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Fokmarks - Are you green or cheap?

We hear about making thingsgreener by reducing energycosts and utilizing materials wisely. It'sthe perfect excuse for a thrifty personto save dollars and save the environmentat the same time.

We hear about making thingsgreener by reducing energycosts and utilizing materials wisely. It'sthe perfect excuse for a thrifty personto save dollars and save the environmentat the same time. Garage sale seasonis in full swing and the bargainscome with an extra bonus. You buysomething at a garage sale and reducelandfill use and avoid energy costsincurred by producing a similar productnew. You can't lose. You can be acheapskate and wear a Save the Planetbadge at the same time.

Observing a frugal garage sale expertis one way to learn the technique.

Take a pocket full of lose change. Ifyou think something is priced too highoffer some of the change, and threequarters of the time the seller will takeyour offer.

The proffering of a big pile of coins ofsmall value reminds me of when I was asmall child and was entertained by anelderly gentleman who would offer melarge nickels for any small dimes I mightpossess. He must have doubled hismoney over and over again helping smallchildren trade up to larger money. Now,that's a real tightwad. I'd like to see howhe would handle a garage sale.

When you go to a yard sale it helps toremember that there are a few peoplewho merely want you to remove theirextra items. They don't want to haulthem to the dump.

I see people who deliberately go toyard sales at the end of the day andoffer a small amount to take away theleftovers. Tidy people jump at the chanceto have the debris removed, but remember,if you use this shopping technique,you might have to make that trip to thedump yourself and it will cost you, somake sure there's something in the leftoverspile to make it worth your costs.

When you are faced with an overpriceditem at a yard sale you can alwaysleave a bid with the sellers, in case theywill let it go for a more reasonable priceat the end of the day. Take a notebookwith you so you can be sure to havesomething to write on.

I've seen people leave business cardswith bids written on the back. Not a badidea if you are a real bargain hunter.

Never fall in love with goods at a yardsale or anywhere for that matter. If youare truly a bargain hunter be willing tolet that antique desk go to someone elserather than pay a handsome price andget it home to find out it's a knock offfrom someone's backyard workshop. Justbecause something looks old and is coveredwith dirt doesn't mean it's anantique any more than a filthy, dentedvehicle is a classic.

Hubby is the best negotiator in ourfamily so I always let him take care ofpricing discussions. He never fails to geta lower price than I because I want tohelp the seller more than I want a bargain.So, keep personality in mind whenbargain hunting and conduct yourselfaccordingly.

Something else to remember is totake small bills with you. You won't geta bargain if you hold out a fifty andoffer two dollars. The seller won't wantto make change and would you take twodollars for something you labelled ten ifsomeone waved a fifty under your nose?

Another mistake to avoid is taking toolittle money to take advantage of makinga more costly but worthy purchase. Bythe time you come back from the bankwith the money to buy the china cabinetyou always wanted, marked at $50, thatyou know is worth $400, it will be gone.

So, when you arrive at a yard salewearing clothes that you bought at ayard sale, driving a second hand vehicle,carrying a gently used purse, which isstuffed with ten-dollar bills and smallchange, people will no doubt recognizeyou as an environmentalist. Well okay,they will probably think you are a cheapskate,but recently cheapskates and environmentalistsare showing up in similar,out of style, clothing.