Hints for Shoppers
Check items very carefully before
making an offer and/or purchasing.
Check all items to make sure that they meet safety standards and are in good working order before you purchase anything. If you are going to the sales looking for specific items please visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/garage_e.html OR www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety for more information about dangerous or recalled items. To check if a carseat is expired please visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-notices-2007c10-menu-355.htm Always ask if a carseat has been in an accident. You may also want to check with the manufacturers website for recalls before using any items that you have purchased second hand. Remember, even if something looks like it is in excellent condition it doesn't always mean that it is safe.
For clothing items make sure that buttons aren't missing, and zippers work. Check all over for rips and stains. Sometimes the most adorable outfits can have irreparable damage. And the best toys can be missing vital pieces.
When to get there Ė should you be early or late?
If you want a shot at the best items, get there EARLY! Some people will stand out in line for 1 hour before a sale even opens just so they can be the first ones in.† If youíre looking for something specific and get there late, chances are it will have been grabbed before you even get a chance to see it!
However, if you want great deals, it may even be a good idea to come later (or come early and then come back just before the end), as many sellers slash their prices (and are often more willing to bargain) in the last half of the sale just so they donít have to bring their items home with them.†
Should you bring your children?
Strollers are allowed but the sale can be really crowded and it can be difficult to maneuver a stroller. While you might love to shop, small children are certainly not as interested in the shopping process as you are!
Make sure you
clean out the trunk of your car.
The sale will have large-ticket-items. You'll find anything from car seats to cribs or outdoor toys. These items can take up a lot of space in your vehicle and you want to make sure you have room.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Do not overdress - it can get surprisingly warm while being packed like sardines with so many other moms. You might want to leave your jacket in the car.
Keep your money accessible but safe.
Either a deep front pocket on your pants, or a hip-bag is a good idea. You won't want to have to stop and open your purse, and dig out your wallet, every time you want to make a purchase. You'll want to get in, buy, and get out.
Bring a partner - either friend or family.
Tell each other what you are looking for, and how much you're willing to spend. You can help each other find the great deals!
Bargain and haggle.
If you find something that you really want, but you feel the mom is asking for more than it's worth, make an offer! Most of the time, moms do not want to bring any of their "for-sale" items back home with them, and would rather take a reasonable offer than not sell it at all. Often, they will make you a counter-offer if they feel the price you offered was too low.† You can sometimes end up with items substantially below the sticker price! And when you are buying multiple items from the same person, they are sometimes very willing to give you a "package price". The worst that can happen is she can say no. Be polite - not pushy - when you are haggling!
And the best tip of all HAVE FUN!!!!!