Want to snag the biggest bargain on vintage furniture at a garage sale? The key is to wait until the end of the day. By then, the sellers are wondering how they are going to get that heavy old sofa off of the grass and back into the living room – and they’ll be more likely to take your initial offer. Be careful with upholstered items (bed bug alert!), but once you’re confident it’s clean, try to look past garishly coloured fabric and eye-popping patterns: you can always reupholster a piece of furniture to better suit your sense of style.
Garage sale artwork is a great way to add some colour to your home. It’s fun to pick up art for two reasons: you might learn about interesting local artists, or, even if you don’t like the image, you can always repurpose the frame. This is key for larger paintings and drawings, because big frames can be so expensive. Haggle if you want, since art is subjective and the sellers might not have too many interested buyers. Also, odds are that they’re tired of looking at it and just want it gone.
Not to sound old-fashioned, but they don’t make jewellery like they used to – costume jewellery included. Since the popularity of items like brooches has declined over the years, you can usually get a deal on these accessories, and if you like, the possibilities for upgrading them are endless. Give tarnished silver a good polish with a paste of baking soda and warm water. For gold, paying a few bucks for solid pieces should pay off – you can always sell them for scrap or have them melted down to create something new.