Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ann Castle's Online Auction Tips: A Garage Sale Survival Kit

Be  our Facebook friendGoing to garage sales is great fun, quite profitable and can save a bundle of money on both spendy and everyday items. There are a few items you should have with you when you venture forth on Saturday to inspect the treasures set our for your review:

A small, sturdy crate. The plastic kind that kids keep toys in is perfect. There are also versions that collapse. But I use mine to hold my tools of the trade.

An old blanket. This is to protect any nice furniture pieces or extra large finds from damage.

A small stash of bubble wrap, some tissue paper (don't use newspaper, as it often leaves marks on china, fabric and wood) and a plastic bag of old plastic clothing covers from the dry cleaning. These are excellent for protecting delicate items.

A magnifying glass. There are some nice ones that are plastic and are about the size of a postcard. You
can usually get a good look at a hallmark, scratch, or other detail with a small one. If you are looking for jewelry, then pack a jeweler's loupe. These are also very useful for reading the small print on maps.

And speaking of sure you have a good one for your entire area and that it has a detailed index of streets and roads. The best ones are in book form, usually spiral, and you can photocopy the most-used pages for easy reference.

A tape measure. This way you can check the size of furniture, measure off fabric, etc.

A magnet. This will help you to detect the kinds of metal in items that appear to be brass, copper, silver, etc. If the magnet sticks (be sure to try both ends or sides) it is not the real deal. A small one the size of a quarter is all that is necessary.

A small flashlight. The ones with a small light that are used in theaters is fine and will let you check for marks, flaws and look in concealed spots.

A pocket knife. This is for cutting, scraping and sure you ask the owner before you do it, or better yet, have them use the knife. A lot of rust, patina or dirt can disguise a treasure. And it is generally handy for cutting up fruit and opening packages for lunch on the run.

A small pad of paper and pen. This is for addresses, phone numbers and names if you have to return or want to come back to make a deal later, etc.

Calling cards that have your name and phone number and whatever other information you want to disclose. You can get 250 of them free at, and they are very handy.

A large piece of plastic. These are available at the dime store and are usually 9 X 12 and fit into a regular size envelope. Your can protect stuff from rain as it is being transported.

A length of rope and some bungee cords to keep items in place for transport.

Personal information: Swatches of your colors for decorating and wearing. Sizes for you and everyone you buy for. Measurements for areas for rugs, furniture, window treatments, beds, etc. Trace off the soles of everybody's shoes so you can size them at sales.

Several sturdy canvas bags for books and other finds.

A large bottle of plain water. Garage Saling is thirsty work!

I keep all of the small stuff in a small zippered bag and the rest in the crate. You'll be glad of your Garage Sale Survival Kit. It can save you time and money.

About the author:
Ann Castle has been a manager and logistics expert for companies large and small and has a successful eBay business. She enjoys helping everyone achieve their goals and her greatest desire is to live in a world where everybody wins.

1 comment:

  1. For sure, your survival kit can really help you survive lol.. :) I've never done a garage sale in ten years, and I'm willing to give it a try again :) The last one was really tiring..

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