It's early May, but the weather is warming up and yard sale season is here! While you may not find a yard/garage sale at every corner just yet, chances are you'll be driving by one in the very near future (maybe even this weekend). Yard sales are great places to get used items at a fraction of the cost of what you'd spend in the store. If you're smart about it and go prepared, you can save yourself lots of money! Here are some tips we recommend as you gear up for the upcoming yard sale season.
Do Your Research
Check websites like Craigslist and local forums on Facebook to see where yard sales are happening in your area. Rather than driving around blindly, have a plan of where you'll be stopping. If you're smart about it, you can hit several yard sales in one day if you map it out correctly. Later on in the season there are tons of yard sales each week, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that you could go to 5 or 6 different yard sales in a very short amount of time.
If the yard sale starts at 8 AM, get there at 8 AM! It will ensure that the best items haven't been snatched up yet. The later on in the day you hit a yard sale, the fewer items will be there for your choosing. A word of caution: Don't be alarmed when there are tons of other people there at 8 AM...they probably read this blog. That leads us to our next tip.
Go Late In The Day
You are probably reading this and thinking that we've just contradicted ourselves. Not true! We still want you to go early, but if you have a chance to hit the yard sale again at the end of the day/end of the sale, you'll have a better chance of being able to talk down some prices. If the person holding the yard sale has the choice of throwing the leftovers in the dump, or making a deal, they'll more than likely make a deal with you.
Make An Offer
Just because there's a sticker on that neon bar sign that says $50, doesn't mean that you can't try and talk down the price. Make an offer and see what happens! The worst that will happen is you'll be told no. In our experience, yard sale prices are not firm numbers. People like to talk and you may just get a better deal than you were expecting.
This may seem like a no brainer, but bring cash with you. If you find something you want and you don't have cash on you, you're probably out of luck. We haven't been to many (any) yard sales that take credit or debit, and writing a check may not be the best alternative either. Be safe, bring cash.
Buy Things You Need
We've hit this point on a few of our blogs, but we like to reiterate that you shouldn't buy things you don't need. If you see something at a yard sale that you know you'll never put to use, don't buy it. It may only be $1, but that's $1 that you can spend somewhere else!
Happy Yard Sale Season!
-The Taconnet Team