1. Plan Your Route
In order to make the most of our your trip and make it cost effective, you will want to get a list of all the addresses you are going to stop at. Put them order as much as you can starting with the closest to your house and working your way out. Because most yard sales wrap things up by two o'clock you will want to hit as many as you can. Be sure to take your GPS or map.
So now how do I find those yard sales? Well, since we live in a virtual world now, very few people advertise in the newspapers anymore, but some still do. So be sure to check your local paper. Also check bulletin boards in your grocery stores on Thursday evenings. If you are checking online be sure to check your local Facebook groups, Craigslist and yard sales sites like: Yard Sale Treasure Map, Garage Sale Rover, YardSaleSearch.com, YardSales.Net
2. Budget, Cash and Gas
Set a budget of how much you are willing to spend and how far you are willing to drive. Be sure to gas up and get cash the night before. If you are running late the morning of this will save time. People are getting savvy now and they have credit card devices to take payments. But remember CASH is KING! You are more likely to score a better deal if you have cash and you will stay within your budget. Fanny packs are not attractive, but they are time savers and then you don't have to keep up with a wallet.
3. Pack a Cooler
Having water, ice and snacks available saves time. Staying hydrated in the heat is a must and you can snack on the go to keep up your energy.
4. Dress for Comfort
Dress in layers so as the days gets warmer, you can start peeling articles of clothing off. Take comfortable shoes. Leave the flip flops and sandals at home. If there is early morning dew on the ground your feet will get wet and dirty and that just makes for a cranky day. You never know when someone has an old barn that they might let you go picking in. This has happened to me before.
5. Prepare Your Yard Sale Survival Kit
Some other things to pack are: Sunscreen, bug spray, hat, sunglasses, gloves, tape measure, drop cloth (for moving bigger pieces) batteries to test things out, screwdriver for removing battery doors, rope and bungee cords for securing larger pieces,
6. Leave Your Kids at Home
The less distractions you the more territory you can cover. Kids get tired and cranky.
7. Start Early and Be Prepared to Haggle
The early bird gets the worm. So try to get their as early as you can. Don't feel bag about haggling. They expect it and most people will give you a better deal if you ask nicely. Do not insult them. My approach is always "is this your best offer" they want to get rid of this stuff. So you don't know until you ask. Also, see when the last day of their yard sale is and go back a right before they close. Most of the time they give stuff away because they don't want to haul it back in the house and they don't want to take the time to go donate it somewhere. We have scored some really good stuff by going back by at closing time.
8. Examine The Breakables
When checking out glassware or plates be sure to check for small chips and broken places.
9. Take Boxes or Bags
The more you stuff you buy, the more room it's going to take up in your car. Be prepared to store your goods. This will help ensure things don't go moving around in your vehicle. I also take a big canvas tote, you know the ones at T.J. Maxx with the handles. If you are at a large yard sale and there are lots of people, you don't have time to be picky and think it over because just as soon as you walk off someone else will grab it. So that is where having a bag comes in handy. Fill that sucker up and then take it the owner and check out. If they want too much for an item, you always have the opportunity to put something back.
10. Charge Your Phone
If you are using your phone to look up items you can drain your battery quickly. I'm the worst about forgetting to charge my phone. So think ahead!
Now we have saved the best part for last. I asked my sweet friend, Tonya of Thrifty Treasures if she would be a guest on the blog today and she was happy to share her six favorite tips for shopping yard sales.You have got to watch this video. These are awesome tips and I would have never thought about these. Tonya has an antique booth, she sells on Ebay, Etsy and Amazon and as if that were not enough to keep this gal busy she runs a very successful Youtube channel. If you get a moment be sure to stop by and show her some love. She has some great videos. I especially love the ones called "what's going to my booth" Tonya, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to make this video for us. It is very much appreciated!