a price, say $10, ask if they will take $7. Be reasonable and don't insult, but see if you can get it for less. The point of a yard sale is to get rid of things, and the seller doesn't want to drag all his merchandise back into the house.

Point out flaws in a tactful way. If an article of clothing has a stain, say something like, "Would you take less since this item isn't in pristine condition?" Don't insult the seller, but make it clear that the item is imperfect. If you think the price is too high and the item has a defect, mention it to the owner, and ask if they will take less.

Make bulk offers. When buying multiple items, make an offer for everything you want. Add up the individual items and offer less. Sometimes the seller will agree, sometimes they will flat out say no. If they say no, I pull out the most expensive item and say, "Oh, then I will pass on this." And usually the seller caves in and comes in with a lower offer to get rid of the stuff.

Don't be afraid to make low offers. The only way you can feel out a seller for their rock-bottom price is to make an offer and see how they react. Remember, they are having a sale to get rid of things, and you are a customer standing in front of them with cash. Worst case scenario, they will say no. Best case scenario, you just made an amazing deal. It is entirely possible to make a low offer in a polite and respectful way. If the seller says no, casually move on.

Contain your excitement. Maybe you found an elusive Hidden Mickey, a paint by number thatcould sell for $300, or a rare Star Wars action figure and you know you hit the jackpot. Put on your poker face. If the price is too high, act like you don't care about the item. And when asking the price on the item, be vague and don't use brand names, model numbers, or specific details - you don't want to tip the seller off that you know too much about the item. Ask about the stuffed bear, the funky painting, or the Star Wars thingy. Stay under the radar, get the item cheap, and share your excitement on your favorite eBay Facebook group later.