The Art of the Deal: Negotiating Prices at The Longest Yard Sale

Anybody catch the Endless Yard Sale on HGTV last night?  Kinda hoaky, but combine a yard sale with a room makeover and a little reality tv and I'll watch any day.  The sale stretches from Ohio to Alabama each year in early August.
Dealers and regular folks pull up U-Hauls and portable tents to hawk
their wares along HIghway 127.


HGTV was there to uncover some deals and
provide haggling tips as the show followed three pairs of buyers along the sale route. The buyers were in competition to find the best prices on items they'd use to make over a room back in Oklahoma.


Advice from the host on the art of the deal: "Get your number in your head before you start negotiating."  We watched the teams of buyers try their own brands of negotiation.  The pair of men begged on one knee, the duo of teachers asked sweetly but firmly, while the mother-daughter team were polite and honest about their price expectations. In the end, they met with success, though of course, what dealer wouldn't be agreeable with the cameras rolling.

HGTV host and designer, Kenneth Brown, is also a big fan of secondhand shopping and often frequents the massive flea market at the Rose Bowl.  A few tips from Kenneth via the blog,

  • Instead of offering a price, ask the vendor "What is the best you can do?" You'll be surprised that they may come down more than you were going to offer.

  • You'll usually get better deals from a vendor with a wide range of items as opposed to those who specialized in one area.

  • Be polite.  It will get you better results than the alternative.

  • Ask vendors if they have anything they haven't yet put out. Sometimes they have great deals in the truck they're saving for later.

Here's the hoaky part. This video shows more of the local flavor of the sale than HGTV's coverage.

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