Introvert Guide to Haggling Yard Sales

10 step Introvert Guide to Haggling Yard Sales
The joys of yard sales

Haggling yard sales….ewww….this is a behavior that doesn’t come naturally to a shy, people-pleasing introvert like me! But being an online seller convinced me I was going to HAVE to get into the habit and make myself do it. And that’s all it is…a habit that anybody can learn.

10 steps to haggling yard sales for introverts
10 Steps to Haggling at Yard Sales


Introvert Guide to Haggling Yard Sales:

Don’t go to the sale driving your Mercedes with your Coach purse on your arm.

Be friendly! As you are walking up, comment on the weather, make interested small talk as you are browsing. Wave if they are already talking to someone.

Make eye contact. People are far more likely to accept an offer if you are personable and polite. I hate it when people come up, take a look around and are either condescending or demanding….”what’s your best price, can you do better?” while holding the item like it’s repulsive.

Better ways to say that are “Will you take_____?” A good rule of thumb is to ask 40% off, especially if it is a bigger ticket item. Often you and the seller can meet in the middle making it a good deal for everyone.

Ask for a bigger percentage off for certain smaller items (not everything), like coffee mugs if they are priced $1.00. I will often ask for 50% off. If things are 25¢, for heaven’s sake, don’t haggle over that.

Don’t fall for the seller ploy of “Make me an offer.” This is my #1 pet peeve. I usually say “I don’t do offers.” Make them give you a price or walk.

Bunch items together, then ask the seller if they will take____ for the lot.

Go later rather than earlier when sellers are thinking about packing it up. They don’t want to carry it back inside! Of course, you will run the risk of lower selection.

You can point out the flaws in a nice way, making that the basis for offering less. I have even done this at estate sales on the first day when it is an accepted fact that you don’t haggle. I can usually get a reduction anyway.

Be prepared to walk.

What to say to soften the blow of walking:

  • It’s worth it…I just don’t want to pay that much.
  • I like it….I just don’t NEED it.
  • I’ll have to think about it.
  • I’ll have to go home & measure.
  • I’ll have to run it by my husband or wife first.

More resources on how to haggle:

The Classy Way To Haggle

Check out my Garage Sale Board on Pinterest for more garage sale tips!


14 comments on Introvert Guide to Haggling Yard Sales

  1. Awesome post Florence with great tips and tricks. I love that your bottom line is to be friendly and respectful–both will get you far at both garage sales and life! I’d love it if you would link your post up at Vintage Charm–Thursdays 8 am to Mondays 8 am.

  2. Totally agree on every one of those. I once stopped at an outdoor shop. The owner pulls everything outside every day because the inside is too small. At the time I had a nice, new car. When I asked if that was the best price on something, he said, “You can afford that! Look what you’re driving!” I told him that my husband was paying for the car and I had to buy the piece and I certainly could not afford it. Which was the absolute truth. Even though I ride by there several times a week – and drove that car for 12 more years – I’ve never stopped back by there. So, yep. Don’t dress all cute or expensive and if you drive an expensive car, don’t let ’em see it! LOL

    1. LOL, Wanda, that is so funny….yes, goodness, people are observant. I saw a story about how someone made a yard sale purchase driving an old beat-up car, but he picked it up later in a Porsche! I wouldn’t have gone back there either.

      I remember way long ago when I was just starting out going to yard sales, we were at one buying something….don’t even remember what it was now. The man took our money and said, “well, I’m going to keep this (and not give you your change back) because THIS is worth it.” I was so intimidated, shy, and unwary, I let him get away with that! Never again!

  3. These are such great tips! I am actually not that introverted…except when it comes to haggling! I just can’t do it, so I often really want something, but end up walking away. I just don’t have it in me ask for a lower price. Get shy and don’t want to offend anyone. Sometimes, if I really want an item, I pay the sticker price. I am going to experiment and use your post as a script! It’s just starting to warm up here and the sales are in season! Thanks!

    1. I used to be that way, Kim, where I didn’t want to offend anyone, but buying for resale is an incentive now. I do pay full price a lot of time when I think it’s priced right. People just about expect haggling & I always tell myself…all they can say is no. They usually say yes! I quite often do walk though. Glad these have been of help…thanks so much for your comment!

  4. Thanks Florence for visiting my blog. I enjoyed this post! I have accidentally went to sales and forgot to change from my Coach purse to an everyday type. It is not likely you will get much of a deal! LOL! Loved your tips. Also I wanted to add that if an item is already a great price I think it is demeaning to ask for lower if the item is already underpriced by a lot. Just my way of doing things. And much to my husband’s chagrin, I have actually offered to pay more for an item when they have it way underpriced. I just can’t help myself sometimes. LOL!

    xo Dianne

  5. Florence I had the opposite problem a few years back. I hosted a garage sale and could not say no when people haggled weith me so I ended up giving things away almost for free. I was so happy to get rid of all this stuff. I love to repurpose junk, but some of it was too junky even for me…lol I’m going to pin this because I suspect that I’l have a lot more yard sales in my future. I’m hosting a new link pary that is open to all types of bloggers and would love to have you join us. It is called Sweet Inspiration and runs Friday till Tuesday.

    1. Thank you for dropping by Mary! Glad you found some help from it! Yes I know what you mean about getting rid of stuff…we need to have a big sale too. I’ll come check out the linky…thanks so much!

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