How to Shop Garage and Yard Sales

CLOTHES WITH EXPERIENCE are what my mom calls clothing that are hand-me-downs.

She is an expert on how to get a deal and she is the QUEEN of garage sales!  

My mom Connie loves them, I mean she really, really, really loves them. On her one license plate cover it reads: The old man’s working, and I’m out shopping.  The

When my 5 children where young and our budget was extremely tight, mom was a tremendous help by hunting down garage sales and finding clothing they needed; particularly coats. I kinda think my mom has a coat fetish because at one point, each one of my 5 kids had 4 brand new coats – all the same size, with the tags still on them. I mean 4 coats EACH! We have a smaller house, and the closets were bursting with coats!

Now, if you’re thinking your area is limited in yard sale opportunities due to size, let me tell you that my mom lives in a town that is so small, it could be carpeted – ok, just kidding, but it is small, and yet she still manages to find amazing buys and treasures. Click on over to the next page and mom will share all her secrets for garage sale success!

How to Shop Garage and Yard Sales

Here are Connie’s (my awesome mom) tips:

• Hit the sales early

• Be ready to bargain

• If it’s less than quarter pay it

• If it’s 50 cents offer a quarter

• Always offer 1/2 of what it is marked, and dicker from there

• If it is young kids doing the yard sale pay what they want unless it’s way to high (I still feel guilty over a jacket I bought.

I talked the price down to a ridicules price because I could. It was a yard sale that the boy had to make money for a project he was doing. I don’t think I will ever get over that one. I remember what town and if I could remember exactly what house he lived in I’d go there and make it up to him to this day.)

• If it’s for a good cause or a benefit pay the price & if they invite you to make an offer, follow your conscience.

• Many times I will pay MORE if it’s for a good cause.

• Many people buy from yard sales so they can up the prices to make money at their own yard sale. Good idea!

• I go into antique stores and browse so when I go to yard sales I know what to look for . Many times you can pick something up from a yard sale   and resale it to an antique store for a profit. They will offer you about 30 to 50 % of what it’s worth but you still make money. If you sell on EBAY, that is also a great way to make extra money.

• NEVER buy mattresses or pillows from a yard sale or second hand store .

• If you have family or friends that you know can use a little help, find out what sizes they need, or household items and surprise them with the much needed goods.

• I very rarely have to buy clothing, pans, cooking items or anything else from the high-end stores; I find great deals and quality from yard sales and second hand stores.

• If buying an electrical item, plug it in before you buy it to make sure it works. I don’t often buy these things at yard sales or thrift stores.

• Take the time to go into antique and collectable shops often and really get a good look around, then take another good look around. This will give you an idea of what to keep your eyes out for. Many times I have found an item at a yard sale that I saw at the antique store . Many antique stores will buy your find at between 25 to 50 % of their retail price and you can bet your boots you will make a profit . My friend bought a small bowl for a dime and then got $25.00 from the antique dealer. EBAY is another way to sell your treasure.

• If you like to go on outings or camping look for big heavy sleeping bags. It doesn’t matter if the zipper is broke. Wash them and put them over your cooler, folded in half or fourths over the top. Then place a tarp over top and your ice will last days longer.

The quest for a needed or wanted item is the fun of it! Good luck and HAPPY HUNTING! 

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  Mother’s Day, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today


  1. I used to go to garage sales a lot more when I was younger, but haven’t been to many in the last few years to be quite honest, but great tips and definitely never actually been to a garage sale believe it or not that had a good cause that they were raising money for, so found that truly interesting.

  2. Carrie,

    My neighborhood has a yard sale every year. I always participate to get rid clean things out. I never know how to price things, now I do. Thanks for the ideas.

    Diane Roark

  3. These are great tips! Thanks Mom! It’s definitely true that if you spend time in antiques malls, you’ll get a “feel” for those kinds of items and what you should pay for them (depending on if you want it for yourself or to resell). Thanks so much for sharing with the Let’s Get Real party.

  4. These are fantastic tips! My mom and grandma use to love garage sales as well! I was just telling my son the other day it would be nice to just spend a day going to yard sales…it makes for great bonding time with the kids. You’re mom is awesome!

  5. Carrie,

    Thanks so much for all these tips. We got an offer on our house and will be closing July 8th. I have been nothing but cleaning and deciding what to do with things. We are sizing down from a 4400 square foot house to a 2800 square foot house.
    Thanks for sharing,

    • WOW, that is alot of work and things to clear through Diane. I hope you can find some tips here to help with the process and wish I could give you a hand. Good luck with all of it and best to you in the move!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *