Believe it or not, there’s an art to yard sale shopping.
Coupon clipping and bargain hunting at stores are great ways to save some cash, but some of the best deals to be had are at yard sales—if you shop smart.
The first step in your yard sale strategy is mapping out your route. Figure out where the sales will be held and how many you want to visit. The local newspaper and Craigslist are some great places to look for listings.
Once you determine which ones you want to go to and where they are, take factors like what time they start into consideration. Since the great deals go quick, look for staggered start times to see if you can be one of the first shoppers at more than one sale. If it’s not possible, head to the one that looks like it’s going to have the best stuff first.
Of course, if you’re feeling more spontaneous about the whole thing, you can always get up and drive around neighborhoods early Saturday morning and follow the signs. You’ll probably see a few when you’re out and about on Sunday afternoon, too.
Make a shopping plan before you hit the town on a Saturday morning. That way, you’ll only buy what you really intend to instead of getting caught up in a good deal. Just keep this in mind: If it’s something you don’t need or can’t use, then it’s not a good deal.
Financial Peace University grad Stephani says she used to buy a bunch of clothes at yard sales just because they were cheap. “I would never end up wearing them because I really didn’t like them that much,” she said. “But there are shirts I paid a little bit more for, maybe $15 at the mall, that I wear all the time. I definitely get my money’s worth on those.”
Moral of the story? Don’t waste your hard-earned money on things you don’t need or on stuff that you might not even like once you get it home! Only you know what those things are. Stephani learned only to buy items at garage sales that she was confident she’d make use of, especially when it came to clothes. Sure, it’s only a couple of dollars here and there, but it can add up quickly!
When you hit the town for a garage sale, take a list with you that includes:
That’s not to say that you won’t ever stumble upon a killer deal on something you weren’t planning on buying. Just think twice before handing over cash—make sure the item won’t be cluttering your closet or sitting in a garbage bag in your attic.
MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com member Wingwalker says claiming an item quickly is important if you come across a good buy. “If you’re unsure about buying an item, stake your claim while mulling it over,” he said. “If it is too big to carry, stand by it and let it be known that you want it. You can always leave it and just walk away.”
Here are some ideas from yard sale shopper thriftylady:
Now that you have some great advice from experienced yard sale shoppers, go out with confidence to find some amazing deals!
What yard sale shopping tips have worked for you? Leave a comment below!
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