Few people have written about yard sale etiquette because most people think that it doesn't exist. There are unwritten rules that people ignore but some are more of social graces than garage sale laws. Some of these are common sense and some you learn just from experience.
You know the saying about the early bird gets the worm. Well in yard sales most people don't appreciate people who show up at 7am when the yard sale starts at 8am. This is rude and actually makes the customer look on the greedy side. Some people actually put in their ads in the paper now "No early birds". There have been some who will actually knock on their doors the night before to see if they can get a preview of the goods. This is not good etiquette.
It is not appropriate to look up the phone number of the person having the yard sale and call them to ask questions about their items for sale. This is an invasion of privacy and believe it or not there are some who think this is acceptable.
It is not good etiquette first thing in the morning to haggle on a price at a yard sale. Now if this price is exceptionally high, you can ask the person if they can do any better without suggesting a price. Later in the day, it is ok to ask if they would take a certain price but first thing in the morning is not a good idea.
If you are going to suggest an insulting price for an item, you will only upset the person who you give the request to and you won't get the item. It is better to ask if you can do any better on the item. This puts the ball in their court and makes it non-threatening and will help it be less insulting of a situation. Believe me, this will only benefit you as the buyer if you stay on the good side of the seller.
Bringing your pets on someone's property for a sale is a no-no. Your pet could bite a child or another person or cause a mess on someone's property. It is not acceptable to just bring your pet to a yard sale.
Since parking can be an issue at some sales, some people think it's appropriate to park on the seller's lawn. This is not a good policy. Lawns are not for parking. Even if you have to walk a distance, be respectful and park on the road or in a drive way where you are not blocking anyone.
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