Why I Love Yard Sales

I’ve always loved yard sales. As a kid, my mom and I would ride all over town, on the lookout for those cardboard signs that led to mounds of “treasure”. This allowed us to go on bargain hunts and ultimately save money, but it also provided bonding time for my mom and I.

I loved sorting through the boxes and tables together, looking for old Nintendo games and baseball cards, or anything that would catch the eye of a 10 year-old boy.

My bargain-hunting ways have continued into adulthood. I find time and again that yard sales are perfect for finding things I would have otherwise bought new. For example, this past weekend I found a CD case to replace the one in my wife’s car that was falling apart. The price was marked 1 dollar but I was able to negotiate it down to 50 cents. Had I bought this at retail I would’ve paid $15 for it, easily.

I’ve also found yard sales to be a great source for numerous other things including: clothes, kitchen supplies and other household items.

Back in the day we had to depend on the newspaper classifieds to find yard sales. But today there’s a tool called YardSaleTreasureMap.com that makes the process much more interactive. After entering in your zip code you can see the upcoming yard sales in your area on a map. Their database pulls from Craigslist so you don’t have to look up each address individually to see how far away it is. You can then use their route planning feature to make an itinerary.

What I love about this tool is it allows you to see what is available at each yard sale, based on the Craigslist post. So if you’re looking for baby items, you don’t have to drive all over town looking for them. You can simply target the yard sales that have baby stuff available.

Because not all Craigslist listings have an exact address, they’ve included a section where you can browse more listings. Just click the “Other Ads” tab and cycle through. This is an excellent way to find neighborhood sales. They have apps for Android and iPhone as well.

Something I didn’t consider growing up is that yard sales offer more than just bargains. They allow you to:

  • Practice your people skills and the art of negotiation
  • Interact with your neighbors if the yard sale is near your home
  • Get exercise while walking around
  • Enjoy the nice weather during the warm summer months

Yard sales allow you to stretch a buck, but they offer so much more than that. If you haven’t already, plan to go at least once this year.

What do you like most about yard sales? 

Photo by blogs.momaha.com

20 thoughts on “Why I Love Yard Sales

  1. My dad absolutely loves yard sales and stops at each one he sees. As for me.. I don’t love them, I don’t hate them, and I almost never stop unless I see something I want/need visibly displayed. What an awesome tool, though!

  2. My (only!) flaw is that I collect board games. There are always stories about someone who finds the world’s rarest board game at a yard sale for fifty cents and sells it on eBay for $1,000.

    • Yeah, I’ve heard stories about people finding rare board games, video games, or baseball cards at yard sales. If you’re an expert at collecting any of these, yard sales are a really good place to find items to resell. Most of us aren’t experts though, and the stuff we buy just sits in storage.

  3. If you have kids, yard sales are a great place to buy clothes. Kids grow so fast and aren’t in the same size very long, so it doesn’t make sense to spend top dollar on a shirt they’ll only wear a handful of times when you can buy a like-new one at a yard sale.

  4. Yard sales can definitely be an interesting experience, but I haven’t gone to any in a long time. I’m just not big on shopping in general, but I know you can find some great deals at yard sales. That interactive map sounds like a great way to make it all even easier.

    • There was a period of a few years when I didn’t go to any either, but I’ve gotten back into it recently. If I need anything the first places I turn are Craigslist and yard sales.

  5. I usually stop at yard sales, but more often than not I don’t end up buying anything. A couple years ago I did end up getting a ton of brand new clothes for my daughter for around $2 an outfit. That was my best yard sale find.

    • Sounds like a steal! The most recent time I went yard sailing I went to probably 20 yard sales (they were all part of a community sale) and only bought 2 things for a total of $1. I don’t mind those times when I don’t buy much because I’m still getting to walk around and enjoy the outdoors!

  6. I found an acoustic guitar for $5. Fixed it up when I got home and use it all the time. What a steal!

  7. This is awesome! I had no idea there was a website for that. I’ll be scoping it out. I used to love block sales… and I would go with my grandma. I learned the art of bargaining! It was so much fun on a Saturday morning. Funny stuff – my grandma bought me a jack rabbit for $10 from a yard sale:)

    • Hi, Well Heeled! The hunt is surely one of the most exciting elements of yard sales. You could find a treasure that’s significantly under-priced, or you could find nothing. I enjoy browsing as well. Sometimes I’ll find things that can be useful around the apartment, which I wouldn’t have found otherwise. You just never know!

  8. I wish we had something like that site here. Unfortunately in Canada I don’t. I do have Kijjiji though which works similar to find listings.

    I grew up going to yard and garage sales. They were a blast. You can get some really cool stuff. 2 years ago I got an awesome wooden rocking chair which I am saving for when we have kids. $10. It was a steal.

    • Hi, Miss T! Now that’s planning ahead! We’re having our first kid in 6 months and we’ve bought zero stuff so far. As others have mentioned, I plan on using yard sales for the majority of stuff we buy for the kids.

  9. Pingback: Friends of the Family: Memorial Day Edition | The Family Finances

  10. Pingback: Town wide yard sale day! « berries and vines on broome street

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