Let’s Make a Deal! Garage Sale Tips

garage sale tips

photo credit: johnbeagle

It’s that time of year again! Yard sale signs are starting to show up and I am getting giddy with anticipation.

My family relies on yard sales and thrift stores for a majority of our purchases including clothing, appliances, bedding, and furniture.

I enjoy shopping, but with my focus being on simple living and paying down our student loans I definitely don’t think of shopping the same way as I used to. And I have found a few tips that have made yard sale-ing more fun and even more affordable.

Tips and Tricks for Garage Sale-ing

1. Wear pants that have several pockets. Have a certain amount in cash in each pocket. For example, your right front pocket will have $18 cash, your left front pocket will have $13 cash, and so on. When you go to pay for your $20 purchase pull the money out of your right front pocket and offer them the $18 cash. Most of the time people will take less, especially when you whip it out in that exact amount.

2. Always try to barter down on prices of big ticket items. Decide ahead of time what you are willing to pay and if they won’t come down be prepared to walk away. If they have a $200 item and you’re willing to pay $175 for it, then offer them $150 and see if they counteroffer.

3. Shop neighborhood sales. I LOVE shopping neighborhood sales because I can park my car once, unload my kids in our double jogger and then walk up and down the street. If I buy a big item I just ask them to set it aside and I’ll come back through and pick it up at the end. If you do this be sure to keep a list of what houses you need to stop back by so you don’t forget any of your purchases. It might be wise to have the person you’ve bought it from put your name and cell phone number on it just in case. Shopping neighborhood sales saves on gas as well since you can hit several different sales with one stop.

garage sale tips

photo credit:bobnrenee

4. When you know ahead of time you’ll be hitting several sales and you’ll have small children with you give them each a few quarters to spend. This makes the trip more exciting and enjoyable for them. They’ll either buy something right away and play with it the rest of the day or spend most of the trip trying to decide on the perfect item. Either way, it keeps them busy! And encourage older children to bring a book.

5. Go to a sale at the very beginning if there are specific items you are looking for that might be popular, especially if they have been advertised in a newspaper or Craigslist.

garage sale tips

photo credit: bobnrenee

6. Go to a sale at the end if you want to get the best deal. If you go about an hour before they close up you can offer to “take things off their hands” at a very low price. Usually at the end people are more willing to part with things for cheap.

7. I have found that Craigslist is an excellent resource for finding good sales, however, I do a lot of spontaneous yard sale-ing when I see a sign.

Good luck finding some deals! I hope my little tips help you save money and have a good time!


What are your favorite tips for saving money while garage sale-ing?

Mel has a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from Cornerstone University and is just about finished with a Family Herbalist Certification from Vintage Remedies. She enjoys studying nutrition and herbs in her spare time. As a stay-at-home mother of two she spends her days reading, homeschooling, cleaning, and cooking nutritious meals. Eventually her and her husband hope to buy a property to homestead.

*you can also check out GRKids Grand Rapids Neighborhood Sale Guide!

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Links in the post above may be affiliate or referral links - meaning that through a sale I may be given monetary benefit. I blog with integrity and only endorse companies and products I love.

This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.

About donielle

Donielle is a natural momma of two, lover of real foods, and owner and editor of Grand Rapids Natural Living and Naturally Knocked Up. You can usually find her in the kitchen whipping up some nourishing foods, cuddled on the couch reading books to the littles, avoiding the laundry and Mt. Saint Dishes, or tapping away on the laptop. Her husband puts up with her sometimes crazy "hippie" ways, but loves her regardless. Welcome to my home away from home.