One thing I miss about living up North was the epic yard sales you would come across every weekend!
The kind where you try to drive past, but your car says “Jackpot!” and pulls over for you? Love those!
While yard sales can be a great way to pick up gently used items at a fraction of the cost, they can also be a dangerous place to shop.
The truth is that just because it’s a yard sale, doesn’t mean the price is right!
People tend to develop a deeper attachment to their personal belongings over time, resulting in the idea that said items are worth more than they actually are. This is common with houses that are being sold privately as well, so if you’re buying or selling your home…hire a realtor, please!
While there are steps you can take to cash in big holding a yard sale, we’re going to look at the shopper’s side of things in this post!
There are a few strategies I use to make sure I save more money at yard sales that have never steered me wrong, so listen up!
How To Save More Money At Yard Sales
If you really want to make the most of your local yard sales, don’t go in without a plan!
Check your local paper/kijiji/craigslist listings and find out where sales will be popping up that weekend so you can plan your travels in a way that saves time and gas!
Ensure that you also have access to a vehicle that can bring home any items you end up purchasing (especially if you are on the hunt for something large like a table or sofa!). Sometimes you can pay a little extra and the owner will deliver it for you if it’s not too far, but you never want to count on that!
2.Look for Groups of Sales/Plan Your Route!
As much as you may want to, when you find all the sales that will be popping up that weekend, you probably wont be able to hit them all.
Keep that in mind when you are planning your route, and try to target certain areas with several sales so you can minimize travel time in between and at least get in as many yard sales as possible!
3.Make a List!
Try not to go in blind!
Have a list of items you need/have been looking for so you are going in with a purpose other than to just “find a deal”!
Be specific with your list, and be sure to note sizes of clothing/shoes for your family to take the guesswork out of clothing purchases (you always need more clothes for kids!).
Just being outside can make you work up an appetite faster than usual, and since the time can fly by faster than you know it when you are distracted with shopping, it can sneak up on you!
Make sure you bring some bottled water/juice and light snacks to prevent you from having to stop early, or buying something while you’re on the go!
5.Know Your Prices & Negotiate
You’ll never know if you’re getting a great deal if you don’t know the regular price to start with!
Make sure you do a quick online search for any items you’re on the hunt for to get an idea of how much they cost new so you have a guideline as to what you should be paying for a used version.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate to get the price where you want it, it’s pretty much expected at yard sales! Just be sure to do it in a respectful manner, since (as I mentioned before) people have a personal attachment to the things they are selling, and you don’t want to insult them by low-balling what they believe their stuff is worth.
6.Carry Small Cash Bills
A good yard sale will be prepared with small bills for change. With that said, do you want to be the one to clear them out using a $50 bill to buy a $0.50 t-shirt?
Make sure you stop at the bank beforehand so you have smaller bills to allow for minor purchases without using all of the home owner’s change!
*Not necessarily a way to save more money, just a courtesy!
Not only will shopping early give you first pick of the goods, but if you are one of the first people in, home owner’s are usually more likely to negotiate!
They are in the mindset of making money, so they will hungry for their first sales. Whereas at the end of the day they will already be mentally planning how they will be transporting everything left to donation, and have already written the remaining items off in their head as not selling.
Keep these tips top of mind next time you hit a yard sale (or 10!) and you’ll be sure to maximize your savings!
What are some of your favorite yard sale finds? Tell me about them in
the comments below!
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