Even Indiana Jones knows the best treasures are found in unlikely places. Each Father’s Day weekend, more than 15,000 visitors come to Seville in Medina County in search of deals, as most of the village’s residents hold yard and garage sales. “You get your combination of bargain hunters, antiquers, and they’re looking for a deal,” says 65-year-old Janine Sarnowski, who has participated in the event for more than 35 years. With yard and garage sale season upon us, we ask Sarnowski for guidelines to maximize your hunt.
Set out for an uncharted course.
Not all who wander are lost. Keep a checklist of specific items you’re looking for, but take the time to browse through everything. “It’s kind of like walking through the mall,” says Sarnowski. “There’s nothing in particular, but you might just see that one thing you want.”
Time is of the essence.
Items tend to sell fast and drop off around noon, so streamline your search early if you want something specific. But if you’re not in a rush, the end of the day provides a bounty of perks. “People will put out boxes at the end of the street saying, ‘free’ because they don’t want to bring it back in the house.”
Score some Info.
Investigate each item. Authentic paintings can have an artist’s signature and dates of manufacturing on items such as clocks and furniture are often hidden on the item. “You never know what you’ll get,” says Sarnowski. “A lot of people use their phones and tablets to Google items.”
Negotiate with care.
“Never go lower than 50 percent,” says Sarnowski. “Have some common sense and respect for somebody else’s treasure.”