Top Tips for Haggling and Bargain Hunting

Bargain-hunting pros share their expertise on the customary way to do business at a yard sale.




Haggling is the friendly art of negotiating on price, and it is the customary way of doing business at the large venues such as the Endless Yard Sale. Follow these tips from the yard-sale pros:

  • Let the vendor name the first price, and then start haggling from there.
  • Respect the vendor's effort. The item may be the vendor's personal favorite, or it may have been very difficult to transport to the yard sale.
  • Don't start too low. Asking for 50 percent off can backfire by insulting the vendor. To be safe, try starting at 70 percent.
  • The more you buy, the more you save. Vendors are more likely to give steep discounts on volume purchases than on single items.
  • No matter what, be polite.

Bargain Hunting

Want a great bargain? Think strategically, following this handy advice:

  • Make a list of what you are looking for and prioritize it. The sheer volume of stuff for sale can be overwhelming, so you will need to stay focused.
  • Become an expert on what you want to buy. Who are the reputable manufacturers? Make sure you can tell the difference between the genuine article and a knockoff.
  • Do your research before the event. Know what similar items are going for on eBay or Craigslist.
  • Decide whether you are buying for your personal enjoyment or for resale. If the idea is just to enjoy it, it might be worth a little more to you than an item you see solely as a business transaction.
  • If you are looking at an item to put into use in your home — a record player or microwave, for example — make sure it works before you lay down the cash.
  • If you don't see what you want, ask a vendor. Vendors can tell you about items you might not have seen, and they often know what their neighbor vendors are selling.
  • The final day of the yard sale is the time for the best bargains. You can get a lot for half off or more because vendors don't want to load up the trucks for the round trip. To that end, the bigger the item, the better chance you have for negotiating a good price on the sale's last day. Because big items take the most effort and storage space to pack up, vendors are motivated to unload them.

Next Up

The Top 5 Must-Know Tips for Homebuyers

Buying a new home is a major decision, but it doesn't have to be intimidating. Follow these five tips to gain key knowledge and confidence so you feel at home while buying one.

9 Tips for Easy Ironing

Speed household ironing chores by knowing what to press and how to press it.

Can't-Miss Color Tips from David Bromstad

Take it from David Bromstad, host of Color Splash and the season one winner of Design Star , these color tips will help you successfully design any room you're working on.

Top 10 Time-Saving Tips for Your Move

Use these pointers to make your next move fast, efficient and hassle-free.

Top Tips for Throwing a Successful Yard Sale

Throw the best yard sale in the neighborhood with these clever tips.

Top 20 Cleaning Tips From HGTV Stars

Plus, read on for their LOL cleaning confessions. HGTV stars, they're just like us!

Top 10 Ultimate Decorating Tips From a Magazine Stylist

A professional photo stylist shares her best decorating tips that work for every home.

Top 10 Organizing Tips You Need to Try

HGTV asked viewers to share their best decluttering and organizing tips. See which clever life hacks made the list.

Get a Bargain on a Stigmatized Property

You can find a bargain in just about every neighborhood these days, but if you’re looking for a deal with a price that’s been “slashed,” try searching for the home where the “slasher” lived.

Top 10 Tips for Using Your RV

RV expert Mark Polk provides an invaluable lesson on how to properly enjoy a home on wheels.


Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.