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Yard Sales – How to Get the Most Out of Your Excursion

Photo by brotherM,Flickr

Do you love going to yard sales? I’m not sure if it should be considered a sport or an obsession (or both!), but plenty of people spend their weekends cruising through unfamiliar neighborhoods, looking for bargains on other people’s used goods. Here a few tips to help you get the most out of a day of yard sales!

Preparation is key. You’ll waste a lot of time if you’re just driving around willy-nilly, looking for signs. Check the paper, Facebook, and any site you can find that has yard sale listings. If you go on the newspaper’s website, you can usually search yard sales to find the ones nearest to your starting point.

Make a list of addresses and any directions you need to get there. If you’re not sure how to get to any location, use a site like Google maps for driving directions. Even better, if you have a GPS, just plug the address in.

Have a co-pilot/navigator. They can read the list and help direct the driver to the next destination. They’re also great for spotting any unexpected sales along the way! And let’s face it…it’s more fun when you go out with a partner!

Get an early start. Many devoted yard salers will show up before dawn! I’m not necessarily suggesting that you wake up before daybreak, but you’ll want to get an early start if you want to cash in on the good stuff. If you sleep til noon, you’ll miss out!

Take plenty of small bills. Many people won’t have change for that fifty (or maybe even a 20) dollar bill. Ones and fives are your best bet because, in the time it will take you to find a store that can make change, that antique chair will be snatched up by someone else!

Don’t be afraid to dicker on the price. If you think it’s overpriced, make a counter-offer!

Take water and snacks. If you’re serious about a full day in the car, pack a cooler with plenty of water and some high energy snacks. This will not only save money, but will avoid wasted time stopping for supplies.

Make sure you have room for your treasures. If you have a choice between taking the minivan or the Mini-Cooper, take the van!

Be polite. If you get to the sale and the operator isn’t ready to open up, be patient. Making them mad isn’t going to get you a better deal. However, offering to help them finish setting up means you get to see the goods first, and they just might be so grateful that they give you a great price! And if someone else grabs up that cool item you want before you can get to it, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, be safe. Park well off the roadway and look before opening your door into traffic. Look both ways before you cross the street. This may seem obvious, but we’ve all seen those folks who will walk right out in front of the cars in their hurry to get the deals.

Have fun and good luck! There are plenty of amazing deals if you’re willing to look for them!


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