Part II of our mini-series on involving children with garage sales dives into the basic rules and manners that parents can teach their kids before taking them to a yard sale. We talked with some professionals as well as parents; here are some of their insights:
Joanne Passarelli Rinaldi, a Professional Organizer with Neat Freaks Professional Organizing who also has a lot of garage sale experience says, “Before you leave the house I think it’s important to tell your child that anything you buy must be cleaned before it can be used, it doesn’t get played with until they get home. Make sure they know to ask before touching anything and lastly, they must stay by your side at all times.”
“Keep kids close and make sure they know the hands-off rule when it comes to fragile items,” says Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers. If the yard sale shopping adventure is strictly for the parents, Andrew suggests, “emphasize to them that you’re there only to purchase items that are needed, such as inexpensive furniture or appliances, and not to buy toys.”
Stacy Ross, Founder of San Diego Bargain Mama says it’s important to teach your kids to “remain polite and respect to the seller and the seller’s merchandise.” Stacy suggests teaching kids about having a list of things in mind you are looking for and stresses the fact to remain selective. “Make sure your kids learn not to act overly excited when they find something they like, and always have them ask permission before making a purchase.”
Helaine Fendelman suggests making a game out of the yard sale shopping experience. “Find something you really like. Find something you really don’t. Have a discussion after and ask why.” Most importantly, as any parent should do, Helaine says,
“it’s ever so important to teach your children not to touch without permission.”
“Let them have fun, a new hobby can evolve,” says Cristin Frank, a FamilyFun Magazine Craft Contributor and Mother of two. “Last summer I picked up an English ginger snap tin at a garage sale for $1. My son liked it so much he asked for it. He later found one selling on eBay for $17. This has inspired him to do more research on antiques, which has been a fun hobby for him. He cannot wait to test his appraisal skills at garage sales this summer.” Cristin also says that garage sales are a good opportunity for kids to follow your example. “Kids are often too shy to buy something let alone negotiate. By bringing them along, they can see their parents’ example.”
What will you be teaching your kids when you take them to their first yard sale this year? Share your ideas and comments below!