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Confessions of a Garage Sale Junkie

Updated on September 2, 2016
Sunshine625 profile image

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

Are you a yard sale junkie?

My addiction to garage sales began many years ago, when I participated in my first community yard sale, along with my fellow neighbors.

I had such an exciting time for many reasons:

Preparing for the sale by figuring out what I was ready to unload onto a new owner.

Setting the sale up with eye-catching colors to attract buyers.

Bargaining with my customers is always entertaining.

Getting rid of junk I collected and no longer had a use for.

The best part was the pay-off was outstanding!

I then progressed to hunting (the terminology I prefer to use) yard sales for items to sell on ebay and I was shocked at some of the items I bought and resold.

I have purchased import CDs, signed books, sports team jerseys and collectible items and resold them.

It's person's trash in another person's treasure.

Yard sale! Garage sale! Estate sale!

I've been shocked countless times at items people purchase and how much they will pay for them. For instance, the toy or game that one enjoyed as a child...they want to share the memory with their offspring and they will pay almost any price to have it.

Since my garage sale adventures began I have found items to decorate my home with which is a great idea. Buy cheap and resell when you grow tired of the bric-a-brac items. I have since begun to refer to them as dust collectors and have drastically cut back on my purchases. We live and learn.

When I became a grandma I found great bargains on baby goods. From a crib to clothing. Purchase, use and resell. If the items are kept in good condition they could keep going and going. My granddaughters are now also members of my pack, along with my husband and the rest of our family. Hunting is enjoyed by three generations of our kinfolk.

I purchased items for my wedding and both my daughters weddings. So many items can be found brand new or used in like new condition. Wedding these days cost a fortune, one must scrimp and save whenever possible.

I have met some wonderful people during my hunting expeditions and heard all sorts of stories. It's always an adventure and if you haven't tried it yet give it a shot. Best part of my hunting trips is I don't have to pack a weapon. It's all in the thrill of the game and what decor you could find at a good price to hang on your wall.

It's always entertaining to bargain, who doesn't like a good deal?

Who doesn't like to find a deal at yard sales?

Avalon Park Community Yard Sale
Avalon Park Community Yard Sale | Source
Sandhill Cranes shopping our neighborhood yard sale
Sandhill Cranes shopping our neighborhood yard sale | Source

Tips For a Successful Yard Sale

  • Advertise the date, time, list of goods for sale on Social Network sites!
  • Two weeks before your sale declutter each room of your home and store all your "out with the old" items for sale in the garage.
  • Price each item before the sale.
  • Place signs with words large enough for a driver to read. YARD SALE, not yard sale will attract customers and prevent any fender benders.
  • Have change available. Chances are your first customer will hand you a $20.00 bill for a $1.00 item.
  • Don't overprice your items because they will not sell. Shoppers are most likely in a rush to hit up the next sale and some won't take the time to haggle.
  • Your items are outdoors for a reason, you don't want them. Just learn to "let go!"
  • Condense your sale area as the morning goes on. Once an item sells fill in the empty spot with another item.
  • Organized yard sales get more traffic than sloppy sales. I rarely stop at sales that are a big mess. My thoughts are their items for sale are most likely ready for the trash.
  • Smile, be friendly. You will quickly catch on if your customers want to chit-chat or doesn't.
  • Have extra bags and boxes on hand for shoppers to tote their goodies away.
  • Donate leftover items to Goodwill or store away for your next sale.
  • Happy Selling!

Sammy Kershaw - Yard Sale

Which Used Items NOT to Sell at a Yard Sale

There are certain used items that should never be sold at a yard sale. For one reason or another, but mostly it's just common sense.

Even though you prefer to make a profit from items instead of donating them or tossing them in the trash, you need to be realistic...this list contains items that should just be destroyed.

These are items that I have seen for sale at yard sales. Unless the personal items are brand new with tags or in a factory sealed package, just throw them away.

