How to Yard Sale

Home & Family, Living Green
on March 30, 2012

A yard sale can be a treasure trove of great deals for the savvy shopper. Yard sales typically feature pre-owned items such as clothing, toys, furniture and household goods. An individual, multiple families, charity organizations or even an entire neighborhood may host the sale. At some yard sales, you can find crafts and homemade goods, as well as new or unused items.

Find the best sales. The University of Florida Extension Office suggests you consider sales hosted by homes in more affluent neighborhoods. The goods at these sales may be of better quality and less used because the sellers are more likely to be holding a sale to get rid of things they simply no longer want. In addition, fund-raising yard sales, such as the type held at churches or schools, often are larger than individual home sales and offer a wide selection of items, especially clothing. Most of the items are donated, and the organization hosting the sale has one goal — to raise as much money as it can. Therefore, items may be priced lower than goods found at an individual’s yard sale.

Visit a neighborhood sale. If you are going to spend a day at yard sales, you can save travel time by visiting a neighborhood sale where you can shop several sales within only a few blocks. When neighborhoods, subdivisions or entire towns host a yard sale day, deal-seekers can find great buys. The more people participating in the area-wide yard sale, the more selection and competitive prices shoppers will find.

Deals on secondhand items. Yard sale shoppers typically can find good deals on secondhand items such as clothing, toys, furniture and books. If you find a sale with a “Fill a bag, any clothing for $5” sign, take advantage of the bag space. You can fit more clothing in a bag if you roll the clothing instead of folding or cramming the items into the bag.

Negotiate price for best deal. It’s OK to haggle over prices at yard sales. The exception is when the sale has posted a sign that states, “All prices firm.” In this case, the seller may not want the hassle of negotiating, but may have priced things cheaper so they sell quickly. When negotiating, be polite. Scoffing at the price set is not the way to get on the seller’s good side.

Cash is preferred. Cash is the preferred method of payment at yard sales. Some sellers may be will to take a personal check or money order, but most will only deal with cash transactions. When purchasing a larger item, such as a snow blower for $100, the seller may be willing to take a personal check and hold your check until you can return with cash. After you return with the cash, the seller will give your check back and you can tear it up.

Click on over to our guide on Yard Sale Pricing for information about running your own sale.