#AtoZChallenge and #CTST: Yard sailing

#CTST: garage sale finds and also interacting with interesting people while shopping in neighborhoods!
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up during my yard sale exploits. Do you care to share any of yours?
  • 1.  Choose to yard sale in an area that is more upscale that your own. However, there are exceptions. I found a Canon camera lens at a garage sale on the side of a highway. You never know.
  • 2.  Selection is better earlier in the morning. However, you may get a lower price if you go mid-day or later, as people want to get rid of items.
  • yard sale3.  Go to multi-family garage sales first, then make your way to smaller sales within the same neighborhood.
  • 4.  Take a large vehicle with you, in case you find something large you can’t live without. There are risks. My friend Sandy lost her drive train as we exited a garage sale one day. It made an incredibly loud, horrible sound. Guess our load was too heavy?
  • 5.  If you’re in a smaller town or close to your home, some sellers will deliver the item.
  • 6.  Sometimes people will sell you other items that are still in the house or garage, if you ask. I bought an antique table from a lady who was just about to close up shop. She invited my mom and I into her house and asked us to make an offer on something if we were interested. Really!
  • 7.  Garage sale with a friend and let them know you’re looking for something in particular. That way, you have a better chance of finding an item if you both have it in mind.
  • 8.  Buying items together allows you to ask for a group discount. “Would you consider selling all six for $5?” Remember, the worst thing that can happen is that a person says “no.”
  • 9.  Pack newspaper so if you’ve bought breakables, you can wrap them or separate them from others; put a few empty boxes in your car for easy carrying in of items when you’re finished.
  • 10.  Look up addresses of promising sales listed in the newspaper the night before. You’ll save time heading from sale to sale and you can visit more sales in an area before moving on.
  • 11.  If there’s something you’re interested in, pick it up. Observant sellers may approach you, tell you more about the item and offer you a discount if they think you’re interested. My friend Sandy almost bought the purse right off of my arm during a garage sale. Luckily, it was already mine 😉
  • 12.  Lastly, consider wearing a disguise. There was a first-ever community garage sale held at a local park and it was covered by the two local news stations. If my husband didn’t know I was garage sailing, he did after watching the 6 p.m. newscast! People I worked with said they saw me on TV but it wasn’t for promoting one of our organization events, it was for garage sailing with my friend in the sweltering heat. Being shown hot and sweaty on TV with no makeup was not my finest hour! Luckily I wasn’t fighting that elderly person for the homemade pasta maker at the time. That would not have been pretty.


  1. Reply

    I haven't been to a yard sale in a long time, now you've made me want to go again. Must. Resist. My house is too cluttered already LOL

    ~ Rhonda Parrish

  2. Reply

    Rhonda, sounds like you need to have a yard sale 😉 Then you'd have more room to garage sale …

  3. Reply

    Years ago, I went to a few yard sales. I have to say I'd be really mad if I was on TV for anything!

    My sister in law, when she found out she was pregnant, furnished her whole nursery very nicely with yard sale items.

  4. Reply

    Great tips! The story about you being on t.v. was funny….though I’m sure it wasn’t at the time for you. 🙂 Hope you find some good buys this year at garage sales!

    1. Reply

      It’s all fun, in hindsight! I’ve had some great times garage-sailing. And, the people you meet in a small(er) town is worth the price of admission. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Reply

    I’ve never bought anything from a garage sale, although I think my mom had one when I was pretty young. I think I pooh-poohed it then, but I’d love to find ones now. I’ve become a penny-pincher and a great believer in saving our environment and humanity by buying second hand. We waste and throw away too much. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Reply

      Part of the fun is finding that amazing bargain. Just a few things I’ve found (and you’ve never know they were from a garage sale): sterling silver and turquoise earrings; an artist easel; a beautiful scalloped wood table from France; several Vera Bradley purses (big around here); a Canon lens for my camera; a vintage wind watch with diamonds; my first dining room table ($8). I hope you find one to visit soon! Thanks for visiting!

  6. Reply

    I love yard sales and am excited that the season is gearing up here in Maine. The only other tip would be to expand on your getting the addresses ahead of time. I map out my route the night before to save time. I put in all the addresses for the sales I want to visit and then I optimize the route and print out my stops. I don’t adhere to it religiously as somethings you stumble upon unadvertised sales and other fun stops during the hunt but it gives me a good overall guide. I hope you find some fun treasures on your next outing.WeekendsInMaine

    1. Reply

      That is a very helpful tip. We’ve done that sometimes and, like you said, got waylaid by another yard sale sign along the way. But, that’s part of the adventure, right? I bet you have great yard sales in Maine. Thanks for adding to the experience. I appreciate you visiting!

  7. Reply

    I haven’t done this in a while but I think multi-garage sales are the best. It can be a social event, lots of fun. chatting with neighbors. My husband stopped a car from rolling down the hill at a garage sale once. Not sure if it increased sales but it sure drew a crowd!

    1. Reply

      Sounds like your husband is very observant, which is good for cars rolling downhill as well as finding unique items at yard sales! My friend and I always seem to run into people we know or have met. It’s always been an adventure.

  8. Reply

    I love yard sales, not that I’ve been to many in recent years. In our area, there tend to be quite a few auctions. They take so much time, but it’s so fun to discover the treasures there.

    1. Reply

      Yes, auctions are fun too. I once waited all day to bid on an antique typewriter (1917!) It came in the original wooden box with dovetail corners. Thanks for visiting!

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    I haven’t been to a yard sale in forever. I know there are some excellent bargains at these sometimes which amaze me when I hear about the from others. However, if it were me then I’m sure I wouldn’t be quite as lucky. Great tips for yard sale hunting & buying!

    Art Sketching Through the Alphabet “Y”

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