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