End-of-Summer School: How To Score a Garage Sale Steal

Photo Courtesy of m.gifford via Flickr (CC)

Give your space a shake-up and a wake-up with a sweet piece you can buy for a song:

1 Look in older, more established neighbourhoods for the best vintage and collectibles. Newspaper listings or Craigslist are still your best bet for sale listings, but to get the best scoop, ask the locals and keep your eye out for streetlight signs. Many areas have annual sales the same weekend every year.

2 Be there early, cash in hand, and ready to take your score home with you. If you’re looking for a find that will land you on Antiques Roadshow, Google any branding or descriptive details from your iPhone.

3 Learn to barter. Canadians are rotten at bartering, because we’re afraid of insulting people. Practise asking this one magic question with confidence and a smile: “What is your best price on that?” There’s no point doing it for every piece, just the one that has seriously caught your eye and you’re sure you want, even if it’s chipped or flawed.

4 Pick a project that matches your commitment. A rattan chair is a savvy pick, if the frame is in good shape. All you have to do is spray paint it in a forgiving matte finish.

By Arren Williams, interior design guru

TIP: Once you’ve snagged your find, make sure you keep your clutter down!  See our 21 Ways to Eliminate Clutter.

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