I just made the best buy of the day… a Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because they are closing for good. I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pushed out a love seat from the back room.– FREE, courtesy of
I was the first to look at it and another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it. Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales people let me have it. Can you believe that?
This is a big ole’present to myself. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s feeling more like my home every time I add something.
Oh, and I got a fabulous lamp Goodwill $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount! Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.
I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to garage sale season! I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert!
Most people get lured into the thrift craze by accident. Maybe they got hooked by simply stopping by a sale that enticed them into their tattered halls with the promise of tempting treasures. And some, like me, found a lifelong passion hidden in the dark reassesses of someone else’s garage.
Whatever first drew us into that initial sale the memory has probably faded into the distant haze of thrift mania. The fact remains that once we have been bitten by the frugal bug, we join the ever-growing ranks of America’s thrift aficionados.
And, as we take ownership of our parsimonious passion it makes sense to organize our forays as we approach our coveted weekends of bargains and haggling.
How To Locate Estate Sales
When I am deep in the throes of garage sale season I attend as many estate sales as possible and I always ask to be put on their mailing lists. That way I am always informed of their upcoming events.
I also search the internet and find many great sales by logging on to www.EstateSales.net. This site affords an easy way to find estate sales, tag sales, and auctions in local areas across the country. I click the desired state on the map of the United States and I am directed to estate sales in whatever part of the country I am in.
How to Find a Consignment Shop
Locally owned and run consignment shops can be found scattered throughout the towns and burgs across America. There are several online sites that list consignment shops by state:
Craigslist is one of my favorite sites. Not only do I scour it regularly to find sales but I post my own garage and yard sales as well as my famous Living Estate Sales.
The list was started in 1995 by Craig Newmark in the San Francisco Bay area. By 2007, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities in 50 countries. Here’s the kicker…its sole source of revenue is the sale of their job ads. This site gets a whopping nine billion page views a month. The good news for us thrift seekers is that the garage sale, estate sale, and yard sale ad portion is free!
I have never sold much on EBay, specifically because I have focused and enjoyed the hands-on, belly-to-belly repartee that garage sales, flea markets and estate sales offer. However, that doesn’t mean that a tidy profit can’t be had. The key to making money, I would venture to say, lies in what an item is purchased for versus what it is sold for. A good guide for buying the right things to sell on EBay is The eBay Seller’s Guide to Finding Profitable Hidden Bargains at Garage Sales. http://www.auctionebook.com/?hop=dscoombes
- http://www.yardsalers.net/ – This site offers some great tips on garage sales and estate sales. And it leans toward reselling things on eBay.
Auctionszip.com is a great resource for those who want to explore the auction world. Go to the site and enter a zip code, select the distance that you desire to travel, and a calendar with all of the auctions will appear. Voila!
- http://www.AuctionBytes.com – This site is several things; an independent trade publication for about ecommerce and the online auction industry, and a do-it-yourself place to make your own Garage Sale signs that are large and colorful. There is a charge, but if you enter the coupon code “queen”, you get a $1 off.
Locating and Mapping on the Internet
This site is hands down my favorite place for locating and mapping garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales throughout the country.
Although this is a great resource for finding local thrift stores and links to other thrift-related sites, it also contains thrifting tips and frugal shopping maneuvers.
Simply enter the city, then the venue (thrift stores, antique or consignment shops)and presto, the establishments in the area line up.
This website lets a shopper or seller find a sale, post a sale, blog, print coupons, find consignment shops and flea markets, and get tips under their FAQs section.
This location offers the opportunity to advertise yard or garage sales, sell online, and search to find garage sales, estate sales, or yard sales in a variety of states. There are also thrift tips and a guide for online buying and selling.
- http://www.yardsaleAD.com – You will find this fairly easy to use. List your yard and tag sales, map them out, and even save your finds in their portfolio section. Also search using; Categories, Dates, Times, Description, and Radius from your home.
- http://www.garagesaletime.com/ – Look for a garage sale near you, or post your FREE garage sale copy.
- http://www.WeekendTreasure.com – this site is free for those looking to find sales, but charges a fee for posting you own sale.
Below is an email that I received from a very excited client. We are working to transform her somewhat worn home into a chic and stylish habitat.
Just last garage sale season, Jo learned how to shop using a newly frugal but creative eye. She quickly learned to spot the potential treasures beneath the tarnish.
After holding a garage sale of her own, we spent a few fun and productive weekends looking for bargain furnishings to replace the items we literally hauled out of her house and sold on the spot. Remember the old addage; One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure? (Okay, so it is close enough.)
