We’ve all heard the terms “barter,” “haggle” and “negotiating,” but knowing when to shake down a seller in price is key. Typically the best time to visit a tag sale is when it first starts, you know the saying, “the early bird catches the worm,” in this case, hopefully you’ll have a good find and a good deal. Generally sellers are not as flexible in pricing early on during the sale. Many of the more desirable items such as antiques, collectibles or electronics may sell at prices they’re listed at and often times they’re already discounted to the seller’s lowest acceptable price. The early birds know that they’ll have to pay this premium if they want to beat the competition and walk away with something they’re really excited about.
Smart sellers may organize their sales so there are tables with similar prices set on those items, such as the $1 table, $5 table, etc. Here’s where you can haggle a bit and try to negotiate a better price, but be realistic. If a seller has appropriately price an item that looks and works perfectly fine, don’t insult them by asking for 3/4 off the price. However, towards the end of the day of the sale, buyers are much more inclined to accept deeply discounted prices because much of the stuff they have might just end up being donated or found at the local dump. Sellers would much rather make a small profit than no profit.
The bartering game basically comes down to common sense. If the seller has fairly priced their items, they’re generally not going to have problems selling their items or negotiating with buyers for a small percentage off the asking price. Buyers know when they see a good deal and when there are lots of shoppers they’ll want to be sure they make the right move by offering a fair price for what they’re willing to pay and not to draw attention to their new found treasures… especially if they know it’s secretly very valuable.