How to Shop Yard Sales… for Free!
Guest post from Stephanie of Joshua and Stephanie
I have become addicted to yard sales this spring, and it’s probably because I have found a way to do it for free!
It is no small matter for me to get out of bed extra early and then to get all my kids fed, dressed and out the door with my wonderful, supportive husband, so it really takes something special to do all this just to go shopping.
I started out this year with $20 of birthday money, and I told myself this was all the yard sale money I was going to have this spring, so I’d better make it stretch. I started picking up extra items at the yard sales that were particularly good deals, and then I would resell them for a profit. In this way, I was able to get several items for us for free.
I made it a goal that however much money I spent at yard sales, I had to sell at least enough to cover the cost of that trip… so I always had at least $20 and I was still getting all sorts of useful things for my family like clothes, toys, gifts, camping supplies, etc.
As of now, after shopping for 7 weeks I have upwards of $60 cash! There is nothing like being able to go shopping on Saturday mornings with my family and not feel like I’m breaking our budget.
Here are some tips to yard sale shop for free:
Make it worth your gas.
Neighborhood yard sales where you can drive around to many houses close to one another. Fund raisers — we have one that raised money for poverty and everything was donated, so it was all super cheap. Church yard sales where a lot of people set up tables. I find my yard sales on Craigslist and Yard Sale Treasure Map.
Find a niche that you know really well.
Make sure you know what a good bargain is and how much you can resell the items for. I am in the baby/toddler stage right now, so I know what these things go for. This way I can pick out a good bargain when I see one. My sister-in-law is great with young women’s clothes and goes to warehouses and yard sales and knows how to find a good deal for things like that. So find your niche and stick with it.
Be intentional with your shopping.
Have a list of things you are looking to buy, and then ONLY buy things you know you can resell with a profit. I tend to buy things I can make at least $4 profit on to make it worth my while.
Find a local place where you can sell your items.
Craigslist, Facebook swap groups, or some sort of consignment sale are your best options. I personally love to sell my things on a local Facebook swap site where I can create an album and upload pictures of everything I have for sale with the price and description. Then people comment on the pictures and I can know who is interested and arrange a pick up.
I have a friend who saves items to sell twice a year at a big sale but I don’t have the space to do that and I would rather have a quicker turnaround. My sister-in-law sells things on Etsy or eBay and that works well for her as she has a wider audience.
Don’t go out of your way to meet people when you are selling things or it isn’t really making a profit when you count in your time and gas. I usually look at my week’s schedule and when somebody wants something, I tell them a couple centralized locations that are close to where I will already be. That way if someone is a no show you haven’t wasted gas.
I also prefer not to give out my address to everyone. When I go to meet up with people it helps to give them a cell number so they can contact me if they are going to be late. I also try to courteous to others and let them know when I am running late.
To sum things up, find a category of items that you know a lot about, find an avenue of selling those items, and it is very possible that you could spend your summer finding all sorts of wonderful treasures at yard sales for free!
Stephanie is wife to Joshua and mother to three little ones. Managing her home and caring for her family is a full time job and she enjoys yard sale shopping. She keeps up a blog at www.joshuaandstephanie.blogspot.com and tries to post updates on her yard sale adventures weekly.
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