  • Bras. The ta-ta's shouldn't have to take the place of some one else's ta-ta's space.
  • Underwear. This is where common sense steps in.
  • Sheets or bedding sets. Bed bugs are common in some areas. Is it really worth it? Also have you not watched CSI when they use the blue light? The mysterious stains that can't be seen with the naked eye? Yep, those stains.
  • Sneakers with holes in the soles. Why? Enough said.
  • Dentures. These are made to fit a persons mouth, chances are that person is not shopping your yard sale.
  • Clothing with sweat stains or any type of stains. Why? Ewww.
  • Socks. Feet do a lot for us. Don't give them some one else's fungus.
  • Toothbrushes or hair brushes. Bacteria, germs, lice...Think, people, think!
  • Prescription drugs. Common sense!
  • Makeup. Repeat after me...germs, bacteria and is it worth it?
  • Towels. Keep them and use them for packing, storage, rags...etc.
  • Swimsuits. Private parts need their personal space.
  • Lingerie. This should be a crime.
  • Sex Toys. See above.
  • Enemas. I seriously don't know what people are thinking some times.
  • Deodorants. Are you kidding me?

Garage Sales

Are you a Garage Sale Junkie?

See results

© 2011 Linda Bilyeu


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    • lucille12 profile image


      6 years ago

      Upper and lower storage cabinets are available in standard sizes.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Haha! I tend to stay away from junk...unless...I really like or need it :)

    • poetryman6969 profile image


      6 years ago

      The best thing about garage sales is that my junk can be your jun some day!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Garage Sales just aren't as good as they use to be. So many people are now selling their goods online...but I still get lucky once in a while.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      Barbara Purvis Hunter 

      6 years ago from Florida


      I am helping my cousin with a moving sale this summer. She and I had a few yard sales together and it was fun meeting the different people, some are very early birds---they came before we got everything on the tables.

      I enjoyed your hub and the video. Your hubs are so much fun to read---I wish I had more time to read.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Carson City

      Oh how things change. I'm not so much a "shopper" of Garage sales any more. I'm much more into having my own sales and trimming down my stash and collections! Time to recycle some things and clear out the storage...garage, attic, basement, closets.....OH the STUFF!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 years ago from Chicago Area

      Maybe you could get a guest spot on American Pickers! :) I have a pal who's really into garage sales and used to do quite a bit of selling on eBay. Great hobby if you have the time and patience. Happy Garage Sale Season! (It's going to get underway here in winter weary Chicago pretty soon.)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm back Linda...

      This is such a fun hub as well as informative. Since I was last here, I've had a few garage sales of my own. What fun! I do love a good bargain.

    • CrisSp profile image


      7 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Ah, garage sale! This has been a tradition for us every summer. I like hunting for stuff and you'll never really know what treasures you find. I love the out of town hunting--joy ride.

      We also do our own garage sale and I always initiate it in the community every summer until it expanded into neighborhood BBQ. Oh, what fun way to get to know your neighbors as well.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      It is amazing what people can find at a garage sale. This was a wonderful and interesting article. I also thought you offered some great tips on having a successful yard sale. Thanks for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      7 years ago from Southern Clime

      "One man's junk is another man's treasure," someone said. My husband and I once put out an old TV, table, freezer, and a vacuum cleaner for the garbage collectors to pick up. Before they came, someone had taken all four. That helped me to realize that good junk should not be thrown away. It could be sold at a garage sale or a consignment shop, or given to a Goodwill or a Salvation Army store, or any other thrift store to benefit charities, owners, and buyers. The donor can get tax credit for giving. This is win-win business!

      Thanks for sharing such a useful hub!

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      I love a good hunt. I haven't progressed to being as organized with selling and I've only attempted one yard sale in my life. I do need to have a few more since there are items I've never unpacked since I moved into my current home ten years ago. That says something. Maybe I will go "shopping" in my garage first, then have the sale :-). I also need to give Ebay a try. Again, I've bought, but never sold.

      This fall should be an ideal time to give that yard sale a try and I have the summer to prepare.

      Thanks for the nudge and the tips.

      Take good care.

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      When we moved into a smaller house as we opened boxes we found many things we didn't need. We had a garage sale. We found out most people just stopped by so they could look in our barn and ask us questions as to who we were. We didn't sale much but talked a lot. Good information on your hub....Voted up.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      There are 2 reasons I will get up early in the morning. One is to let my dog out. The other is for a garage sale. I have found some treasures at some of the sales. I love doing this and it's a good way to recycle. Thanks for listing these good tips. Makes me want to have one myself :)

      voted Up and more and will share.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I used to know a gal who shopped thrift shops to outfit her kids as they were growing. She would find the latest styles and clothes in good condition. Then, when they would tire of them or outgrow them she would sell them in her garage sales and make as much or more money than what she had originally paid. She sold other things besides clothing and she was well organized. I helped her for one of her garage sales and I was amazed at the money that she made. Like you, she was always on the lookout to pick up bargains...and would eventually re-sell many of them.

