How Did I Get Started on Finding Yard Sale Bargains?
Hunting for yard sales and those wonderful bargains began a long time ago for me. Have you ever seen the ridiculous scenes in movies where there are hordes of shoppers waiting impatiently outside a store ready to storm the place? Then there’s the poor salesperson who drew the short straw. You know, the guy who has to open the door and gets trampled by people trying to be the first to the bargains.
Growing up, I always thought this was just a “Hollywood” thing. Did you know that it really happens???
Way back in the 1900’s . . . well okay, the 1980’s, a large department store that I loved used to have killer sales on Saturday mornings. Those sales were just like those movie scenes!! My sisters-in-law took me to almost every one of those sales. They would then abandoned me the second those doors would open. It was every girl for herself!
I was on my own to find whatever great deal I could hang on to. And. . . I mean literally hang on to. I had many things ripped right out of my hands! But how sweet it was when I could snag a $60 item that had a $5 price tag on it!! I got to be pretty good at holding on to some of those great deals. Although it was chaos, that’s where I caught the bug of bargain hunting! May I never be cured!!
Ever since that surge of excitement over finding great products at spectacular prices, I can’t seem to get enough! I love clearance racks, thrift stores and yes. . .yard sales!! Oddly enough, I was under the impression that everyone knew how to find great bargains at yard sales. However, I constantly have people asking me how I find such great bargains. So, here is my advice. . .
Know Before You Start – Yard Sales vs. Other Types of Sales
First of all, if it is a handwritten roadside sign, it is NOT anything more than just a yard/garage sale run by a family, group or individual. . .even if it says: Estate Sale. If it is a professional sign or listing, it is most likely run by a professional company who is hired to do actual estate sales.
What is the difference? Well, in a nutshell. . .an estate sale will likely have higher quality items at higher prices and yard sales will have lower quality items at bargain prices. That being said, you can still find great pieces at great prices at either kind of sale. Since I don’t shop a lot of estate sales, I’m going to focus on yard sales. You just need to know what you are looking for.
Let’s talk about how to do just that!
Know Before You Go – Finding the Best Yard Sales
I don’t go out to yard sales every weekend, but when I do want to go, I make a plan. It saves time and energy, and I am usually more productive in finding what I want.
- Know your route – plan out a driving route so you are not driving further than needed or crisscrossing back and forth. That just wastes time and fuel. I designate what my time frames are for the day. Then, I plan my route so I know just how much time it will take.Mostly I use the online classifieds and FB in my area to find the majority of the sales I want to hit. However, I often find that larger groups and fundraisers will announce their sales on bulletin boards. Look for them at grocery stores, churches, schools and community centers.Also, watch for those bright, handmade signs stuck to stop signs and fences along your route. Keep your eyes open during the week before and make note of the addresses.
- Know what you are looking for – Make a list of furniture, baby items, old books, craft supplies, or whatever it is you hope to find. Sometimes local FB pages or garages sale tracker sites (or apps) will give you a preview of some of the items at each sale. I love technology! This helps me decide which sales to race to first thing and which ones I can save for later. At the very least, most listings will tell you about the major items they will be selling. If they don’t, just pass them up. Don’t bother even putting them on your route, because they usually don’t have anything major to sell.
- Be realistic – you aren’t always going to find exactly what you want right off the bat. You may not even find anything worth buying the first time you go out. However, if you hunt around a bit, you’re bound to find “treasures” on one of your trips. Don’t get discouraged. . .just enjoy the journey! I LOVE the thrill of the hunt!
- Be sensible – don’t buy what you really don’t want or need. This one is hard! You may find things that you think you might want later or that are just great bargains. However, the bottom line is that you are looking for treasures to bless your home and your life, not junk that you have to store or deal with and that will end up in your own yard sale.
It’s not a bargain if you have no use for the item. Let me repeat that with a couple of exclamation points . . . It’s not a bargain if you have no use for the item!!
Trust me! I speak from experience here.
Being prepared is the easiest way to find the best yard sales and make the rounds. Go out there and find those bargains! Before you go out, grab a FREE copy of my Ultimate Yard Sale Tool Kit or check out this post on my 10 Must Haves to make the most of your yard sale day. If you are looking for buying tips onve you find those great yard sales, check out this post to find my best secrets for finding those bargains and getting the most for your dollar.
Live Life Simply!