Waking up and going to yard sales is as natural to me as the air I breathe.
But for many of you, it’s new and a bit overwhelming. My goal is to have a concise Yard Sale 101 summary, but I am going to begin in baby steps, and use what I purchased in one hour last week. The tutorial will come in detail. I am, after all, typing this while listening to the crashing waves at Myrtle Beach…baby steps. 🙂
So you have decided to give yard sale-ing a try, but have been intimidated as to where to start.
1. Buy your local newspaper the day before yard sale weekend or go to Craig’s list and search for garage sales, yard sales etc. Depending on where you live, they have various names.
Learn the higher end neighborhoods, and zip codes. If you are just beginning, I recommend looking for neighborhood/subdivision sales. This is where anywhere from 5-55 homes will be selling their items.
2. Map out your plan of attack – seriously. Since I live in the country, I don’t have the extra time or gas money to wander aimlessly. I have a “route” that I take most Saturday, which takes me about 15 miles from home. I look in the paper first to see which homes are advertised on that route, and then browse for any exceptional sales that will take me to a different section of town. If you are in the city, you can probably find many sales within a few blocks, but that’s an exception.
3. You MUST go out early, and you must shop fast. Sleeping in isn’t an option if you are looking for choice items.
“The early bird gets the worm” has never been truer than with yard sales. The quality items go fast, especially furniture. I attempt to get in 10 sales within the first hour. If you’re at a neighborhood sale, then this number may be much higher. Now of course, if you hit the jack pot, then there’s no reason to rush.
Now, don’t fret if that alarm clock was accidentally set to P.M. instead of A.M. That happens to the best of us. There are still miscellaneous treasures to be found, and typically by the end of a yard sale day, owners are “giving” things away.
Do you remember my free spray paint from this post? Yes, it was at the end of a moving sale day and the owner gave me an entire box of spray paint, household cleaners, garbage bags and other misc. items for $1.
This weekend, a woman had twenty beautiful designer handbags/purses that she was selling for $3 a piece. They were going like hotcakes, and if you were not at her yard sale within the first hour, you would never have known the gems that she had. With that being said…
4. If you’re deciding on whether or not you want to purchase something, do NOT put it down.
Ponder your purchase with it IN hand.
When I first asked how much her purses were, she said, “$4.” In my frugal yard sale mentality of making a point, I just politely put down the purse I was coveting. 🙂 She saw that and said, “well, I’ll take $3.” When I went to grab it, another woman had already claimed it.
AHHH….I know better. Novice mistake…it will not happen again.
So, I enjoyed my new Frugal Fashionista $3 red purse and $1 cool black shirt and tried to let go of the “one that got away.” (But I was kicking myself the whole morning).
Wilson Leather purse that looks brand new – $1. I googled it and it sold for anwhere between $49-$69.
Great low length leather black boots – $1, like new.
5. Think outside of the box with purchases that typically end up being impulse buys.
My daughter’s very first “friend” birthday party is coming up at the end of May.
Whenever I see new toys, stocking stuffers, or prize type items, I buy them all.
I bought all of these brand new items for $1.
Not showed: Hannah Montana lip glosses that have already been confiscated much to the chagrin of this mother.
I also do not pass up brand new jewelry. Whether for myself or others, these make great stocking stuffers.
6. No need to buy brand new childrens books again. Used books are at most yard sales. I have a target price of $0.25 – $0.50 per book. For those of you who home school, I hit the jack pot at a former home schooler’s yard sale. I bought this entire box of various used curriculum for
mere dollars. Value of it new: $225.
7. Think repurposing when you find house decor or furniture. Don’t let color stand in the way of your goal. If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that spray paint/paint transforms anything in minutes. I love the details on this mirror, but have no use for it “as is.”
Painted white, it will be ideal in my shabby chic great room. The owner told me she wanted $10 for it. I asked her what she would take for it, and she said, “$5.” It’s sold.
I can’t wait to use this white treasure as a centerpiece with some of my flowers. Again, thinking outside the box. It’s more than a food serving dish, but I just loved this piece and splurged – $4.50. 🙂
I was thrilled to find this antique egg tray for $0.50. At our Easter gathering, I mentioned wanting one to display our eggs, not to mention bringing deviled eggs to gatherings. The Lord blessed me with this find the very same month. Again, it wasn’t a need. I wouldn’t have gone to the store to buy one, but it sure was delightful to find.
I have SO much more to post on this topic, but my room mates on this ladies retreat are sleeping, and I do believe my light is keeping them awake…
Can’t wait to hear what you all found this weekend.
