Have you been caught unprepared bargain shopping? Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- You find the perfect t-shirt for big Ben but can’t remember his shirt size.
- By chance you drive passed a yard sale, stop and find a treasure, drive to an ATM for cash, then return to find the treasure’s been sold.
- You finally make it to that outdoor flea market you’ve been hearing about when your day is ruined by a rainstorm.
- The worst – you have that beautiful antique desk delivered to your home, only to
find it doesn’t fit through your doorway!
Just between the two of us, I’d been caught unprepared so often I finally took action. I’ll share with you the resale survivor kit I packed and always keep in the trunk of my car. There isn’t one item I haven’t been grateful for, but of course, tailor the list to your own needs.
Bargain Shopping Survival Gear
- Walking shoes – It’s no time to put fashion over comfort when maneuvering around a packed store or rummaging in an attic at an estate sale bargain shopping. Slip-ons, or shoes with Velcro closures, are best if you’ll be trying on pants or shoes.
- Tape measure – A true essential. You’ll rarely find dimensions listed on linens, furniture, picture frames, or clothes.
- Color samples – Especially with reds and blues, for anything you want to match or coordinate.
- Photos – Are you sure that’s the same pattern you’re looking for? You need to see the picture.
- An organizer for discount cards, coupons, and gift certificates – They don’t work if you don’t have them with you.
- Footies – When you find must-have shoes but think of whose feet may have been in them first.
- An assortment of light bulbs and batteries for testing – You can’t count on them being available in the store.
Small mirror – If one isn’t available, how do you know if that hat makes you look sophisticated, or like Rocky J. Squirrel?
- Business or Other Contact Card – You never know when someone will keep an eye out for you for a particular item or will call when something goes on sale.
- Phone with app(s) – For fast researching, price checking, market value, and collectible guides.
- Book, record, and movie titles – Can you keep track of all titles you’re looking for?
- Make – model – serial number – For anything specific you need an accessory or replacement part.
- All weather gear – Wet, freezing, and sweaty are not ideal bargain shopping conditions
- Sizes – Keep a record of sizes for everyone on your list.
- Dimensions – Room sizes, tables sizes, curtains, and more.
- An updated list of things you’re hunting for.
- Magnifying glass – Needed for jewelry and small print.
- Large magnet – To check metal for content.
- Cash – Not every place accepts credit cards, and few places accept checks
- Important dates – When and for whom you’ll need a card, gift, or supplies.
- Blanket – To cushion breakable items until you get home.
- Laundry basket, folding boxes, or bags – Not always available for carrying purchases.
- Hand sanitizer – You never know what you’ll be rummaging through!
- Comb – In case the hat-head-look isn’t good on you.
- Aspirin – For when your feet hurt, you went over budget, and you’re running late.
- Wear lightweight clothes. If no dressing room is available, you can try clothes on over what you’re wearing, so you aren’t caught with your pants down.
- Drinks and snacks – Though some of us consider these necessities when bargain shopping.
- Folding camp chairs or stools for the times you have to wait in line forever and a day.
Have more ideas? Let us know!