One of my favorite things to do on Saturdays are go to garage sales and estate sales! One of my husband’s favorite things to do on Saturdays is humoring me and tagging along. He’s the best 😘 I started really getting into garage saleing (is that a word? it is now.) around the time that I got pregnant. Have y’all been to Toys R Us lately?! It’s like someone gave a price gun to a toddler whose favorite numbers are the big ones. I digress… I needed to save money, find good buys, and only had 9 months to do it! These are some of my best tips of the trade.
The post has affiliate links, I’ll get a small commission and you’ll get my eternal gratitude! It won’t change what you pay!
Have an idea of what you’re looking for.
OK, this one might be a duh, but it’s so easy to get distracted!! I’d know that I want a changing table, but walk away with a really cute $3 kitchen lamp. Learn from my mistakes, young grasshopper! Stray away from what you don’t need! Unless it’s such a good deal that you can’t say no. We’ve all been there!
Go with a cash budget
Some people are uber prepared for their garage sales and have a Square that you can use your credit card at. This is dangerous. Hence why I love estate sales. I live on the edge. However, if you go with cash then you can’t be tempted to overspend!
Don’t be afraid to haggle
If you don’t buy the item someone else will, or the owner is just going to ship it down the road to Goodwill! But, don’t be a jerkeither. No one likes that. I once had a woman offer me $5 for 2 sets of my handmade kitchen towels I sold on Etsy. I sold them on Etsy for $23 and the garage sale for $10. If you’re buying more than one thing you can probably bundle a few things together and pay a lower price, just ask.
Take your cell phone
If you’re like me and love to upsell, be sure you have your cell phone so you can google the price of things! Some people don’t know what they have. I’ve found ivory jewelry, coach wallets and purses, and a whole lot more! I’d suggest looking at eBay for general items or Etsy for collectibles and antiques.
Map out where you’d like to go
This is when it really comes in handy to know the lay of your city. I know that if I go to one side of my town I’m going to find some really funky antique pieces, but if I go in another direction I’m going to find the swanky upper class that I sometimes still can’t afford! My favorite app for this is Yard Sale Treasure Map, best part is – it’s free! It pulls in yard sales from Craigslist or people can add a yard sale to the app itself. You can see little red flags and easily decide where you want to go and the best route to map.
Find multi family garage sales
Ah, multi family garage sales. The creme de la creme. My favorite! Usually there’s something for everyone and a lot of different tastes. These tend to have a lot of baby items because you either have grandma whose grandkids are now 18 or the mom who just wants the stuff GONE (me!!). These usually pop up in the Spring, and if you can find a neighborhood one, great! Just make sure it’s a good neighborhood.
Don’t just comment from your phone
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people posting ads for their garage sale and people just sitting on Facebook posting “Is the green garden stool for sale? Do you still have the set of barstools? What about the yellow bird feeder that you can halfway see behind that woman’s head in picture 3?” Enough already! Just go! If you sit on your computer all morning garage sales shopping it’s all going to be picked over by the time you get there and the item you’ve had your eye on is going to be sold!
Get there early
I’m not an early bird shopper. I definitely won’t be there at 7am. But, some people are! And I bet they get awesome deals! It’s something I aspire to do in 20 years. But for now I’ll relish the little sleep I get!
Look for a *free* box
Some people don’t care about the money, they just want items OUT of their house and will make a box of items free. If you find one, don’t just pass it up assuming it’s all trash! Besides, if you’re shopping with a toddler you can probably find some good stuff in there to entertain them with.
Don’t pass up a garage sale just because there’s no one there
Garage sales usually have waves of people, you might have just come between a wave! Don’t write it off even if there’s no one shopping currently.
And just because I love you all so very much, here’s a freebie tip – if you see a Tervis tumbler at a garage sale, no matter how beat up it is, buy it! Tervis has a lifetime guarantee, which means if your tumbler has any defects you can send it in and they’ll send you a BRAND new one for free!!! Of course, there are stipulations, so read the fine print! I’ve done this with a Guy Harvey tumbler I bought for $1 and Tumbler even gave me a free lid with my new cup! Love this company!!