Jo was very hesitant at the beginning of our project. She was skeptical of finding quality items at local thrift venues. Now, she is an ardent believer and often ventures out on her own to find her bargains. She has learned that imagination and resourcefulness are key factors in finding the right deals.
I just made the best buy of the day… a– FREE, courtesy of Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because the library is closing for good.
I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pull a love seat from the back room and pushed it onto the sale floor.
I was the first to look at it, then another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it. Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales person let me have it. Can you believe that?
I felt like I just gave myself a big ole’present. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s beginning to feel more like home every time I add something.
Oh, and I picked up a fabulous lamp Goodwill for $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount! Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.
I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to next garage sale season! I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert! This is fun and it is not costing me any more money because I am using the funds that I made when we held my garage sale.
Thank you so much . . . and, Happy New Year!
To your success,
Denver Entrepreneurs LinkedIn Group
Most people get lured into the garage sale craze by stopping by a sale that enticed them into their tattered halls with the promise of forgotten treasures. And some, like me, found a lifelong passion hidden in the dark reassesses of someone else’s garage, or scattered in wonton display across their lawns.
Whatever first lured us into that introductory sale is probably lost on us as that event fades into the distant haze of thrift mania. The fact remains that once we have been bitten by the frugal bug, we join the ever-growing ranks of America’s thrift aficionados.
And, as we take ownership of our parsimonious passion it makes sense to organize our forays as we approach another weekend of bargains and haggling.
The Internet has become a great resource for finding and posting sales. Below are some of my favorite resources.
http://www.gsalr.com/ – Hands down, this site is my favorite. I can map out a whole morning of sales or post my own sale with the click of a button.
http://www.yardsaleAD.com – You will find this fairly easy to use. List your yard and tag sales, map them out, and even save your finds in their portfolio section. Also search using; Categories, Dates, Times, Description, and Radius from your home.
http://www.garagesaletime.com/ – Look for a garage sale near you, or post your FREE garage sale copy.
http://www.yardsalers.net/ – This site offers some great tips on garage sales and estate sales. And it leans toward reselling things on eBay.
http://www.WeekendTreasure.com – this site is free for those looking to find sales, but charges a fee for posting you own sale.
http://www.GarageSaleTracker.com – Post, sell and find yard sales on this online at this site.
http://www.AuctionBytes.com – This site is several things; an independent trade publication for about ecommerce and the online auction industry, and a do-it-yourself place to make your own Garage Sale signs that are large and colorful. There is a charge, but if you enter the coupon code “queen”, you get a $1 off.
Selling used goods from a driveway, a garage, a yard, or the interior of a home has been referred to as a garage sale, yard sale, or tag sale. Typically these events are held to get rid of unwanted household items with the secondary benefit of raising money.
I contend that every sale should be approached in the opposite way because people are usually motivated by positive results. Therefore creating abundance should be the primary goal. Along the way, the process can even be enjoyable, cathartic, or rejuvenating.
- The benefit to purging a home is often seen as much as it is felt. When a homeowner bites the bullet and does a thorough organization and purging of their things, magical things happen. Their home is organized, soothing space is created, and the overall feeling of orderliness takes over. The results are often tangible. A feeling of well being pervades the home, inviting inhabitants and visitors alike to a warm and inviting welcome.
- Setting up the sale should be viewed as a study in creativity. People like to shop, and tend to buy more items when they are surrounded with interesting items that are beautifully arranged. Take the time to arrange furniture in rooms, and make attractive table arrangements. The time spent doing this creative arranging is rewarded by a more profitable return for your time.
- The actual sale should be a festive, friendly occasion. Friends are a great help and often will bring their own things to sell at the sale. A community effort is a lot of fun. Helping hands reduce the burdens involved with running a sale alone and there are more people to assist customers and keep an eye on the merchandise.
The entire process from start to finish can be truly cathartic…and profitable.
I never attended a garage sale until I began my secondary career as a thrift diva. But once I got started, I realized that they are one of the best ways to find bargain pricing on just about anything you need – as long as you aren’t in a hurry to find it!
That’s right. No other source, not even Goodwill, the Salvation Army or your favorite flea market sells stuff as cheap as people who are purging, cleaning out closets, moving or settling an estate. Which is why garage sales are always on my “hot list.”
Granted, if you’re shopping for a specific item, you may not find it on any given day no matter how many garage sales you hit. But, then again, even if you don’t find what you came for, chances are you’ll find something else you can use at a price that’s negligible – sometimes even free!
Beyond that, garage sales are a blessing for those with babies and small children. Why? You can stop the constant “baby needs it” cash outflow by letting other people’s kids be a steady supply of new-to-your kids toys and clothing.
