Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Unofficial garage sale opener this weekend. Tips for buyers, sellers

Posted by: John Ewoldt under Discounters Updated: May 4, 2012 - 11:51 AM

 

 

Let the garage sale season begin.  Bryn Mawr's "festival of garage sales" that many consider the unofficial opener because it's one of the oldest, most well-established neighborhood sales. Bryn Mawr's sale doesn't officially open until Saturday, but many families do a pre-sale on Friday. It's the ultimate preview for early birds.

 

Besides, Bryn Mawr's sale, there are at least 10 other large sales this weekend, including Tangletown, Fish Lake, Summit Hill neighborhoods, the 100-mile garage sale along the Mississippi, the Champlin citywide sale, as well as church or school sales at St. Anthony Village, Eden Prairie Immanuel Lutheran Church and St. John's Episcopal church in St. Paul. Details about these sales can be found here.

 

Whether you're holding a sale or attending them, here are some tips to make it successful. if you're a shopper, check your own clutter before leaving home. The low prices at garage sales make it too easy to add to the pile. Bring an assortment of bills--$1s and $5s, in case the seller doesn't have a lot of change. Finally, bargain hunters, if the sellers won't meet your price, hand them your business card or phone number to call you if they change their mind.

Sellers, put a large item in front of your sale to attract drive-bys. It could be a piece of furniture or the life-size SpongeBob won at the State Fair Midway. Make sure things are clean and tidy and clearly marked if broken. And if someone comes up short of cash, be prepared to give directions to the closest ATM.

 Also happening this weekend:

The Living Green Expo at the Minnesota State fairgrounds (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Sunday) highlights how families and individuals can make green living easier and cheaper.

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