September 10, 2015

tips for garage sale-ing

I'm SO excited to share today's post with y'all! One of my all time favorite things to do is to go "garage sale-ing," and today I have some tips on how I do it. 

1. Create a plan of action.- You want to know what general area you want to stay in while garage sale-ing and not get too off track.

2. Check online the night before.-What I like to do is check online on Friday night for garage sales. I'll find the address to a garage sale, type in the address on maps, and snapshot a photo of where it's at. Then in the morning I have snapshots of where all the garage sales are! This helps a lot in my area beacuase a lot of people don't put up a lot of signs. In my hometown, they put up a ton of signs at every intersection, so you don't really need to check online, but it couldn't hurt!

3. Start looking for garage sale signs during the week.- A lot of people will start putting out garage sale signs mid week. Keep an eye out for signs at large intersections on your way to work, school, grocery store, etc.

4. The early birds DO get the worms!- Most people will start their garage sales around 7 a.m. A lot of them will put in their ads "no early birds" but pretty much they mean don't come before their time. This is the tip I'm worst at. I usually leave the house at 8, and a lot of times I'll notice that some garage sales hardly have anything left because the early birds got everything!

5. Be prepared to stop short and turn around a lot- You're going to pass up and almost pass them up, so just be prepared and drive safe!

6. Four eyes are better than two- Well yes, if you wear glasses, please do wear them, but what I'm trying to say is bring a friend so you can have 2 eyes on the road and 2 eyes on search for garage sales.

7. Go in a place you're familiar with. When you see a garage sale sign with a street name on it, you want to have a general idea of where that street is. I've lived in my town for a little over 2 years now, so I'm still not familiar with all the roads, so I tell Siri to take me every where! Haha.

8. Don't lug around a purse, just bring a small coin purse with you. When you're garage sale-ing you aren't going to need anything but your monies and maybe your phone in case you want to take a picture of something you could pick up for someone else. I usually carry a small coin purse I got from Costa Rica with me, and if I need anything else, I'll get it from the car.

9. Bring your spare change and $1 bills. I save all of my husband's spare change and bring it with me. If I don't have small bills I'll stop at the nearest drugstore (usually Walgreens or CVS) and ask for change.

10. Negotiate prices- If you don't like a price someone is asking, don't hesitate to ask for it cheaper. The least they could do is say no, but most people having a garage sale are trying to get rid of their stuff, so they will likely say yes.

11. No one cares what you look like- Seriously, wake up, fix your coffee, throw on some comfy clothes, and get your butt out the house! See #4. ;)

12. Think ahead.- If you have kids you can always buy sizes up for them. Also, holiday decorations are great things to pick up at garage sales, even if if feels weird buying Christmas stuff when it's 90 degrees outside.

13. Use your time wisely. Like I said in #4, the early birds get the worms. So, you want to spare your time wisely. If you see a ginormous pile of clothes. Pick through the first few things and if they're all clothes from an 80 year old man, and you are not an 80 year old man or want clothes for one, then pass it up and look at the next stuff. Don't waste your time digging when there are other treasures to be found.

14. Bring your breakfast with you and pack some snacks. I usually grab me some poptarts, my coffee, and a banana for a snack. Depending on how many garage sales you might find, you could be out shopping until lunch time. Make sure you pack breakfast and a snack so you don't have to waste your time stopping somewhere.

15. Find something to collect. Garage sale-ing can get frustrating when you aren't finding much. I found that it makes it more fun when you find something to collect. I collect vintage tins. I usually find them for 25 cents to a dollar a piece at garage sales, so it's a super cheap collection!

Some things I like to buy at garage sales:
-home decorations
-holiday decorations
-picture frames

Here are just a few of my finds lately:
 books for baby girl (25 cents each), gold mesh (25 cents), baby blanket/teething toy (50 cents), a cross that I plan to paint ($1), apothecary glasses (50 cents and $1)
my favorite thing to shop for- clothes for baby girl! (50 cents to $2 each)

plant ($2)


  1. These are great tips Danielle! I am not a morning person so I never hit up garage sales! My neighborhood growing up had a giant garage sale in the summer and I used to sell my old toys and clothes growing up and then would have fun walking around to find treasures with the money I earned. I'd look forward it all year! You should do a post showing all your garage sale finds!

  2. I agree 100% with all of these. The early bird tip is so true! My MIL and I pick two Saturdays a year (one in spring and one in fall) and do a Saturday morning yard sale day. We get up and get coffee and food at 6 and get to the more affluent neighborhoods early then work our way down. I know that sounds terrible, but I furnished most of my house from the nicer neighborhoods in our area. The facebook yard sale groups have been great in our area too where people can post stuff during the week and they can advertise when and where they're having their next one.

  3. You are such a pro at this! I'm with Lauren, by Saturday morning, I am so excited to sleep in that it would be a stretch to get me up for a garage sale haha. Such a great place to find gems though, I used to go with my mom when I was little!

    I am looking forward to checking out some sales this Fall when it's not so hot outside (and I'm home on more weekends :) great post, I shared this via my Twitter!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

  4. Great tips! Yard sales (as we call them) are really big in my town, people get super competitive, grabby and ridiculous with their prices! So I have the opposite strategy, I love to go around at the END of the sale when people are hot, tired and desperate :) You can pick up lots of stuff for free or close to it that way! But obviously you can miss out on lots of goodies. If you're super hardcore like me, you can do both (go early AND sweep by again at the end of the sale) but that's just kind of evil :)

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