With summer in full swing, now’s the perfect time to get incredible deals at local garage sales. And if you’re trying to overcome heavy debt, these sales can be a great way to get what you need for less and even make money by reselling what you find. Here are a few tips that could help you make the most of your next garage sale adventure.

1. Plan Your Trip
Instead driving around town all day wasting time looking for sales, use a website like Craigslist.org to find garage sales near you ahead of time. If sellers post info about what they’re offering online, make a list of items you want before you step out the door so you’ll save even more time.

2. Bring Cash
Most sellers won’t take a check or credit card, so make sure you have cash to pay for your purchases. Taking cash out from an ATM and having small bills on hand will ensure that you can pay for items you want. And if you’re trying to limit your spending, carrying cash could help you stick to your budget.

3. Show up at the Right Time
If you’re looking for big ticket items, get to the sale as early as you can but expect to pay more. If you want bigger savings and don’t mind having less to choose from, plan to arrive a little later.

4. Turn a Profit
Keep an eye out for collectors’ items, antiques, and other valuables when you’re shopping at a garage sale. You’d be surprised how much you could make by finding items in excellent condition and reselling them online.

5. Haggle
To make sure you’re getting the best bargains, you have to haggle. Use this advice to wheel and deal like a pro:

  • Make small talk. Connecting with the seller could open them up to giving you a better deal when you start negotiating.
  • Start a collection. Setting aside a pile of items you want and negotiating on a bulk price could motivate the seller to lower their prices.
  • Strategize. When you start negotiating, offer less than what you’re willing to pay. Try to get the seller to settle on a number you’re both comfortable with, then make the deal.
  • Know when to walk away. If the seller won’t lower their prices, drop the negotiation. You can always come back later and renegotiate.

Bonus Tip: Use Your Money Wisely
There’s a lot you could do with all the money you save from shopping at garage sales. But if you’re struggling with a financial hardship and are looking for ways to pay off high-interest debt, the smart choice is to use that money plus anything you make from reselling items online towards your bills. The more you can pay over your minimum monthly payments, the faster you could resolve your debt!