Monday, May 16, 2011

Yard Sales 101

"You’re a professional aren’t you?  I see you weaving in and out.  Have you seen any old tools?  Let me tell you about another good sale," the guy said.  

It was then that I realized, I might know a thing or two, or I might have a real problem and need some therapy!

Either way, I don't consider myself a professional, even though sometimes I arrive at the sales before they actually start, and end up rubbing shoulders with the antique dealers!  However, what I do know, and what successes I have had, I will pass on to all of you who would like to frequent yard sales.

1.  "Frequent" is a key word.  The more frequently you go to sales, the more likely you'll find what you are looking for.  Also, the more likely you will take home things that you really don't need!  So, be wise in your purchases!

2. You have to have a plan of attack.  Check out your local newspaper before the weekend to find out where the sales will be and what days and times they start.  Read the descriptions of what will be at the sale.  Are you looking for baby toys, clothes? or are you looking for antiques?  Focus on the sales that look like they will offer what you are looking for.  If it is a newer neighborhood, you are likely to find newer things and baby/ kids things.  If it is an older neighborhood, you are more likely to find antiques.  (of course, there are always exceptions, but that is generally true).  Make it a priority to be at the neighborhood sales, where you can hit lots of houses in a short amount of time (oh my, I sound like a burglar).  

3. Google the directions to the locations you plan to go to, and draw out a little map, noting which sales to hit first depending on closest proximity, and time they open.

4. Make sure you have plenty of cash, and gas in your car!  I try not to drive too far to sales though.

5. Get up early, stick on a baseball cap, and eat a good breakfast.  Grab a couple of granola bars and a water bottle, and grab your plan and cash.

6. It's helpful to have an old, beat up mini van to be able to hold all your treasures....(make sure you know how to put the seats down.)  And if you don't, just find a way to fit the stuff in there.  Where there is a will, there is a way!

7.  I'll admit, I get an adrenaline rush as I head out.  It's hard to keep from being giddy.  It's the thrill of the hunt!  And I am off to be the hunter, gatherer!

8.  Maybe I get it from my grandpa, but when he was alive, I remember going to a couple of sales with him and his brother.  If there were lots of cars around, we would pull up and park right in front of the driveway!  I used to be embarrassed to do that, but I'm not anymore.  Everyone breaks the parking rules when there is a garage sale.  

9.  Remember, the early bird, well, gets the good stuff.

10.  Always imagine where you will put what you are interested in buying, or how you will use it.  Be wise, make quick decisions.  If you think you want something, but you're not sure, grab it and hold onto it anyway, or you might lose it!  You can always put it down if you decide you don't want it.

11.  If the price doesn't seem reasonable, it doesn't hurt to ask if they'll take less.  It's only worth what its worth to you.

12.  Imagine housewares with a coat of white paint.  Paint can transform almost anything!

13.  If the husband is hanging around the sale, I usually ask him the price of things that aren't marked.  Nine times out of ten, they just want to get rid of it, and give you a better price than their wives would.

14.  I only go with friends if I am not doing some serious looking.  When you go by yourself you can move a lot faster!

15.  After you get home, try not to let your husband see all your treasures.  And if you do, make sure you tell him how great the deals were!  How much money you saved....etc. etc.(Even though my sweet husband would never let on if he wishes I wouldn't have bought what I did.  He usually just nods his head and says"good").


There you have it.  Now you can be a "professional" too!!!!


  1. I've had a couple of yard sales and I hate it when people stop by before we're done setting up! Maybe some people don't mind, but I've seen alot of ads around here that say "no early birds!"

  2. You're right. Some people do mind and its best to respect that. If I see an ad that says "no early birds" then I know not to go there early! Actually, it is rare that I am there much before the sale actually starts anyway. However, I am bugged when they say the sale starts at 8:00 and it's past 8:00 and they are still not set up. I move on and they miss my business. I've had early birds at my sales before, and I don't mind. I'm just happy to get the traffic and ready to get rid of stuff!

  3. Loved this post! Everything you mentioned was all me. Hat, granola Bar, Water, illegal parking, bargaining, the thrill of the hunt, the tolerant husband, etc. Yard sales are my drug of choice & I can't wait for our season to begin again.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...