Tips for Remarkable Rummage Shopping
1. Arrive early and stay as long as possible. Most sales open at 7 or 8 a.m. so even if there’s a weekday sale you may be able to squeeze in some spectacular shopping before school or work. Savvy rummage shoppers start lining up hours before the start time. If you’re able to stay, you may find some deeply-discounted deals as the end approaches. Remember that the sale is raising funds for community outreach programs so early bargaining won’t work. You can buy food/beverages at many sales to keep your energy up.
2. Develop a systematic shopping strategy. If the sale offers a map showing the layout of departments, use the time in line to figure out where you want to go. If you’re planning to attend multiple sales being held on the same day, use Google Maps to come up with the best driving route.
3. Bring plenty of cash and recheck payment choices. Don’t miss out on a fantastic find because you can’t pay for it. Each sale is different. Many take only cash rather than credit cards and/or checks. Sales don’t put items on hold, and ATMs may not be nearby so stash some extra cash for those special surprises.
4. Check parking availability and restrictions. Some streets surrounding a sale may have temporary or permanent restrictions so eliminate the risk of a large parking ticket by parking legally and monitoring meter/time limits. Finding a parking ticket after a sensational shopping spree quickly tanks a marvelous mood.
5. Travel light. Some sales prohibit strollers because of safety and space constraints. Bring your important things in a small fanny pack or wearable pouch and leave your jacket in the car to reduce the risk of losing them.
6. Wear form fitting clothes or a leotard/unitard if you plan to try clothing on. Many sales do not provide dressing rooms, so you’ll need to be prepared to improvise.
7. When you see an item, grab it and buy it quickly. If you put something back while you think about whether you really want it someone else will snatch it up in a second.
8. Inspect every item closely before you buy it to avoid remorse and disappointment. Everything at the sales is sold “as is” and items cannot be returned or exchanged.
9. Take advantage of bag check if it’s available. Having your arms free to shop and move through the crowds easily gives you the ability to better hunt for all the bargains.
10. Channel your inner Dalai Lama and bring patience and kindness. Checkout lines can be long and move slowly because fellow bargain hunters are also snapping up the incredible deals! Remember that the selfless sale volunteers are doing their best to get you out and on to the next department as quickly as possible.
11. Share all your fabulous finds with your bargain-loving buddies so they’ll come with you to the next sale on the calendar.
*Editor’s note: Volunteering is the best way to enjoy rummage! Find out how you can get involved (and the best deals!) here.
Visit www.NorthShoreChicagoRummage.org for more rummage sales in the area.