How To Trade Up

Ever found a great sale on an item, only to go to the next store and discover an even better deal on an even better item?  Sometimes that happens at garage sales, too -- you know what you need, you buy the first one you find, and then an even better version is there at the next sale.  If this happens, you can speak to the host about trading up.

Adding cash for a trade.

Trading up looks like this: you give the host at the second garage sale the item you bought plus a little extra (cash, another item, something else they want), and in exchange you are given the different item that you want.  You end up with exactly the item you wanted, and the host ends up with some money plus another item to sell.  Unless you'd bought something that no one else in the world would ever purchase, the host has the chance to make even more than they'd planned.

Trading up actually benefits everyone involved, in many cases.  You don't end up with an item that's only halfway what you were looking for -- an issue with garage sale shopping when you're desperate for a particular item.  The host can make quite a bit of extra money off both you and whoever buys the item you trade to them.  Trading up is like the game that groups of kids will play, where they start with a pebble and trade until they've gotten something they want.

Here's the best way to approach a host with a trade-up proposition:

-     Figure out exactly which of their items you want and how much you're willing to pay for it.  Remember, you've already paid for the other item, so you can look at it two ways: either that was part of the total price you're willing to pay; or, you've already paid that money -- it's gone, and now you can start over in your attempts to purchase the new item.

-    Take both items up to the host and explain the situation.  Tell them you bought the first at a previous garage sale, but much prefer their item.

-     Propose a trade: some extra cash plus the item you bought for the one they're selling.  Proceed like a regular haggling session.

If the trade-up efforts go through, you'll end up with exactly you want -- which is the hope of all yard salers!

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