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Yard Sale Shopping Tips

Clothes for $0.50, books for $0.25, shoes for $2! You might be wondering where these deals can be found. The answer- yard sales.

Why Shop Yard Sales?

Yard sale shopping is in my blood. My grandma Ethel loved a good yard sale, as do I. It is such a fun Saturday morning activity to drive around, looking to find a great deal. Shopping yard sales is a great way to save money in different aspects of your budget. For example, I buy most of my baby clothes and little girl’s clothes at yard sales. Books are another financially savvy item to pick up. Big items including furniture, electronics, tools and outside equipment are also good to buy at yard sales. Just make sure things work as they say they do.

Best Tips to Shopping Yard Sales

To make the most out of your early morning activity, here are some useful tips from a seasoned yard sale shopper.

  • To find the good items, go early. The best items will go quickly, so if you are looking for something in particular, be there when the sale starts.
  • Don’t be afraid to show up at the end. The end of the yard sale is when the host is ready for everything to be gone. Showing up near the end might score you the best deals.
  • Be willing to wheel and deal. The ultimate goal of all yard sales is to get rid of extra crap no longer needed. If something is listed for $5 doesn’t mean it will go for that. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, just don’t insult the yard sale host by starting too low. Offer a reasonable price and see what they say.
  • Don’t think you have to buy something just because you stop. If the prices aren’t right, don’t spend your money. If the person hosting the sale wants it gone, they will be willing to lower the price.
  • Have items in mind and know about how much they should costs. At one yard sale, each child’s clothing item was $2. I know that isn’t much for a shirt, but for a shirt at a yard sale where I live, that is way overpriced.
  • Watch for estate sales. Usually a company puts on these yard sales, so there is no personal attachment. This means you might get the item for a lower price.

Tips to Making the Most Money at Yard Sales

While the ultimate goal of having a yard sale is to clean up the excess you no longer need. Making money is an added benefit. Here are ways to make the most of your sale:

  • Sell items people typically buy. Experts say the top items sold at yard sales are children’s clothes, tools, sports equipments, bikes, electronics, toys and household items.
  • Be willing to negotiate. Clothes are everywhere at yard sales. If you want to sell any clothing, price it right and be willing to lower the price if necessary.
  • Put signs where people can see them or advertise in a newspaper. Most yard sale shoppers don’t always just drive around.
  • Have a good time. By enjoying your own yard sale, people will be more willing to approach you with questions or to negotiate.
  • Leave some items without prices. By not pricing every item makes those interested come and ask. Most likely you will reach an amount you both feel good about.
  • Combine with someone else. More traffic tends to come if they see “multifamily” in the advertisement. This offers more variety in one stop.

Number One Rule to Remember

Yard sales are a great way to save some money in the items you need. Make sure you really need what you are about to buy. Just because something is $1.00, doesn’t mean you need to spend your money on it. Believe it or not, $0.50, $2.00, $5.00 – it all adds up quickly.

Enjoy the adventure of searching for fun finds at yard sales. Be disciplined and willing to sort through piles to find treasures.