The weather is getting warmer, summer is on its way, which means yard sales and garage sales will be popping up all over Central New York. Here's some ways to stretch that dollar even further...

1. Bundle Items

If you stop at a garage sale and see quite a few items you wouldn't make taking with you, you might as well try to get a deal on all those items. Don't pay full price for those items (even if they're already at a discount because it's a garage sale). Depending on how much the items are, take a few bucks off that seems fitting... Like, if all the items together would cost $20, see if they'll take $15 or $16 for them. If you're spending a decent amount like $100, see if they'll take $20 or $25 off. It doesn't hurt to ask, right?

2. Shop on Popular Days

It's always fun to stop when you see a sign for a yard sale or garage sale, but a little planning could benefit you. Go shopping when the area you live in holds their "city-wide garage sales," or when there are a bunch of yard sales going on in the same neighborhood. A little friendly competition between neighbors could land you some great deals.

3. Negotiate Prices

Sounds like common sense, right? Well, some people get a little uncomfortable asking for discounts on items that are already discounted (and usually discounted A LOT for yard sales). But don't let it stop you. If you see an item you really want, but you're not willing to pay the price tag on it, talk them down. Make sure you always shoot lower in case they come back with a counter-offer. If they don't and just say no, you can always try a different price and see if they'll agree to that one. The worst thing they're going to say is "no." You might as well give it a try, especially if you really want that item.

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4. Certain Items Are The Best To Pick Up At Yard Sales

Whether everyone already has this item, or everyone is just trying to get rid of these types of items, there are certain things that you can get a huge discount on (and still be of high quality) at yard sales. Some of the best items to pick up include tools, candles, decorations for your home (like for Easter and Christmas and spring), exercise equipment, and books. You can get these items in great condition for just a fraction of the price they would cost if you picked them up from a store.

5. Do a Little Research

Who wants to do research before shopping? But if you're looking for specific items, you definitely should. Maybe look up the item you're searching for on eBay or another site like that. See how much other people are selling that used item for so you can compare prices. You can even use that as ammo if you're trying to talk down a seller to a better, more suitable price. It's not guaranteed to work, but it's worth a shot.

Good luck and have a great garage sale season!

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