Advice for the Garage Sale Newbie

The following is actually an updated re-post from a few years ago, but I felt the advice was still very relevant and useful for those new to the Artists’ Garage Sale…

With the Artists’ Garage Sale just three short days away I thought I would take a moment to provide some of my tips for a successful garage sale experience. How would I define successful AGS experience? In my opinion if you can find some great art at a great price without blowing your budget you’ll leave happy without regrets.

1) Arrive Early (or Stay Late). While the weather has not been great lately that won’t stop true “garage salers” from getting an early start. The event opens at 9am, but many arrive at 8:30 and are ready to pounce as soon as artists have finished unloading. If you arrive early you’ll have the best selection, but like all garage sales you could wait till the end of the day to try to barter the best deals when artists are facing the inevitable packing and hulling back to the car. Their inventory might be picked over, but they may be willing to go even lower to get rid of it.

2) Cash is King (or Queen). Remember this is a “Garage Sale”. Some artists may take a card, but most deal in CASH or possibly check if it is someone they know or local. It just isn’t worth dealing with cards when you are selling at such discounted prices. Good news is that downtown Everett has plenty of ATMs available.

3) Stick to your budget/Stick to what you’re looking for. These two kind of go hand in hand, because whether it is $20 or $200 you’ll feel better when you leave if you stick to your budget and remember what you came for.  My first year at the garage sale I gave myself what I felt was a pretty good budget of $100.  I was looking for 2-D artwork, because I had walls to fill in my new condo. Well, somehow I forgot about that after stopping by a couple glass booths and by the time I found the Shari Osti mono print I just loved I had to run to an ATM to get more money.  I still love the Shari Osti, which is framed and hanging in my home, but I’ve since unloaded some of the glass I picked up earlier in the day. Which leads me to the next tip…

4) Don’t get caught up in the frenzy. I mean no offense to glass artists, but in the past when certain artists pulled up it was like watching a flock of vultures.  People would get so caught up in getting a piece of inexpensive glass that, like me, they forget that they really didn’t need or want what they were buying. Don’t get me wrong the frenzy can be fun, but it can also leave you wondering, “What was I thinking? Just remember to have a good time and buy some great art.

5) And finally have FUN! There are so many (100+) wonderful artists coming this year and such a wide variety of media represented that it should be wonderful weekend, rain or shine.

See you Saturday!

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