Posted at: Rhoda’s Thrifty Tuesday Life as Mom,
Great tutorial and alot of great finds!
I haven’t really been out to any yet, just now getting nice weather here to have them. I am thinking of having one here next weekend if weather holds. I am “known” for my sales, as I have good things and I usually do well.
Happy Garage Saling!!
Oh great buy on that mirror!!
Fabulous finds! Thanks for the tips.
Great tips! I have $8 “mistreatments” in my family room… found a gorgeous bolt of fabric at a yard sale last fall. Love the deals!! Do you have a weekly budget for yard sales? It is a great weekend to be at the beach. Blessings!
Nice finds! I love yard saling!
Great tips! I will be sure to try them out on my next flea market outing!
Two yard sales in our neighborhood yesterday. Three beautiful flower arrangements, for a 1 dollar….It’s beginning to look like Yard Sales!! yahoooooo
great finds! i love that egg holder.
Keep these tips coming, please! I just started venturing into the world of thift stores and plan to start hitting yard sales this summer. Amy advice is appreciated. 🙂
Yes, it’s very important to get up early. You hit the jackpot with those purses-even though one got away.
I know that people are stingy at yardsales. If your eyeing something and put it down for a second, that other person will snatch it up before you can blink.
Great finds! You are such an inspiration. Seriously!
You are a girl after my own heart! I garage sale every Friday and Saturday. Fridays tend to have better choices if the folks are doing the sale both days. My hubs has even started to join me on Fridays..it’s become a tradition..we grab a coffee/tea and hit the road.
I have to share with you my latest garage sale scores: Pottery Barn chandelier (you know those babies are over $200) for $20. I got an antique wrought iron fence panel (to use as a trellis) for $40. Kind of a splurge, but I’ve been looking for one for a long time and they are usually over $100. Got some really cool necklaces and earrings brand new for $1. I got several, because I figured for that price, even if they aren’t my style, I can take them apart and use the beads for a craft project.
I’ve noticed lately that garage sales (in my area anyway) are a lot more expensive. People aren’t pricing things to sell, they are pricing them as if they have a store. I think they don’t understand the art of garage sales. 🙂
Love this post!
Jen, Thanks for all the lessons. There is a huge sale coming up in a local neighborhood next weekend, and I plan on checking it out, armed with all of your advice. I was telling a friend all about you and what you do, and may have her hooked too. I am still not the most comfortable going to garage sales, I dont know why, but with your encouragement I am going to give it a real try! Have a great retreat and I look forward to more tips! Sue
I have long wanted to write a book on the very same tips you shared. When I became a SAHM and our income was cut in half, I decided I wanted to live the same lifestyle, so I began furnishing everything in my house and baby’s nursery with garage sale finds. I love the hunt and it’s fun to see my friends’ reactions when I tell them, “that came from a garage sale.” I love them and go as often as I can.
I love reading about your yard sale finds! Yesterday was the first day of Yard Sale Season here, and there were only 3 in our neighborhood, but we had fun! When we got home, my 6 yo son said, “Winter is not as good, because there are no yard sales.” Soooo funny, but I believe in training them young! :o)
Love your post. All your points are SO true. For myself, I’ve been penny pinching alot more. So I am working on only buying things that I really need and that are a great deal. In the past I bought great things at great prices, but many times not things I needed.
This new trend is making me think 3 times about every quarter I spend. You can check out my yard sale finds here:
Also one word of advice: carry a STACK of ones with you. Do NOT bring a bunch of $20’s unless you’re planning on buying A LOT.
And bring your own shopping bag.
I found a pair of Seven Jeans for $3.oo at a yard sale and sold ’em on Craigslist for $100. They were brand new…I usually only bargani shop for my own needs but that one transactionpaid two bills that month.
You found some great items! That mirror is so pretty! I can’t wait to see it painted!
I am LOVING your garage sale treasure posts – so inspiring. I never “map out” my route – just make a point to stop at ones on my route – I probably miss the great deals though by not being early – I have found a few things but mostly I find that another person’s junk is just that… I remember finding my daughter 4 pairs of really cute, barely worn name-brand shoes last summer for about $2 each – they probably were over $30 each new – I felt sheer bliss. I love the “SB” comment – how she found $3 jeans and made $100 on them – amazing! I love how God blesses our frugality. Your red purse is fabulous by the way!
I posted today about one of my many great scores this week. Paint really does fix anything.
