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10 Successful Garage Sale Tips

Updated on August 5, 2014

Garage sales are fun adventures, which can result in treasures galore at a fraction of the cost you would pay for them at any department store. I have accumulated ruby bracelets, 14 karat gold jewelry, antique dishes, for $1.00 or less, and many other items, way too many to list. Therefore, I would like to share my 10 successful garage sale tips that help you on your next garage sale treasure hunt:

  1. MAP YOUR ROUTE: Check your local newspaper or Craigslist, and map a route of nearby sales, to avoid wasting any unnecessary time. I always look for church sales, parking lot sales, and Girls Scout sales, which tend to have the best items and prices.
  2. GET AN EARLY START: If you want a fresh selection, get a good night sleep the night before sale and get to the sale right when it begins. If you go late, everything will be picked over, but this is also normally the time additional sales begin.
  3. GO LATE FOR HUGE REDUCTIONS: Approximately one hour before some sales end, most vendors reduce their prices drastically. I went to an annual church sale and 30 minutes prior to the end of the sale the prices were reduced to everything you could fit into a bag for $1.00 (not $5.00, but $1.00!). WHAT A SALE! This was the best haul I ever scored!!! I picked up NAME BRAND (not fake) purses, bags of jewelry, BAGS of human hair, etc. I am still talking about this sale.
  4. GO RIGHT TO WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR: Do not waste any time, and head straight to your items of choice before someone else walks away with them.
  5. NEGOTIATE: Never settle for the marked price. Real garage sale vendors are ALWAYS willing to negotiate their prices.
  6. DO NOT GET INTO ANY FIGHTS WITH CUSTOMERS: If someone else grabs the same item at the same time as you do, please do not fight, just give in graciously. It is not worth it, because there are too many hidden treasures to go around for everyone.
  7. CARRY YOUR OWN SHOPPING BAGS OR CARTS: Some vendors will not supply you with bags. Therefore, take a few bags with you, as well as a small rolling cart, if you plan to attend a huge sale, which requires a lot of walking.
  8. WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING: This tip is very important. Wear clothing according to the weather forecast on the day of the sale. PLEASE wear comfortable shoes. There is nothing like wanting to continue shopping, but you are unable to, because your feet are throbbing, and you must go home. You want to cover as much territory as possible. Additionally, carry along water and a snack, so you wont’ get light headed or hungry.
  9. BE VERY OBSERVANT: Look, look, and look so more! Check signatures on pictures, numbers and marking under dishes, name tags on clothing, pockets for money, etc. You never know what you will discover; after all, you are on a treasure hunt.
  10. DO NOT TAKE ANYONE WITH YOU THAT DOES NOT ENJOY GARAGE SALES OR SHOPPING: I cannot stress this enough, PLEASE only have avid garage sale shoppers tag along with you or go by yourself. Do not take the boyfriend or husband that has no patience or the girlfriend, who can’t wait to get back home to her new boyfriend. You want to enjoy yourself and your day, so do not carry along any dead weight

I hope you enjoyed my helpful tips. ENJOY your sales and bring in much treasure!


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