How to shop a rummage sale

The biggest one is coming soon to Virden

St. Paul’s United Church in Virden is holding its twice-annual rummage sale this Sept. 27 – 28. It’s the biggest, most popular sale of its kind in town and always draws a crowd of people from all over the region.

article continues below

As a service to our readers, the Virden Empire-Advance compiled a list of tips on how to get the most out of your rummage sale experience.

  1. Get there early. Be in line before it opens. That’s what all those folks in the picture did. It’s like garage sales – if you sleep in, all the best goodies will be gone. But if all you care about is the cheapest price, wait for the second day when the bag sale at St. Paul’s is on.
  2. Case the joint. Once inside, do a fast walk-through first where you quickly assess the goods and pick up anything desirable or of high quality. You can always put it back on the table if you change your mind. Save the clothing until later, it’s time consuming. After you do the speed scan, you can slow down and dig deeper.
  3. Use a box or big bag. The organizers at St. Paul’s usually put cardboard boxes under the tables. Perfect for carrying your finds. Or bring your own sturdy cloth bags with shoulder straps that leave your hands free.
  4. Look for quality. Familiar brand names are an easy thing to scan for, especially on clothes, footwear and purses. Flip through the items on hangers glancing at the tags inside the collars. Only stop for a longer look if you find a quality brand name.
  5. Collectibles. Sometimes people donate items they don’t realize are collectibles or don’t care. If you know your stuff, these treasures can be snapped up for a pittance and resold on eBay. Always look for a maker’s stamp or original packaging to increase the value. If you have a smart phone, use it to help determine what the item might fetch on the market.
  6. Haggle a bit. Usually the St. Paul’s rummage sale has a set price ($1.00) for all items with the exception of anything marked otherwise, so haggling isn’t really encouraged. But if you find something you feel is overpriced, don’t be afraid to ask. For example, “I love this curio shelf but it has a scratch. Would you consider an offer?” They really don’t want to box up and store more unsold leftovers than they have to!
  7. Have fun. Enjoy browsing all the quirky and sometimes lovely items you’ll see. Expect to bump into friends and neighbours, and compare finds with them. Splurge on something fun and cheap you don’t need like a pink faux fur jacket, a Minions pillow or a black velvet painting that’s good for a laugh before you donate it to the thrift store or the next rummage sale.
© Virden Empire-Advance