I, disagree, however thathave you to get there early. I find that prices come down easier after 9 a.m. I usually don’t even leave the house until 8:30. I may not get first pickings, but I never come home empty handed.
You found some great things! I went to a few garage sales this weekend too and scored some pretty vases and daughter got a Panama Jack Cowboy Hat.
This is a fab post! I have just gotten “into” garage/yard sales this spring and it is amazing what you can find. You are especially right about 2 things I learned the hard way – 1. Think outside the box…I passed up a tall round wicker hamper – Pottery Barn – $5 because I didn’t have a place for a hamper. 2. pick up item while you are thinking about it….I walked away from the hamper and turned around and it was GONE! Later I thought of many other uses for it and looked it up online at PB – originally $80!!!!! Argh!!!!!
I do believe you’ve got it down to a science!!
Great post and great buys! Woo hoo, it’s yard sale season!
Great tips! I follow some of those myself, although it is really hard for me to make it out very early with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. My husband works most Saturdays, and my girls don’t get up until around 7:30, so it’s a weird time. Think we might have to just get up earlier on yard sale days. 🙂 (I promise my 3 year old 1 donut hole if she’s a good girl at the “sales”) 🙂
Great finds! I can’t wait until garage sale season starts here!
Awesome finds! I really need to start going to some yardsales!
You are a girl after my own heart. Love the mirror and you’re right – no need to buy new books, ever !
Love that mirror! It is huge!!!
I too hate it when I take too long to decide on an item and it gets picked up right under my nose!
Great finds! 🙂
Great buys! My favorite is the tiered white dish, perfect for a summer centerpiece. I love it.
Great tutorial, I always hold the item even if I’m contemplating it…great tip!
Good advice, great examples! Be sure to tell everyone how much fun this is as well!
Great tips! I’m excited for all of the upcoming sales!
Oh girl, we would be fighting over stuff if we went together, well, except the home school stuff, ha-ha. I am always picking up purses too, just got a nice soft black leather Stone Mountain purse for $1. I am gonna have to do a fashionista post too for all my finds. I love adding up my wardrobe on Sundays, usually around $5 for all. My hubby loves it too! 🙂
Wow, those are all beautiful!
New to your blog and new to this meme!
Oh I found some fantastic stuff this week. I found a Banana Republic chocolate suede handbag for $5, a box of crafters paints about 50 for $1 and a wonderful market basket with wheels for $5. I would love to go yardsaling with you.
Great tips! I’m wondering if you also take part in going to estate sales. I see a lot of ads for these in my area and I’m wondering if they are worth going to.
I LOVE these posts (and frugal fashionista)Keep ’em coming! =)
OMG! You rock! Don’t forget to stop by and enjoy the new look. Have some coffee and grab a button.
What a great post about going to the sales! Laughed at your “don’t put it down”. Haven’t we all learned this one the hard way? Ha!
I have not done garage sales often, but I’m thinking of trying some this spring and summer with my almost 3 year old and 6 month old in tow.
Do you shop with a list? Do you know what you are looking for? I think I am the queen of indecisive and don’t know where to start. I love bargains on children’s books, for sure. Some boys clothes, a few toys. But I feel we don’t need many things, you know?
Those are great tips. I’ll have to go through them again at greater length and really commit them to memory.
I went out this weekend and blogged about it as well. I also found out my lack of spray painting knowledge. Oh well, it was only $1. And it turned out o.k.
LOVE that white dish- if $4.50 is a splurge I would’ve doubled splurged! Maybe even triple! 🙂
Love, love to hear anything you have to say about yardsaling! I’ve been a yardsaler for many years. My motto is-“Never Pay Full Price.” This past weekend, one of my finds was a brand-new Kitchen Aid hand-held mixer (white) with attachments for just $3!
Great scores…love the milkglass. cherry
Awesome purses! I went out for my first yard saling of the season this past weekend. I found an Ergo baby carrier for $10! I had really wanted one but didn’t think I would ever find one in my price range. God is good!
Oh my those bags are a steal! They look almost brand new and never been used. Amazing finds can really be found at yard sales, you just have to know the basics and have a meticulous eye.
I love love love yard sales! You got some great finds there!
Hey Jen! I have the white dish thingy that’s an exact matchy match to yours! I scored mine at my first trip to GoodWill — and I’m using it as a planter for my Nester-inspired succulents!!!
Loved the post!
I’m so glad I discovered your blog — it’s the perfect blend of frugal + homemaker stuff! Your frugal finds are terrific.