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Ten Tips for Better Garage Sale Hunting

Updated on June 15, 2015

Ten Tips for Better Garage Sale Hunting

Ten Tips to be successful in your next garage sale expedition
Ten Tips to be successful in your next garage sale expedition | Source

Make Your Garage Sale Hunting More Satisfying

Well, the season for garage sales is upon us and everywhere you go, you see those black and white signs advertising someone else's stuff for sale, cheap!

Garage sale hunting is a fine art, and the results can be very rewarding. People sell almost anything at garage sales, and the rule of the sale is that they aren't supposed to charge much. Garage sales are expected to be cheap, and many times, a bit of bargaining can get the seller down even cheaper.

But there are some tips that can help make your garage sale hunting, or garage sale-ing, as it is sometimes called, even more satisfying. In other words, to help you the best stuff, for a better price.

Make A List To Be More Focused

Organizing Blogs

If you need help getting all that stuff you bought organized, check out this list of Great Organizing and Cleaning Blogs.

Bundle Your Purchases

Bundle your purchases for further savings.
Bundle your purchases for further savings. | Source

Successful Garage Sale Shopping

  1. Make a list. Just like you do when you shop for groceries, try making a list before garage sale season starts. Figure out what you would like to find at the garage sales, and then focus in on that. You may still make some impulse buys, but focusing on what you want will help you be more targeted.
  2. Find sales ahead of time. You can check your local paper or online classifieds, under the garage sales section, and plan ahead. Look for some sales that have things you want.
  3. Map your route. After you find some sales that you like, map an approximate route to hit these sales. A great way to do this is to use Google Maps, which will allow you to create your own map and print it off.
  4. Take a partner. If you can, go with someone else. If you're lucky enough to be able to reel in your significant other, that's awesome! My husband loves garage sales and we have had a couple of good "dates" doing the circuit. But you may prefer to phone a friend who also loves the bargain hunting process. Either way, a partner makes it more fun, and easier to spot sale signs!
  5. Make a budget. Decide ahead of time how much you want to spend, and withdraw that amount of cash. Don't go over unless it is something that you were going to buy, anyway, at the store. After you've spent your money, go home!
  6. Give in to serendipity. By that, I mean, go with the unexpected. Have your map and your list but be prepared to see lot of other signs on the road, too. Follow the signs and see where you end up. That is the fun of garage sale-ing.
  7. Go early. Notice that you when you get there at noon, there doesn't seem to be that much good stuff? Well, get out of bed and on the road, early. You will get first choice of the most coveted items. Remember, garage sale-ing is a bit of a competitive sport!
  8. Go late. Can't make it early? Or just didn't? Don't worry -- going late has its advantages. If you get there late in the day, the owner often is more open to negotiation, simply wanting to get rid of the stuff!
  9. Bundle your purchases. Retailers do this all the time: buy this lipstick and this eye shadow, all for the low price of $23.99, and we'll throw in this little lipstick brush for free! Well, make that same principle work for you as the buyer. Let's say you want a wok, and a book and a garden hoe. The total asking price for these items is $17.00. Offer them ten bucks for all three, and you're both happy!
  10. Know when to stop. This cheap form of shopping therapy is meant to be fun. So, if you're getting tired, stop. There will always be more garage sales next weekend. Don't do it if you're too tired or grouchy. You might buy stuff you don't want and you might have a fight with your shopping partner. I would recommend 3-4 hours at the most. Save your energy for putting all that stuff away!

Happy Shopping!

So there you have it: ten tips for successful garage sale hunting. This can lead to hours of fun. Happy shopping!

Fun Garage Sale Poll

Do you go to Garage Sales?

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    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Elle, you are so right! Many of the principles involved in shopping at garage sales also apply to shopping at thrift store. Thanks for the great point and have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 5 years ago

      These are great ideas, and some of them also apply to thrifting or shopping in other second-hand situations as well (like #1, #4 and #5)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      John, yes, isn't that a neat idea? Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • John  Lakewood profile image

      John Lakewood 5 years ago from Lakewood, CO

      Great idea to promote a group of yard sales!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Katriana, thank you so much! It is a pretty fun experience. Take care and thanks again for stopping by!

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 6 years ago

      These are really great tips on how to sale a garage. Nice hub!