How to shop Yard Sales like a Pro: 5 Tips you need to know

Garage sale

Yard Sale Tips

The warmer months are about to hit and that means we are likely to start seeing those ever recognizable garage sale signs popping up!

Garage sales can be a great place to find awesome deals on everything from clothes to books to housewares and furniture. If you are a garage sale shopper, you likely know some of the tricks, but if you are new to it, here are some great tips that will help you plan for a successful day:


People often advertise their yard sale days (and sometimes weeks) in advance. It’s best to find out the area or part of town that you want to go and plan a route. Going from one side of town to the other over and over is a huge time waster and can cost you great finds in the process. Next, you’ll want to check out online garage sales listing sites and map out a plan.


Not only should you plan days in advance, but you should set your alarm early for the day of the big garage sale trip. The best stuff does not wait for you to get there it will go to the first offer and let’s face it, the early bird gets the worm. According to listing data, the most popular start time for garage sales is 8am. However, there may be a few that start even earlier, and you’ll want to hit those up first!


I have almost always been able to negotiate prices at garage sales. Don’t be afraid to do the same. If a seller is asking $5 for a pair of jeans, why not ask if they will take $3? It does no harm to simply ask for a better deal, and if they say no, then so what? But if they say yes, you are looking at an even better deal! Start your negotiations with the phrase “What is your bottom dollar on this item?” Sometimes it is as easy as that!

Another great way to negotiate a better deal is by bundling your purchase. A seller will like to see a bunch of their stuff going and will be more receptive to taking a deal on the lot over individual pieces.

BRING THE GREEN (Cash that is)

Despite the advances in technology, not many sellers will have a credit card reader on hand and they won’t take checks. Make sure you bring plenty of cash with you and make sure they are smaller bills. That negotiating that were were talking about earlier? It’s much easier to talk someone into giving you those jeans for $3 if you hand them 3 $1s than if you talk them down to $3 and hand them a $5 or a $10 and request change.


Make sure you bring your smartphone with you to look items and their values up. This way you are well prepared in what to offer. Mobile apps like Profit Bandit and Ebay are a great way to quickly find the value of a potential treasure!

Now that you’ve got a few more tips in your yard sale toolbox, go out there and get the goods! Speaking of goods, we’d love to see them! Upload photos of your yard sale finds to Instagram and tag them with #treasurelistings to potentially be featured on our Instagram feed.