Shopping at Garage Sales

August 1, 2005
A yard sale with many people shopping.

Buying at Yard sales is fun, but think about the following tips before you make that purchase.

1 Is it something that I'll use later? Excellent items for re-use are small baskets or containers in good condition which can be reused for gift giving. Never pay over $1-2. Gift wrap by the roll is often sold, as well as cards and good ribbon. Often gift wrap is sold that has never been or barely used. Pay no more than 50 cents to a dollar a roll and think of the money you'll save when it is needed. I keep on hand at least 10 or more rolls for different occasions as well as gift bags I have found.


Buying "off season" items such as Christmas decorations is wise spending. A bag of ornaments you'd pay $1 for would cost ten times that much if buying at a store. Other wise buys are specially designed coffee mugs and tins. Re-use the mugs to make candles or use these to hold candy for a gift. Don't pay more than 50 cents to a Dollar for these.

2 Think before buying appliances--make sure they work of course and try to find out how long they've had them. I've purchased mixers that have lasted for years. Also ask yourself if you have the space to put them. Before we bought our new computer I picked up a few printers, scanners and the people said they worked. The thing to remember, if they don't have everything they need to run them they are a worthless buy. I lost money and cluttered a corner of the living room and eventually gave them away. Now that's WASTEFUL SPENDING!

3 Make yourself a list of upcoming gifts to be purchased and thing that persons that person likes or collects. This will help with future buying.


4 Grammas: I heard it straight from the horses mouth: New Moms don't want yard sale clothes for their new babies, and our taste is different than theirs. Don't waste money. This avoids hurt feelings and frustration. This is something I really had to work at!

5 When purchasing Household items or personal care items, good things to look for are: partially used bottles of lotions, shampoos and cleaning supplies. They sell cheap and come in handy for a backup supply. Picture frames, silver pieces, and nice bowls or platters are good purchases. When purchasing makeup be careful about buying used items. Mascara is definitely out! But you can find other good makeup and colognes cheap.

6 Wise purchases are something you really have a need for and you get at a really good prices. Occasionally you will stumble on them, and it's hard to pass on a really good buy, in this case. The photo I have included shows a small roll-top desk and chair I found for $10.00 at a yard sale. It needs some restaining but the folks were kind enough to deliver it and I'd had an empty corner in my kitchen for years and it is useful because I store important papers and bills in it, safely now rather than the basket I kept cluttered up holding them all.


Spending wisely yard sales are a good means of buying things you'd ordinarily buy anyway, except at much higher prices. You know the old saying, "One man's trash is another man's TREASURE." Be a smart yard sale shopper!


By Sharon Shearer

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June 23, 2006

Yard Sales are on during the spring and summertime. Honestly, yard sales are truly a money saving thing for me. I am a person who finds treasure in somebody's trash.

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October 9, 2009

Some seven years back I managed to collect a lot of matching rolls of Fablon, all from different boot sales. I paid no more than 30p per roll.


This enabled me to decorate my half-tiled small kitchen for less than the price of one roll of washable paper!

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June 25, 2004

When going to yardsales, bring some slightly colored sunglasses (amber). It will show all the stains on cloth that you can not see with the naked eye.

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July 20, 2010

I love garage sales, but I also like saving my money on junk. I always take my iced water along for days when the weather forecast calls for hot, humid weather. It is also good to keep a tape measure and bungee ties in the car for measuring items and hauling them away.

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September 7, 2007

The last day of a yard sale is a GREAT day to buy LOTS of stuff. Being an avid yard sale shopper, I have had it proven over and over that, on the last day of a yard sale, the person or group of persons are VERY motivated sellers.

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January 5, 2010

Check out your local yard sales before going to a second hand store. You can usually get a better deal and find more gently used products.


Especially near the end of a yard sale, you can usually negotiate a lower price. Also the best yard sells are located in the suburbs.

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April 21, 2001

If you count yard-saling as an integral part of your thrifty lifestyle, you need to approach it with the same organizational skills you'd approach any other undertaking. One of the ways I've found to get the most from yard sale season is to make a list of "wants".

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June 4, 2017

Modern technology can make mapping out your route for yard sale stops simple and streamlined. This is a page about mapping my garage sale route.

Couple Putting up Yard Sale Sign

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July 20, 2010

Spring is usually the start of the Garage Sale season. Here are some tips from our readers about shopping and running garage sales.

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