Expert Provides Tips on Garage Sales: This...

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Expert Provides Tips on Garage Sales: This is the peak time of year for garage sales, with spring cleaning taking on almost cultural significance. Monica Rix Paxson, co-author with her sister Diana Rix of "The Complete Garage Sale Kit," offers some smart garage sale shopping tips:

First, make a list of what you want to buy. Then make a budget, and stick to it. And third, check the newspaper classified ads, and make a circuit of where you want to go.

At garage sales, expect to bargain for a price. "Dickering is a garage sale tradition," Paxson said. "Offers and counteroffers are part of the fun, and it's one of the few places left where you can do some horse-trading."

When you find the item you have been looking for--an ice cream maker, a bicycle, a coffee table--how do you know you've gotten a bargain? Paxson said that if you end up spending less than half of what you're willing to spend retail, then you got a good deal.

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