I love to shop at garage sales almost more than at thrift stores. Items are SO much cheaper at garage sales and you never know what you will find. I ought to get a sticker for the back of my van that reads, "Caution- stops abruptly for garage sales," because I really do! That being said, I want to share my top ten tips for shopping them. Here we go with Part One.
1. Use Craigslist to find neighborhood garage sales in your area. Search term 'garage sale' on Wednesday of that week and often you will find ads for them. Also start watching for signs announcing garage sales around town on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
2. Go early. Our city often has garage sales start on Fridays, so I will often go Friday mornings for the early selection and then drive back through on Saturdays to see if any new ones have popped up. If you don't go Friday, then it is worth getting out early on Saturday. The best deals happen then.
3. Go alone if you can or try to take another adult if you bring kids. Often my mom will come with me and it helps a lot. Otherwise bring a DVD for the van so the kids can stay in while you run up and quickly rummage through. You can move MUCH faster without the kids.
4. That being said, I take my kids all of the time. There are almost always toys for them to look at and no one is too worried about their stuff because they are trying to get rid of it anyways. Often I will let them pick something that is .50 whenever we go and they cooperate. We probably go to at least one or two garage sales every Friday morning during Spring and Summer and even Fall while we are out an about.
5. Go with a list in mind. I said this with thrift shopping, but the same thing applies with garage sales. If you know what you are looking for then you can plan on how much cash you might need and easily skim over items. If I were looking for a bookcase I would bring a different amount of cash than if I were just hoping to pick up wooden spoons for a project.
Check back next week for Part 2!