7 Tips to Finding Great Deals at Yard Sales

7 Tips to Finding Great Deals at Yard SalesOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s easy to get decent deals at yard sales—but getting great deals at yard sales can take a little extra work. Here are some tips for finding your own treasures:

1) Know where to look.

It may seem like a pretentious tip, but opt to check out the sales in more affluent neighborhoods. Sellers are likely holding yard sales to get rid of items that they no longer use such as toys and clothes. Goods at these yard sales are often of high quality and are also in very good condition.

2) Prioritize moving out sales.

If you’re choosing between a moving out sale and a regular yard sale, definitely visit the former first. Sellers who are moving out of their homes are more likely to be getting rid of goods that are fairly new or are too big (or small) for their next home.

3) Keep a list (and measuring tape) handy.

Keep a list handy of things you need or want that you’d like to get at a good price, such as kitchen tools and gardening equipment. For bigger items such as couches or tables, take note of how much space is available in your home for these pieces. It helps to carry around a measuring tape in your car or bag in case you need to assess an item’s size at a moment’s notice.

4) Test your items.

If you’re on the lookout for electronic devices, it’s best to carry an assortment of batteries with you in case you want to test a gadget to make sure that it works. The same goes for other items. Always check for chips or cracks that may not be visible at first glance.

5) Ask.

Sometimes, sellers aren’t able to set out everything that they’d like to sell. Ask the seller if they’d consider selling a particular item you are looking for, such as table, bicycle or gaming console. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

6) Ask for a bulk discount.

If you’re purchasing a lot of items, ask the seller if you can have a bulk discount. Sellers are likely to give you a better deal on items like kitchenware and books if you are clearing out all their items at once.

7) Time your shopping.

Always take into consideration the time of day you decide to visit a yard sale. If you’re looking for big-ticket items such as furniture and television sets, the best time to go is early morning, as soon as the sale starts. Keep in mind that the seller may not settle for a very low price, as other buyers will likely make a better offer later on.

If, however, you aren’t looking for anything specific, show up between lunchtime and closing time to browse through the clothes, CDs and knickknacks that are likely being sold at a more reduced price. Sellers are tired and more apt to bargain, as they’d rather get rid of their items than pack them up and put them away.

Photo Credit: qwrrty

 

6 Things You Shouldn’t Buy at Yard Sales

yard_sale_bearYard sales are a great place to find all sorts of treasures that you need or want, as well as those items you didn’t even realize you needed or wanted. Take note, however, that there are certain things that you should never buy at yard sales. Here are some of them:

1) Car seats

It may be tempting to save some money on a secondhand car seat, but don’t sacrifice your child’s safety for a few dollars. That car seat may have already been in an accident, which can compromise the seat’s safety and reliability.

2) Helmets

It’s perfectly fine to purchase a motorcycle or bicycle helmet that is brand new. Used helmets, on the other hand, should be avoided. Like car seats, helmets are often designed to protect the owner from one accident. If a helmet is already scratched or damaged, it’s best to prioritize your safety and buy a new one.

3) Mattresses

If you’re considering buying a used mattress at a yard sale, keep in mind that you may be paying for a lot more than just a mattress—such as bed bugs, mites, mold, and even bodily fluids.

4) Shoes

Not many people realize that when worn for a long time, shoes tend to mold to the size and shape of the owner’s feet. Even if they’re the right size secondhand shoes may not fit your feet correctly, and could potentially cause blisters or knee and back problems.

5) Cribs

Cribs often face safety recalls for various reasons, and it may be hard to figure out if a secondhand crib at a yard sale is one that should no longer be sold in stores. To be on the safe side, you’re better off purchasing a brand new crib that adheres to current safety standards.

6) Hats

Hats are rarely cleaned before being sold at yard sales. These articles of clothing may contain remnants of another person’s sweat, dead skin, hair, and sometimes even lice. Is a cheap hat worth the possible headache later on?

As irresistible as it may seem to get a good deal on a particular item, always take your health and safety into consideration first and foremost. A smart shopper is a happy shopper!

Photo Credit: IntangibleArts