Here are eight of my best tips and tricks for garage sale success:
1. Timing Matters.
- Most garage sales occur on the weekend starting on Friday, as early as 8:00 a.m., and run through Saturday or Sunday. (Although not as many are held on Sundays.)
- Early birds have been known to show up an hour and a half early (yes, at 6:30) so if your heart is set on an advertised item, plan to arrive early. However, be courteous. If the sale is not open, wait in your car. Don’t knock on the door at 6:00 in the morning. (The sellers may have been up until 3:00 a.m.)
- When shopping garage sales go on the first day. The good things will go first and prices can still be suprisingly low.
- Estate sales are often houses full of items. Since the merchandise is usually better quality, it will also be more expensive. You will find better bargains if you wait until the end of the last day.
2. Shop late and bargain to save money.
- Most of the time, the better deals are found at the end of the sale when sellers are faced with the prospect of hauling their stuff back inside or to the thrift store drop-off center.
- Bargain harder at the end of the day when there is less opportunity for the seller to get asking price.
- Basically prices are always negotiable at garage sales. You may not get it, but it never hurts to ask.
- Buy multiple items to get a “bulk” rate.
- Early in my thrifting “career” I snagged a sterling silver butter dish for $5. Strangely enough, many sellers do not price items, seem indifferent to how much money they make, and will essentially let you name your price even early on in the sale — so aim low.
3. Plan your route to save time and gasoline.
- Pick one promising sale to visit first, and plan the rest of your stops to flow out from your first stop.
- Shop at Subdivision Sales. Homeowners band together to offer house-to-house sales all on the same day. What a boon!
- Look up sales online in advance, but be aware that many people only advertise garage sales via signs posted around the neighborhood and on major streets the morning of the sale. So anticipate that whatever the route you’ve planned – you’ll likely end up with a lot of small detours.
- In the height of the garage sale season, plan to visit only one general area each week. Driving ten miles out of your way for one sale that may or may not be any good isn’t a productive use of your time or gas money.
4. Choose your neighborhoods wisely.
- For the discerning shopper, patronize the upscale neighborhoods. Yes, they might be a little pricy, but that is where the nicer things are found.
- A good rule of thumb is to haunt the middle class neighborhoods. They typically offer the best ratio of good stuff to good prices.
5. Choose your sales wisely.
- Moving Sales are the best places to get deals because people are limited by time deadline and how much they can move.
- Estate sales are best for higher end items, but you’ll pay higher prices as well.
- Ordinary garage sales are a crapshoot.
- Cruise the Internet and pick out the best ones by reading the ads on Craigslist, although I’ve found that you never know until you get there and take a look.
- To save time, simply cruise by uninteresting looking sales. You might miss some good things hidden in boxes, but at the height of the season, there are so many sales and limited time.
- If you’re looking for a specific item, like an antique dresser, you can try emailing and calling all the people who have actually posted ads in advance and seeing if anyone is selling that item. If so, they might be willing to set it aside for you until a certain time (say, 8:30 for a garage sale that starts at 8:00).
- Set a budget before you head out the door.
- Avoid buying things just because they are a great deal.
- Be honest with your time and talents. For example, unless you love to refinish furniture, you’re unlikely to suddenly take up the hobby and that shabby chic chair will be collecting dust in your garage for quite a while.
- For sales with unpriced items, make sure to ask about prices before you let yourself get attached to things.
7. Shop with a friend.
- Be careful not to compete with them for every thing you find . . . you just may loose a friend. Rather, consider someone with strengths you lack.
- If you aren’t good at bartering . . . bring someone who is.
- Bring someone who knows more about an area (furniture, glassware, jewelry) than you do.
- If you drive a small car, enlist a friend that drives a pickup truck!
8. Loose the great expectations mentality
- There will be days when you don’t find anything you like or can afford.
- You are under no obligation to stay any length of time at a sale. There are too many out there to waste time at a sale that has nothing to offer you.
And now, let the garage sale fun begin!!
When you’re planning a garage sale spend some time deciding how to price your items. Garage sale pricing is an art form . . . one that takes some planing and a realistic evaluation of your inventory.
When pricing keep these rules in mind:
- If your merchandise is priced too high, it won’t sell.
- If it is priced too low, the money you make won’t be worth the time you spent setting your garage sale up and selling for two or three days.
Here are some guidelines that I’ve developed, based on my experience and tips I picked up from traditional retailers:
- It’s hard to say what a used item is really worth. Whatever you decide on, leave room so that you can come down 25% to 50% and still make a profit.
- Try to think of the type of buyer that would be interested in individual peices and how much they’d be willing to pay.
