Friday, June 2, 2023

Steal My Tips to Make the Most of Peak Garage Sale Season This Weekend!

Did you know this weekend is peak garage sale weekend???

Garage sales are the beeeest! The prices tend to be better than thrift stores (depending on the person hosting and the products they have), and in my experience, people have better things at garage sales and yard sales than the thrift stores do.

Probably because when people are letting go of something they consider special, they want some money for it rather than just disposing of it for free. This is where the real treasures are!! And this is one of the PEAK weekends for garage sales!

But of course, there's cons.

  • They don't take cards, so if you're a "I don't carry cash" person like yours truly, that's a pain in the butt. You *might* get lucky and find someone willing to take Venmo, and you can always ask, but don't count on it!

  • You have to keep traveling to the next sale, and unless you hit up a community-wide event, you could be traveling all over town. 

  • There's really no consistency to pricing, and sometimes you'll find a gem that's just way over-priced. You also can't just make swaps when you're ready to "check out" and put something back in order to get something else - if you're at a different sale when you change your mind, you're stuck with your previous choices. This can be especially frustrating when you're on a budget!

  • Garage sales and yard sales aren't air conditioned. It can get reeeal sweaty reeeal quick.

But - you will find the most unique gems for the least amount of cash.

So, how do I make the most of it? Glad you asked.

(Seriously someone needs to listen to me go on and on about garage sales, lol)

Step 1: Do your research

I watch listings all week (from the list of links below), and if I find one nearby or that sounds particularly intriguing, I take a screenshot of it. Then on Wednesdays or Thursdays, I comb through the listings (basically all of them will be up by Thursday at the latest), compare them to my screenshots, and make a list. 

Then, if I'm not familiar with the streets the sales are on, I use a route planner to tell me the most efficient way to hit them all. Yeah we're not messing around over here, haha.

Here are the places I look for sale listings:

1. Facebook Marketplace
2. Garage Sale-Specific Groups on FB (I'd link them, but if you don't live in Buffalo they're useless to you)
3. Garage Sale Finder (beware the super annoying ads)

Step 2: Get Ready

Never Garage Sale without water, sunglasses, and cash. I also recommend snacks, bags, quarters, and your phone in case you want to look something up and see if it's valuable! And, you know, if you're a reasonable human being who is looking to be choosy about what they bring home, maybe make a list of things you're looking for. I always let the sales tell me what I'm looking for, lol

Step 3: Have Fun!

This is where everything is basically the same as thrifting - you're treasure hunting for pennies on the dollar and getting that sweet, sweet dopamine when something works out. A lot of the same tips apply!

Look up and look down, aim for the affluent neighborhoods, and work on developing your understanding of pricing as you visit different sales. Soon you'll get the hang of what things are worth, and if you aren't shy about it, feel free to haggle! It's the one place where it's truly socially acceptable. I personally avoid it usually, unless I'm buying multiples of the same thing and it actually makes it easier to make change.

Also, I mentioned this above, but you can always ask the sale host if they accept Venmo so you can hang onto your cash for other sales that don't! (Or, you know, to increase your budget...guilty.)

Curious what I always scoop up at garage sales?

My eyes are always peeled for cute tea cups, pretty picture frames and art, interesting glass jars, designer purses (I have enough purses, so I don't bother unless it has a label), really nice clothes in good condition (especially for my boys), unique or vintage holiday pieces, embroidery hoops, baskets, basically any form of blue and white china or pottery, sometimes faux greenery, planters or anything that can become a planter, cute lamps, books of all kinds, and any random necessity or interest that's current at the time. 

(Like, for example, my MIL is planning a graduation party for my niece so I grabbed some unopened packages of graduation napkins on the cheap!)

Hope these tips help! Grab the sunscreen, hit the ATM, and have fun hunting!!!

Here's a pin so you can hang onto these tips and links for later!

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