How to Find the Best Deals at Yard Sales

Are there really *secrets* of how to shop at Yard Sales?  You bet there are!
how to shop at yard salesJoin me today for How to Find the Best Deals at Yard Sales!

I first brought you How to Hold a Successful Yard Sale, which I hope you enjoyed (and perhaps even had success)!
Today I would love to bring you my *secrets* on How to Find the Best Deals at Yard Sales – Enjoy!
Now, these examples may not *always* stand true.  But for the most part, this is what I have observed.  Where you shop could play an important part to what you would like to shop for (and also what you might end up paying)!

City Yard Sales seem to have a mix of new and old items, such as clothesstuffed animalspurses and shoes. You may also find older generation toasters and bake-ware, cutlery and glassware.  Lots of knick-knacky 80's and 90's type of things.

Antique and Vintage type items.  Knick-knacks and cool things from childhood. They generally tend to have collector items, like tapesrecordsbaseball cards etc.  These Yard Sales are also great if you are looking for tools.  Countryside also tends to be wonderful for finding items such as vintage Christmas decor and older books.  Serving trays and vintage glassware and bake-ware is usually seen as well.  There are always deals to be found, countryside!

Newer Subdivisions
You are most likely to find children's toys and clothes.  Craft suppliesnewer books and bulk items, such as office supplies like paper and filing folders.  Techy items such as printers or phone chargers, also DVD's and CD's.  A lot of Avon products and candles.  People in newer subdivisions also tend to charge retail-like prices rather than give spectacular deals.

Like most things in life, planning ahead and simply being well organized can add to your success!  

1)  Have a general idea of where you would like to go
Just getting in the car and driving "wherever" can not only cut into great yard-sale time, but can have you annoyed right from the get-go.  Check online (craigslist or kijiji) for people that might have listed their sales.  Another great way to plan, is a smartphone app called Yard Sale Treasure Map . If you plan on going out of your own city, leave earlier than you normally would.

2)  Gas Up!
If you can, gas up the night before.  This will save you an extra stop in the morning.  You don't want to cut into your yard-sale time any more than necessary!

3 Have Small Bills and Change on Hand
My husband and I are totally guilty of not doing this.  But it's very important, especially if you are hitting up sales before the majority of other yard-sailors.  Since it's early, most people won't have a lot of change accessible yet to break bigger bills.

4)  Clean Out Your Vehicle
You never know what you're going to find!  You will want your vehicle empty with lots of room.  Many times my husband and I have gone out with no intentions of really bringing anything home, but have ended up with plants, or bigger items (such as the shutters).  Your vehicle room is crucial.  Remember to take your Golf Clubs out of the trunk too! 😉

5)  Check the Weather!
This is pretty important, especially if you're a sleepy head.  If the weather-man is calling for thunderstorms and rain all day, the next day…There is a good chance there won't be many sales.  No point in interrupting your beauty sleep or wasting gas if there isn't much to see!

The old saying rings true…The Early Bird Catches the Worm!

6)  Start Early!
I am not kidding.  If you are not a morning person, plan to be a morning person that day.  Most Yard Sales will start between 7 am and 8 am and {say they} run until about 2 pm to 4pm.  However most of the "great" stuff will be gone within the first hour and people are packing it in by 11 or noon.  Head out for around 8am, or slightly before is the best tip I can possibly give…ever.

7)  Grab a Quick Bite
We aren't really breakfast people ourselves, but have found even grabbing a banana or bagel can really give you plenty of energy to keep going for a few hours.  Indulging in a big breakfast before heading out may not be the wisest choice as it can leave you feeling too full and uncomfortable.

8)  Dress Comfortably
You are going to be in and out of the vehicle.  Walking, picking things up and touching things that may be dirty or heavy.  No heels ladies!  Just grab your flip flops or sneakers, throw on a comfy tank and capris and you're good to go.  Don't forget your sunblock (and shades)!  You will be out in the sun for quite a few hours so this is very important!

9Bring Hand-Sanitizer
You are going to be touching so many items from people and houses you don't know.  Stopping to wash up is probably not going to happen.  Having some ready is a perfect way to stay fresh and clean until you can give your hands a thorough scrub.

10Do not pack your vehicle full of people.
Again, you never know what you'll find.  Even with just 2 of us, we have ran out of room, needing to adjust seats or sometimes I will hold something on my lap.  Some items can be bulky and awkward.  And then there are some items you may not want to put in the trunk (breakables etc).  A vehicle packed with people and their things too, is just not convenient.

11)  Bring an empty basket, or reusable shopping bags
This is so perfect for all those little items you might acquire throughout your day, such as booksknick-knacks – Whatever it may be.  It makes for safe, easy and neat storage in your vehicle. Also super easy to bring everything inside once you are home!

12)  Bring refreshments
Deals go early and quick.  You don't want to slow down your day by stopping for drinks.  Grab your coffee before you head out and maybe pack a few sodas or waters to-go.

Look around….Then look AGAIN!  You may be pleasantly surprised 🙂

13)  Split up
My husband and I generally don't browse the sales, side-by-side.  Remember, every one sees things differently and will notice things you don't.  So many times I have passed something my husband knows I would love, that I never would have noticed on my own 🙂

14)  Do more than glance
Glancing will get you nowhere.  Do a run through 2 or 3 times of the same sale.  Look slowly, look closely.  Look in boxes and baskets.  Deals are hiding and they are waiting to be found!  It's amazing what you may see on a second or third run through the same yard sale.

15)  Don't be shy!
Again…Look in boxespick things up etc.  There is no need to be shy –  People want you to look, they want to sell their items…It's why they're having the sale!  

16Haggle a Deal
I'm not saying rip people off.  But combine all your items, add it up and offer what you feel to be fair.  For example:  If books are .50 cents each and you grab 5, maybe offer $2.  If your grand total of all items comes to {say} $12, offer $10 etc.  People are (usually) more than willing to work out something nice for you.  They want to see their 'junk' go!

17)  Make Friends!
We make friends at {almost} every sale we stop at.  There is always great conversation to be had or stories to be told.  They may end up offering you a great deal on your items too.  Even if they don't – You've had a really nice time and most likely have brightened not only theirs, but your day too!

18)  Widen Your Perimeter
If you find the sales around you have been a let-down, venture out!  Again though, start early and have a general plan of where you might want to go.  Don't forget to look for signs at the side of the road.

19)  Be prepared for a long day
Even though you will {most likely} only be out for a few hours, it can be exhausting.  Especially if you aren't finding anything.  Remember, not every time you go out, will you find something.  You aren't looking in actual stores.  Relying on people to have junk they don't want, but you do is not a good way to make the most and best of your day out!

20)  Wash…Everything!
Once you get home and sort through your goodies, it's time to clean!  Sterilize anything that can be sterilized, wipe down with Lysol or wash in very hot water.  You really never know where these items have been or how long they have been sitting in dust etc.  If you've bought any books or video games…wipe down those covers too.  And of course, don't forget to wash your hands!

Good Luck on your Treasure Hunt, Yard-Sailors!
Remember:  Go out with an open mind and just have some fun, no matter what the outcome!
Please feel free to share your great tips, or Yard-Sale finds here, or join us over at Wifetime of Happiness on Facebook!

Take Care and Thanks for Stopping By!

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