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Sign that says yard sale.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – The busiest shopping season of the year is just around the corner. Consumers should add yard sales to their list of shopping places for holiday items.

“Yard sales are great places to find bargains on children’s clothing and toys, seldom worn items such as party clothes, household goods and furniture for college students. Prices on clothes are usually hard to beat,” said Theresa Jones, an Alabama Extension regional agent of consumer science and personal financial management.

Buy Wisely

Jones offers the following tips for shoppers to help them buy wisely at yard sales.

  • Shop early for specifics, and shop late for bargains. Large items, such as furniture or home appliances, are often sold before the yard sale starts, so call ahead of time or arrive early at the sale.
  • Plan yard sale trips to go to several sales in the same area. This way, buyers can get a feel for reasonable prices and the best use of their time and effort.
  • Look in the newspaper for advertisements or listen to the radio for local events and then map out your trip.
  • If you want better bargains, buy in bulk. Tell the seller you will buy several items, especially if you can get a better price.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price. Most times, sellers will lower a price, especially toward the end of a sale.
  • Make sure clothing fits into a person’s wardrobe, and if buying for other family members, make sure clothing matches each family member’s personal style.
  • Make sure clothes fit into a normal clothing care plan. If the garment requires dry cleaning, consider the cost in the total price of the garment.
  • Buy as long as it fits into your budget. The average family spends between 6 percent and 20 percent of their income on clothing. Teenagers and young adults spend the most money, while older adults spend the least.
  • When buying clothing, look for garments free of stains or fading. Look at the elbow, knee and seat areas for wear. Make sure zippers work, buttons are secure and pockets are not torn.
  • Carry a list of body measurements and a tape measure with you. Before you buy, measure the shoulders, chest and hip areas, sleeve length, waist and pant and skirt lengths of garments to make sure they will fit.
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