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Yard Sales: 5 Pros and Cons You Need To Know

4 Minute Read

When Dr. Seuss wrote Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, we’d like to think one of the places he was talking about was a good summer yard sale.

Why? Because summer yard sales are the best. Where else can you go to find an old set of Fraggle Rock VHS tapes, a Debbie Gibson pocketbook, and a set of collector edition Ewoks from Return of the Jedi?

But let’s be honest, sometimes yard sales can be a pain—both to host and visit.

So what are the pros and cons you need to weigh before you make that early Saturday morning trip?

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Pro: You can buy an item for 90% off retail. Decent furniture for $50. A nice, working television for $20. A new whiffle ball and bat for $2. A good yard sale is just a shopping spree on the cheap.
Con: You get what you pay for. You bought a pair of britches but didn’t notice the giant hole in the pocket. And that old Sonic The Hedgehog cartridge worked for all of three minutes. If you really like the item you’re buying, make sure you know as much as you can before buying it.

Pro: This is your chance to practice negotiating. We talk about negotiating all the time, but maybe it scares you a little bit. If that’s the case, yard sales are a great chance to practice. It’s a little easier to talk someone down from a $2 I Love Lucy poster than a $10,000 car.
Con: Not every seller is trustworthy. Again, do your best to know what you’re buying—especially if it’s an important purchase. Some sellers might try to convince you that their 15-year-old crib is just perfect for your newborn, but you can’t skimp on safety. And that perfect wooden bench won’t look so perfect with a super-glued leg in the middle of your honeysuckle garden. There are certain items you should never buy at yard sales. Find out what they are.

Pro: You can shop outdoors! Who doesn’t love shopping outdoors? No neon lighting overhead. No cold tile below. No fuzzy PA announcer calling for “cleanup on aisle five” every three minutes.
Con: You’re shopping outdoors! The downside of outdoor shopping? The unpredictability of rain, wind, nasty heat, bugs and overly aggressive pigeons. You never know what natural phenomenon might visit.

Pro: You can find a lot of hidden treasures. Every other reality show these days seems to be about finding or selling some type of hidden treasure or antique. Somebody somewhere in rural Nevada could be looking for that exact Victorian lampshade you just bought—and they might be willing to pay a pretty penny for it on eBay.
Con: You could spend a lot of time on nothing. Time is money, right? And there’s no guarantee you’ll find anything worth buying at any yard sale you visit. But even if you don’t find any bargains, you’ll hopefully enjoy the experience and quality time with your family or a few good friends.

Pro: You get to meet new people. Joe from down the street stops by, and your neighbor Sally comes over to browse through your 80s vinyl collection. Yard sales are a great way to meet new people in your neighborhood and community—they’re an extrovert’s dream.
Con: Traffic. Traffic. Traffic. Cars on the grass, cars on the curb, cars parked in the “middle” of the road. You might need to pretend you’re in a game of Frogger if you want to make it out of some yard sales in one piece.  But, we understand, parallel parking in a cul-de-sac isn’t easy!

What’s the best and worst part of the yard sales you’ve visited? Do the pros outweigh the cons for you?

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