Garage or yard sales can be a way to find needed items both inexpensively and fun. All the items in my grandma toy box were bought at garage sales or given to me. None cost more than a dollar and our grandson Alex loves them.
In the smaller city where my mom and sister live you can practically just drive around the neighborhood and find many good garage sales. But it’s a little harder here in the BIG city. Not only are there a lot more people but everything is spread out in the West. To make it worthwhile I came up with the following strategies for successful garage sale shopping.
Friday evening I find garage sales listed on Craigslist and filter the list down to those in my neighborhood. It’s important to read the listings and determine which ones have items of interest to you. This won’t mean every one you hit will be a winner but at least you have a shot at finding a good buy.
Before leaving the website I copy the text from the posting of the selected sales into a word document. Be sure to include the starting time, address and items of note and any other relevant information (such as multi-family or parking instructions).
Because my neighborhood is pretty big I try to save gas money by making a large circle. Yard Sale Treasure Map helps me plan the route whcih interfaces with google maps. Change the route as needed based on sale start times.
The last step is printing the route in the final order and keeping it with the page of descriptions (to remind me what I want to focus on at each sale).
People have different strategies about garage sales. Some thing it’s good to go at the beginning when the pickings are good. Others think it’s good to go near the end when prices come down. My preference is early for two main reasons.
It’ seems like the items I’m interested in (kids clothes, toys and books) get snapped up quickly. I also have more energy to deal with the traffic, other shoppers and sellers early in the day before it gets too hot.
Pick up items you are considering while continuing to browse. If not, it may be bought by someone else in the meantime. If you do find something you like but think is priced too high, make an offer. You’ll be surprised how many people will negotiate. Don’t be afraid to walk away.
Shopping garage sales is a way to meet new people, learn more about your neighborhood and find good deals. Do you shop at garage sales?
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