#981 You Can Find Everything Imaginable For Cheap At Yard Sales

16 Nov

Photo via flickr by timlewisnm.

New in the box wedding gifts? Check.
Antiques? Check.
Housewares? Check.
Clothes? Check.
Toys? Check.
Yard sales yield a huge variety items. Whenever any of us moved into a new apartment or house, my mom outfitted the place with her yard sale finds in very little time. She was a pro yard saler and here are her tips for successfully finding everything you need at a yard sale.

  • Look up yard sales for Saturday morning the night before in the paper or on Craigslist in the “garage sale” section, pick out the addresses and see how far they are. My mom decided if one was too far from home, it wasn’t worth it. She would schedule several yard sale hits and start as soon as they were open. She kept a running list week to week of items she wanted to get.
  • Make a plan for making yard sales what you do on Saturday morning. You have to take your time. You can’t be in a hurry. Yard sales happen almost year round – except for cold months.
  • Be polite, say hello to the person having the sale and maybe set rapport with a little chit-chat. Never be aggressive or rude.
  • Ask questions about what your interested in. See if you can test it if it’s an electronic.
  • Bargain – no matter what. You see a food processor for $10 and ask would you consider $5? They might say sure. Or how about $7, which you would respond, how about $6? It depends on how badly they want to get rid of it for how much they’re willing to bargain.
  • Make sure you set a price about how much you want to spend on an item and judge how badly you want or need it. If the person won’t bargain – walk away. You’ll find something else at another sale.
  • You have to stay out and keep going. If you’re looking for a specific item, you have to stay out a lot longer to find the perfect deal. By 10 or 10:30 a.m. most yard sales are picked over. If you have time then wait until another week to try again for a good deal.

    Photo via flickr by Frank Hebbert.

  • Sometime you come home with nothing, sometimes you have a great find or finds.
  • Babies and kids are easy to shop for. For pickier teenagers, if you find a good yard sale, leave and bring the teenager back with you to pick stuff out for themselves.
  • Church rummage sales are hit or miss – some are good some are not.
  • Geographical location greatly affects quality. Nicer neighborhoods and areas have nicer stuff. My mom could tell the state of the economy by yard sales – there was great stuff during good times, junk during bad times. And more people were out looking for bargains in bad times. Be smart and shop yard sales no matter what your financial state.
  • If the yard sale is packed, skip it and go to the next one. There is too much competition at super busy yard sales, and it can get unpleasant.
  • Go with change – quarters and dollar bills. Don’t take big bills, no one likes to break them for you. You can limit yourself in terms of budget by only taking a certain amount in change and when it’s done, go home.

My mom always gets us what she and we need at yard sales. And although she vehemently hates shopping in malls, she is an avid yard saler. The thrill of the bargain hunt awaits thrifty shoppers…

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