Although Pablo Solomon is now an internationally recognized artist and designer living the good life, things were not always so good. “I grew up in a multicultural home in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Houston. My parents taught me the value of hard work, education and tenacity. They also taught me how to buy, sell and trade. Our family was supplementing our income with yard sales for as long as I can remember. My parents were really good at it and I carried on the tradition. Now I shop and hold yard sales for fun.”
Here are some of Pablo Solomon’s favorite yard sale shopping tips:
1. Know the value of as many things as possible; The more you know, the more likely you are to make some good buys/deals.
2. Carry a magnifying glass to examine jewelry, art, glassware, pottery, etc. Also carry a tape measure to check frames, print sizes, etc. Often the real deals at yard sales are old frames. I have found some that were 150 years old for chump-change. Frames are also often the key to recognizing valuable art.
3. Wear clothes with lots of pockets and have like $3,$7, $17 in various pockets. If the yard sale person is asking for $5, pull out the $3 and ask if he/she will take the $3, etc. Always carry cash. No yard sale person likes to worry about checks.
4. Remember there are no refunds or returns at yard sales, so if you buy it, you own it.
5. You can usually tell immediately if the yard sale is being held by one of these people trying to beat the system by not having a real shop in order to avoid paying taxes, skirt business fees, etc. by holding sales at their house. Usually these people are overpriced and you will get no bargains.
6. You can also tell if the yard sale is going to be overpriced in general right away. If the first few items you see are overpriced for junk, do not waste your time.
7. You can still find amazing collectibles, antiques, costume jewelry, etc., but you also can find a lot of fakes. Often the person holding the sale does not even know that he/she is selling a fake–and just as often they make a killing selling fakes to suckers.
8. The best sales can often be in the most expensive neighborhoods. Often very expensive clothes, shoes, etc. are sold very cheaply and almost new just because the person is clearing out his/her closet.
9. You just never know what will pop up. Often people inherit things that they have no clue as to the value. That is what you dream of as a shopper.
10. Go early for selection, late for best prices. At the end of the sale, the person holding the yard sale is ready to dump everything cheaply.
11. It is not your job to tell the person holding the sale that they are overpriced for the stuff they are selling– just leave. It is also not your job to tell the person holding the sale that they are under priced for something valuable–just buy the item and smile when you get home.
Pablo Solomon is an internationally recognized artist known primarily for my drawings and sculptures of dancers, as well as for my visionary
environmental designs. He has been featured in books, magazines,
newspapers, radio, TV and film. Currently he lives and works with his wife Beverly on his historic 1856 ranch north of Austin, Texas. Before acting as a full time muse and business manager, Beverly was a model and then in sales and marketing for Diane von Furstenberg, Revlon and Ralph Lauren. You can see Pablo’s work at www.pablosolomon.com