How to shop a Yard Sale

I have discovered a great secret to buying inexpensive household items and furniture....buy them at a Yard Sale. This is actually no secret, but for me it's been a great way to get some unique pieces without a high cost. All the things in this picture are the loot from my latest adventure in yard sale mania (my highest price item was a twelve-piece china set for $40). I just went this past weekend and had a blast. Let me tell you, it can be exciting when you are there and you know you got a great item for a deal!

Here are some TIPS I have found helpful:
1. Look on Craigslist, your local newspaper and or Garagesalefinder.com to find out when some yard sales are happening and where. Also, ask friends if they know of any good yard sales or flea markets going on in the area. Typically yard sales are in the Spring and Fall.
2. Decide on what you can afford to spend and get out some CASH.
3.Make a list or mental list of items you're looking for. I usually have a couple of things in mind but if there is something that I didn't expect and I love it and its a great steal then I just might have to buy it.
4. Go with a friend. It's always more fun to go with someone, but it's also helpful for a friend to say "it isn't worth the price", or "that piece is falling apart", etc. It's always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes.
5. Go early! If you really go when they open your chances are fairly good you will get some items that you are looking for. I have found the items for furniture go FAST.

6. Negotiate. This is part of the process and don't be afraid to ask for less. Start a friendly conversation and compliment them on the piece you have your eye on. If you do want to buy it ask for what you feel is fair, without it being insulting to them. They might come back with a little bit higher than what you asked for, but then that's negotiating. Most people will sell their items for less than what they mark it down. Be confident and kind and people will work with you.

7. If you find a unique piece then ask the seller some background information. I got this old table (above) at a yard sale. The lady who sold it to me said it was her grandmother's table from Germany. She said her grandmother got it as an antique. I asked why she was selling it and she said it was because they have another one just like it. I loved hearing this history. She was happy to sell it to me since I told her I would treasure it and how I love antiques.
8. When you go late to a Yard Sale you sometimes can get things for free or very inexpensively, since most people don't want to bring it back in their homes.
                                                                      Load it up!

The good thing about Yard Sales, unlike Craigslist, the prices tend to be lower and its a quick transaction.  On Craigslist- you can still negotiate, but I have found many more great prices and variety from yard sales. 
What tips do you have for shopping Yard Sales?


  1. Garage Sale Days are just the best! So fun to see these pictures!

  2. K, um...next time you need a yard sale buddy--CALL ME! I miss you, friend!

    1. Yes! However- you are already a queen at sniffing out the good deals. Miss you too Chelsey!