Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Garage Sale King

Being the reigning Garage Sale King has its responsibilities. One to be King you need to score treasures along with a constant flow of hot deals in whatever area you might be interested. This is my modes operandi upon arrival at a yard sale I find the owner or who ever is in charge. I ask if they have tools, building materials, musical instruments, guns, kitchen equipment, and coins. If no, I take a quick look and then move on.

If they have any of what I’m looking for I assign a price that it’s worth to me and then look for anything else that I may want. Then I ask what they want for it. If they want more that I want to pay I ask if they are willing to come down on the price. If no I leave if yes I offer the lowest price that I think they can live with. When the price is lower than I was thinking I still go lower quite often they will take the price. Where I really make money is when I will add other items in often a whole group. At one sale there was a weaving that I liked they wanted $5 I added in a table full of chisels and screwdrivers, a knife an eight-foot level and three boxes of nails one had about 40 lbs of nails inside. I offered $10. He came back with “How about $15?” These items at his prices were over $80 and at retail over $200. I gave the $15 and left.

My big Scores are tools at less than 10% of retail, I have found a nice Salvador Dali Serigraph $40, 2 Rembrandt Etchings $5, A 60 year old mandolin$20, A Gibson B25 12 string guitar$25, Building Materials for 5% of retail.

Yester day I took my Rembrandt Etchings down to a few galleries in Scottsdale with my good friend Rick Strole. After being helped out of the door by people that were better than the both of us we came upon a small Gallery. The owner was chatting with a friend and welcomed us. He took a look at the Rembrandt’s and told us they were struck from the original copper plates in the earily twentieth century. He could tell by the paper it was not from the 1600’s but still very old. He showed us a few of the etchings that he had in his gallery and suggested a retail price of my etchings of $125- $150 each.

Not bad for a $5 investment. A few years ago I found a nice lady selling coin rolls she had Washing silver quarters in $10 rolls she was asking $12 per roll. I took all she had 5 rolls for $60. I sold them a few months later when silver was up for $678.

Right now people are in need of bill money and selling anything that they are not using or in great need of. I wait until I need something. Like the other day I decided I needed a chainsaw for my Bread oven. So I started going to the sales. The second sale that I stopped at had a Remington electric Chainsaw. She was asking $12. It looked new, I plugged it in and it ran fine, plus the chain was very sharp. I said, “How about $8?” She agreed. I went home and checked the model number on line it was on sale at a reduced price of $87, so I got it for 10% of retail. The deals are out there go to the sales early, know what you want and what you will pay and you too can save some cash!

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