- Be creative with pricing. . . Go WILD. I’ve used the “buy one, get one free” promotion to move smaller items or common things like clothing or plastic containers.
- Announce ‘blue light special’ on certain items that might not be moving.
- Mark things down as the sale progresses.
- Go for the unusual. Tell your next customer that they’re the 25th shopper and entitled to a 25% discount. You’ll find that others will chime up and ask for the discount. Tell them that it will apply if they buy 5 or more items.
- Start an email sheet to inform your customers of your next WILD sale.
Price it higher if:
- It is the first day of your sale
- You are willing to keep it
- It has real collectible value or is vintage or antiques
- Know the value of the item at auctions like eBay
Discount your pricing if:
- It’s the last day of your sale
- You are relocating and holding a moving sale
- The item isn’t selling or is an item that doesn’t sell well at yard sales
With the downturn in the economy, thrifting has become the new American pastime allowing you to incorporate cheap but chic decor and fashion into your life. Across America hundreds of thousands of treasure seekers attend garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, flea markets and estate sales to pick through other people’s stuff to find BARGAINS. This grass roots phenomenon has been compared to the modern– day gold rush as evidenced by the ever so popular Antique Road Show.
- You save money: buying reusable, quality products is less expensive
- You conserve natural resources: decreasing energy and raw material consumption helps the planet
- You eliminate waste: sensible consumption frees up natural resources for other worthwhile purposes
- You help others recycled clothing and household items are also sent to developing countries
- Customers also benefit by getting access to quality used goods at a great value.
- The poor and indigent benefit from food and shelter
- Customers also benefit by getting access to quality used goods at a great value.
- The poor and indigent benefit from food and shelter
- Individuals in developing countries around the world can now create their own marketplaces in which to conduct commerce.
- As a result, other individuals in these countries have a resource where they can find used, affordable merchandise.
To The Planet
- We’re doing our part to save our planet from the 20-billion pounds of used clothing and textiles tossed into landfills each year.
- One thrift store chain (Savers) and its recycling program alone prevented 280 million pounds of unsold merchandise from ending up in landfills last year by reselling to domestic and international people in need.
- Can you believe that the average North American throws away 67.9 pounds of used clothing and rags into the garbage? This results in over twenty billion pounds (or more than 9.09 billion kilograms) of used clothing and textiles tossed into landfills each year. When you donate to or shop at thrift store, increase the re-use of goods and help the environment. So says Don Ruehs Start you own High Profit Thrift Store http://startthriftstore.com/index.html
…Used Clothes, Furniture and Household Stuff
I have been buying thrift for thirty years. At first it was because I was a single mom on a fixed income. I sure wasn’t born frugal. I didn’t even want to be parsimonious (or know what it meant for that matter) . I learned to thrift through necessity.
Actually, for a long time I thought that I had been born a Diva; but life proved me wrong. I had to earn that status…but that is another story. Like all aspiring Divas I wanted nice things in my home. I wanted to look good. I wanted to dress the part. And…I loved to shop. So, what was I to do?
Then someone told be about thrift stores. Well that started it. Soon I discovered garage and yard sales, flea markets and rummage sales. And after I got comfortable with that level and buried my feelings of intimidation, I started haunting estate sales and auctions. Wow…what a revelation! I was smitten, but I couldn’t share my newfound addictions with anyone because thrifting was not acceptable thirty years ago. People weren’t earth conscious or intent on going green. However, times do change. It has been many moons since I have stepped into a retail store though today I can well afford to.
What I can’t afford to do is waste money. I can’t abide by putting more stuff, unnecessarily, into our landfills. It’s not so much that I’m a diehard green proponent; it is more that I just can’t stand the thought of throwing out all that packaging that wraps new merchandise away just to get to the main ingredient.
Case in point; This room diffuser comes wrapped in plastic, rubber and cardboard…which are all thrown away! The only part that is used is the bottle, scented oil and the reeds. Not only is the amount of packaging absurd, but the glass bottle, rubber topper and reeds are eventually thrown away as well.
If this item was purchased at a thrift store, very often the packaging is off the item; however the product itself is still good.
I also love to buy interesting parts and put them together. In these pictures I bought three separate items, at garage sales or thrift stores and didn’t pay more than two to three dollars apiece. I save all my odds and ends in my storage area and put them together whenever I have things that seem to work together.
In this arrangement I bought the pottery bowl simply because I liked the texture of the piece. Then I found this amazing hand-crafted pottery top that obviously lost its better half, and put the two together. I used them this way for about a year when I ran across this amazing deer stand. The stand may actually be reindeer, perhaps a mishap from Christmas, but it works great with my mismatched pottery pieces.