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Garage Sale Lady offers her advice on trash and treasure

Tips for sellers

•Most garage sales are on Friday and Saturday. Get a jump on the competition and hold yours on Thursday.

•If most sales in your neighborhood begin at 8 a.m. Start yours an hour earlier.

•Advertise in newspapers, online and with neighborhood signs.

•Post easy-to-read directional signs. Bright paper plates with bold arrows are inexpensive and eye-catching. Your sale is only as good as your signs, Kincaid says.

•Wear your money. Keep cash close in a fanny pack for speedy transactions and to discourage theft.

•For the convenience of shoppers, keep a tape measure and extension cord handy.

•To entice shoppers to linger and buy, merchandise should be clean, clearly priced and attractively displayed.

•Have a toy box to keep kids amused while adults shop.

•Position large items out front. Dealers and people in need always want furniture.

For buyers

•Shop early on the first day of the sale for the best bargains. Shop toward the end of the sale for rock-bottom prices.

•Plan your route carefully.

•Make a list of items you need.

•Before leaving home, jot down measurements for window treatments, mirrors and furniture.

•Bring a tape measure, magnifying glass and extension cord.

•Stock up on small change.

Shelley Kincaid digs three objects out of a canvas tote bag: a slightly dented lamp shade, the sleeve of an old stretch-lace T-shirt and a crocheted scrunchie. • She slides the lacy sleeve over the shade, securing it with the scrunchie. • Voila! She has created a pretty new lamp shade from items purchased for pennies at garage sales.

Kincaid — better known to her many DIY fans as the Garage Sale Lady — was a headliner at the Southern Women's Show in Orlando recently. During her twice-daily presentations, she transformed bargain-rack blouses into gift bags, cast-off jewelry into candelabra, and created a tuffet (think Little Miss Muffet) from salvaged chair legs and old curtain fabric.

"None of these things started out beautiful," Kincaid said. "You've got to mix and match, fix and patch, screw and glue."

Considering the dire state of the economy, there is no better time than now to catch garage sale fever, Kincaid said.

Want to make a little extra cash? Hold a garage sale, she said.

Need to save money? Become a garage sale shopper.

Kincaid has been doing both for more than a decade. As a result, she has made more than a little money and saved a great deal. Almost everything in her house was once someone else's throwaway — from furniture to bedsheets, towels and tools.

Kincaid's The Garage Sale Decorator's Bible, first published in 1997, is now in its fifth edition. It is available on her Web site,, from and at Barnes & Noble stores.

"Then out of the blue, I got a call from a Denver TV station to do a show, Trash to Treasures. I've been on the air for 10 years," said Kincaid, who also is a frequent guest on HGTV, the Discovery Channel and DIY Network.

Garage Sale Lady offers her advice on trash and treasure 11/24/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:19am]
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