June 16, 2006
Anyone who enjoys collecting Star Wars toys, memorabilia and other collectible items should know that there are many different ways in acquiring new items into your personal collection. One of the easiest ways is by simply hopping in your car and driving to the nearest Toys ‘R Us, Wal-Mart, Target and other retail stores. However, that sometimes turns out to be a bust, since there are stores that don’t keep their shelves stocked to the fullest, and some areas are riddled with scalpers. But, this is easiest way to bring new toys to your home.
Another way is by doing trades and shopping using various Star Wars websites (ours would be your first stop, of course). You could go to the various online retailers that are out on the Internet, such as any one of our advertisers, because they should have what you are searching for. But, if none of those can help you out, there’s always the infamous eBay that’s willing to help you out. I’ve used eBay many times and have come away with some really good deals, those of which I don’t think I could have found anywhere else. However, there is one other place you can find some great deals on Star Wars items, and that would involve garage sales in your neighborhood.
Other times I will pay close attention while driving my car, as you’ll probably find at least three garage sales signs to and from where you work. Obviously you won’t want to keep your eyes off the road for too long, but you’ll definitely want to remember where you saw those signs so you can be sure to head over there early on the weekend. It’s amazing how many of these signs you’ll come across when driving around, but the only downside to this tip is that those signs could be for a garage sale that has already taken place. Nothing is worse than getting up early on a Saturday morning, rushing out to tackle a garage sale, and come to find that there’s not one going on at that location. For those of you out there who leave those signs up after you’ve had your garage sale, take them down when you’re done!
After you’ve figured out which garage sales you’ll be going to it’s a good idea to make sure you have plenty of cash on hand, because you may just run into that one item that costs a lot of money but is much cheaper than if you were to purchase it brand new from a store. Some people who run garage sales don’t put things “on hold” so that you can run to the bank to get more cash, so it’s best to be prepared in the event that you do stumble upon that costly item. Otherwise, if you run out to get cash and come back to pick up that item, more than likely it won’t be there anymore.
Lastly, don’t drive to the garage sale with a small car or a vehicle that has crap already in it. Meaning, don’t drive there if you have the family in your car, as they tend to take up precious space that could be utilized for good garage sale booty. Also, make sure your trunk (if you have one) is cleaned out for the same reasons… you want to have space to bring back the loot that you purchase on your garage sale hunt. It might also be worth your while to bring water and a snack, as you could be out for a number of hours hopping from house to house.
I can’t tell you how many times by just being friendly can really help save you more money, because the seller feels much more comfortable and “at ease” with you. Most sellers are flexible with the prices they’ve marked on their products, but those who tend to be happier and more relaxed with your presence will be much more flexible on their prices. I’ve never tried to go too low to humiliate or insult a person when negotiating pricing, but instead I try to at least knock a little bit off the asking price. Just by speaking up you’ll walk away a richer person.
Someone else that has had a great deal of luck would be my father, as he has had a couple of outstanding findings in the past. The best garage sale purchase I have ever heard anyone come across (not total dollar amount but what was paid compared to the value of the product) was when he found a POTF2 AT-AT for only six dollars! The AT-AT was in extremely good shape, and was only missing one side gun and the main door panel. It was clean and the stickers were still on there as if they were applied just days ago. Best yet was that it was still in the box! Well, the AT-AT had been played with and was just put back inside the box that it came in, but unfortunately the box was not in very good condition. That didn’t matter to me, as I was happy to have gotten an AT-AT in such good condition, an AT-AT that was the very first AT-AT I had ever had in my possession. What a great feeling! The look on my dad’s face after I opened it (it was a birthday present years ago) was one that I’ll never forget, as you could tell how happy and proud he was of his finding. On that same outing and at the same garage sale, he also came home with a POTF2 Millennium Falcon for yet again six dollars. That too was the first Millennium Falcon I had ever had in my possession.
STAR WARS GOODS