      Recycling clothing and other things is smart. Even designers on HGTV turn garage sale finds...or even things discarded on garbage pick-up days...into newly refurbished pieces of furniture or accessories used in different ways from the original. Nice keeping things that can be reused out of landfills! You and your kids are smart consumers!

      Voted up, useful, interesting and will share.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      9 years ago from Space Coast

      If you love garage sales, you are in the right place for it. People come here from everywhere with too much stuff, never mind the ravages of the economy. I have a neighbor who uses his construction trailer (no work for him) to collect and resell all kinds of things. I think he is getting by on his garage sales, Ebay and salvage.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I like the way you think! Sales are fun. Living in Florida we get to shop them or have them year-round which is exciting! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Wonderful Hub and great tips on having a successful sale. I love the idea of re-using or letting go of what I don't need, but it not going to landfill.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Hi y'all. I'm glad you enjoyed my garage sale hub! Happy selling or hunting!:)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      9 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      linda, i do like garage sales and find many useful items there... my inlaws LOVE them though...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I miss garage sales...sigh/ voted up!!!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      9 years ago from Carson City

      Garage sales, yard sales, tent sales, auctions....set 'em up and let's go crazy. Love them. I enjoy having my own huge outdoor flea market and like to spend an entire day during Community and neighborhood group sales...just going from place to place. Bargains galore and bargains make me SMILE! I'm with you Sunshine!

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 

      9 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Hey SS,

      It is such a huge thrill to find something awesome at a garage sale, for a great price, knowing for sure you can re-sell it and make a great profit. I've done that many times on e-Bay. And getting something that you really need for cheap, ugh, so much fun. Yet I am still waiting to find that "one specific item" that I take to the Antiques Roadshow and instantly become "rich". . .


    • tammyswallow profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Awesome Hub Sunshine! I too am a garage sale junky. I love a bargain. Loosing my job in the current recession has taught me to be a more thrifty shopper. Even when or if conditions improve, I plan to continue shopping this way. Great ideas!!!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      9 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Sunshine--I'm glad I came across this hub. Like minds! I love garage sales, but I have to hold myself back sometimes. I have become pickier because I do have too much stuff. It's a thrill to find bargains, though. I may have to look at those Amazon books. They look very interesting. Wish my yard sale addiction could make me a millionaire, that's for sure!

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      LOL DIY but there is some new and updated stuff all depends what the shopper is looking for :))

    • DIY Backlinks profile image

      DIY Backlinks 

      9 years ago

      My mother law is addicted to Garage Sales and we keep telling her to stop buying this junk because none of us want the outdated stuff LOL.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I said the same thing to my daughters (about the worm)! It's become a family tradition with my family. From myself to my daughters to now my granddaughter (soon to be 5 yrs old). We enjoy shopping them and having them. My hubby and son-in-laws like them also! Thank you for sharing :)

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 

      9 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      When I was younger I used to go garage sale "hunting" with my mom, who was as you say, a garage sale junkie. I hated having to get up early (the early bird gets the worm she would say) but finding all those little treasures that other people were selling was a priceless experience.

      My mother was actually known around our neighborhood for holding fabulous yard sales of her own. She has definitely passed her bargaining ways onto my siblings and me.

      Thanks for sharing - voted up and interesting!

    • glassvisage profile image


      9 years ago from Northern California

      Garage sales are amazing! It's the favorite pastime of my mother and I together. That's why I love Goodwill and Salvation Army... It's almost like a garage sale, every day! :)

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      10 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Great idea! Thank you! I do need to polish this hub up soon. :)

    • freecampingaussie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern Spain

      Great hub as I love visiting & having garage sales , hard when traveling !

      Need a photo up the top of your hub of a garage sale when you can !

    • MR.POINT OF VIEW profile image


      10 years ago from Planet Earth

      I really like this one.

    • Sunshine625 profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda Bilyeu 

      10 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you for the comment!

      Thrift stores are fun also and we can shop those no matter the weather conditions :)

    • Cogerson profile image


      10 years ago from Virginia

      Excellent hub....garage sales are like a treasure hunt...sometimes you come up with something great other times not much at all....but it is always fun


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