9 Smart Garage Sale Strategies

How to work the room (er, yard) to seal the deal.

1. Be chatty. 
As in: “How old is your daughter? Mine is seven.” An open line of communication makes it harder for buyers to lowball you, says Aaron LaPedis, author The Garage Sale Millionaire ($23, amazon.com)

2. Pick up on cues. 
“Pay attention to what shoppers are wearing or the types of items they touch. Then suggest relevant pieces they may have missed,” says Chris Heiska, the founder of YardsaleQueen.com.

3. Share the backstory. 
“People who shop secondhand like pieces with a history and want to hear about it,” says Kimy Kennedy, the owner of Peachtree Estate Sales, in Atlanta. So when a browser picks up an item, tell the tale. (“I bought that vase at a flea market in Rome on my honeymoon.”)

4. Give makeover tips. 
“If someone is hesitantly eyeing a hutch, suggest a set of new knobs or a coat of yellow paint to freshen it up, for example,” says Mandi Gubler, the founder of VintageRevivals.com.

5. Don’t overdo it. 
If you think you’re being annoying, you might be right. Back off a bit. Some shoppers prefer to treasure-hunt in peace.