Nothing adds a classy tinge to the interior like vintage upholstered furniture. The good news is that you don’t need to sacrifice your entire salary on a single piece. Find real treasurers in the most unlikely places. Forget about the flea markets. Visit an old –school garage sale or estate sale. Many people are turning their home clearance into a profitable business. Why not take advantage of that? When shopping for second-hand furniture, it’s hard to know what is worth the investment.  Here a couple of tips to spot the good bets.

  1. Start Online

If you want to be completely successful at finding a great deal, so some online research at home. In this way you will be able to spot a garage sale that is near you and look up the pictures online before heading out. There is a great chance you find the piece you are looking for without having to go to a retail store and pay full price.

  1. Locate a Good Sale

You can grasp most of the information you need about the garage sale from the online pictures.  Be mindful about keywords and hints that indicate whether the sale is worth visiting. Words like “clearance”, “cleaning out”,” liquidation”, “moving” and similar are a good sign. On the other hand “collectibles” and “antiques “suggest that the seller may assign slightly higher prices. If you are looking for larger vintage items like antiques and furniture, be sure to visit older neighbourhoods. People in these communities, who are performing house clearance, are likely to have some really valuable items.

  1. Make a List

Before going to a garage sale, you should know what you are looking for. You can inadvertently stumble on amazing piece of furniture that you didn’t realize you needed. In the most cases you will lose time, mindlessly wondering around or spending your money on useless things. Write down all the things you hope to find at the estate sale and use it as a guideline.

  1. Know the Garage Sale Etiquette

Bargaining is the least favourite activity of most people who go to estate sales. For the customers and the staff alike! Unfortunately, you cannot go without it. When you are negotiating a price, be realistic. Offer a reasonable amount instead of trying to lower the price to an improbable level. You will only infuriate the seller and make it harder on yourself.  Understand that you are usually getting a piece for 75-95% of what it would cost if you paid retail. Be grateful and don’t be cheap! The key to buying big pieces is to wait until the end of the day where you will usually get them cheaper than if you got them at the beginning of the day. The problem is that the item might sell and you might lose out.

  1. Inspect the Furniture

Don’t seal the deal before taking a thorough look at furnishing piece you are planning to get. You can use the small flaws like scratches in your favour and negotiate from the original price. Broken furnishing can still be valuable. You can re-upholster it or add a layer of paint. Having a D.I.Y. project for a 1/3 of the cost of retail is always great!

We look forward to seeing everyone at a Sell My Stuff Canada sale in the near future and may the deals be ever in your favour!

Thanks to our guest blogger Ella who always has great moving and storage related tips. More of her work can be found here.