How to Be A Pro At Yard Sales
Tips for Shopping Garage and Yard Sales

Have you ever wondered how to get the rock-bottom prices at Yard and Garage Sales?

What should you look for?

How do you get the most from your money?

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.

If there were credentials for bargain shopping my mom would be given many honorary degrees!

I’ll give you an example to prove my point:

Let’s talk apparel:  CLOTHES WITH EXPERIENCE

That’s what my mom calls clothing that are hand-me-downs.  Pretty good description, right!

When my five 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’ll share a secret.  I wonder if my mom has a coat obsession, because at one point, ALL of kids had four brand new coats – all the same size, with the tags still on them.

I mean four NEW 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 treasures and deals. 


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. If I could remember where he lived, I’d make it up to him even to this day, I regret that).

• 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 at low prices, then raise the prices at their own yard sales to make money. Good idea!

• I go into antique stores and browse them 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.  Many times you are still able to make money if you are watching and careful. 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.

• 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! 

Tips from Carrie – 

Wear comfortable shoes so you can last the day.

Take water so you stay hydrated and food such as granola bars, fruit, sandwiches, etc.

Chart out the sales you want to go to ahead by checking FB, the paper and other sources ahead of time.  Also drive the area looking for signs.

If you drive up and see lots of people leaving without anything in their hands, you probably don’t need to stop.

Don’t purchase items that can be dangerous to children, spoiled food, or anything of that nature.

If there are mainly toys out front, it’s most likely a younger family cleaning house.  Stop if that’s your interest.

If you see something you like, pick it up and carry it around with you until you decide or purchase it so it isn’t taken and you are very sad :cry: 

Take reusable bags to carry items in.

Shop in the morning for best purchasing choices.

Even if the item you are looking at is in poor shape, or not working, see if it might be re purposed and worthwhile – and the money spent of course.

Get in, scan for items you might want, and get out.  You have lots to set and many sales to check out.  Enjoy!

Copyright Carrie Groneman,  Mother’s Day, 2013, 2017

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