Check out the early time on the clock. You know what that means, right?
Yep, it’s no secret that I love yardsales. Many of you have asked for tips on yardsales and how to be successful at it, so I’m gonna do a whole post on that today. I’ve been a yardsale fanatic for a good 15-20 years or so. I must have gotten this tendency to pick up old stuff from my Dad, who is a hoarder and collector of stuff himself and has been for a long as I can remember. One Father’s Day, I picked up a humorous card for him. Picture this: a big goat and a little goat on the front of the card with a pile of “crap” behind them. Inside, the caption: “Just think kid, one day ALL of this will be yours!” Yep, that’s my Dad. So, I get it honest. He’s not a yardsale shopper though, but does have the trait of picking things up along the way and stashing his finds, just in case he needs it later. Much to my mom’s chagrin.
Me, I love the thrill of the hunt! Finding those treasures out there for a fraction of the cost. And over the years, I’ve been able to decorate my home with those treasures and there’s nothing more fun than that. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That could not be MORE true! I do trade up and get rid of things that I don’t need though, so I’m not a total packrat.
Last year, I was interviewed by our local Birmingham paper for my yardsale diva prowess, so I’ll share a lot of that here with you:
I typically check the local Garage Sale section of the paper on Fridays since we get the paper delivered to our house.
- Map out the yardsales that you want to hit. I usually circle them in the Garage Sale section of my paper or if there's a big neighborhood sale, that's where I'll head. Neighborhood sales are my favorite. If I see a great neighborhood that is having a sale, that’s all I need to know. Typically, the neighborhood sales will start as early as March and go through May. Then, many neighborhoods will also have another sale in the fall, September and October are the key months for fall sales. I hit them both.
- Other than a neighborhood sale, some of asked me if I only go to upscale areas and the answer is NO! I will go to any neighborhood for a sale, whether it’s middle class or upscale, large homes or garden homes. They are all worth checking out and you never know where you’ll find some favorite things. I will use Mapquest if I don’t know where it is and that always helps.
- Craigslist and Garage Sale Tracker are also great online sites to check out for yardsale activity. I almost always stay within about a 5-10 mile radius of my house for yardsales and there are always plenty on my side of town.
- Most sales start early, usually by 7 to 8 a.m. The old saying, “the early bird gets the worm” applies to yardsaling in a big way. You have to get out there early to find the best stuff. It will disappear within the first 30 minutes, but that’s not to say that you can’t find something later in the morning. That’s happened to me plenty of times, finding good stuff after 10 or 11. You just never know (for example, that shabby cabinet I just bought was found after 11 a.m.) I try to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than a sale is advertised to start. I hate it when they are sticklers for starting right on the dot and sometimes will leave if they make people wait.
- Eat something for breakfast. You’ll need energy for a morning of garage saling! I will grab toast with peanut butter and make myself an iced coffee to go and grab a yogurt and spoon for the car.
- Dress comfortably with good walking shoes. This is not a fashion show. :)
- Bring cash, ones and fives are good. I usually take only what I want to spend and that’s usually around $20-25, but have been known to write a check if I find something really great. They are good about taking a check if it’s in a close neighborhood. I only have a 2 door car, but really wish I had a truck many days.
- Don’t be afraid to bargain. I will typically ask for a lower price on something if I think it is a little high. If it’s reasonable, I don’t bat an eye, but pay the asking price. Sometimes folks like to think they will get higher dollars for clothing and that is sometimes irritating, but most will sell clothes at a reasonable price. I don’t like to pay more than $1 to $4 per item for clothing.
- If you find something you think you might want to buy, pick it up (or tell the person you want it if it’s too big to carry around). You don’t know if the next person up the driveway will swoop in on your prized item or not, so to be safe, pick it up. You can always change your mind and put it down later. I’ve had several things grabbed up when I haven’t done that and I know I’ve picked up things that other people were planning to buy, but they didn’t hold onto the item and lost out.
- Pick things up and look at the back or bottom of a piece. Many times you’ll see labels and price stickers and can tell where the item came from. That’s always a good thing to know!
- Look at something that catches your eye and see how you can change it to work better for you. It may not look exactly like you would like it at first, but think about painting and changing something to suit your home. We all know about spray paint by now! One of my favorite lamps was a yardsale find for $5. I got a little smaller shade and made it a prize.
- I can’t tell you how many times I just wait on something that I’ve been wanting and eventually, I’ll find it. Happens too many times to count and that is really a thrill. To find something without having to go to the store and pay retail. I’ve found my hubby many AL football things for his office, as well as a brand new espresso machine, coffee bean grinder, so many things like that.
- Estate sales are fun to check out, since they are usually a whole house FULL of stuff, but are typically WAY more expensive than yardsales. A lot of times they will have the sale on Saturday and then on Sunday, it’s 1/2 price day. I don’t usually go back for that, but it’s fun to look.
So, I hope this will encourage you to get out there and shop at the yardsales! I promise, once you start, you will be hooked. And one thing’s for sure, you’ll be spoiled to shopping retail. I sure am!
I’ll start with 3 things that I saw, but did NOT buy, again just to show you what’s out there for cheap. This white dresser was $15 and has a mirror with it. Not bad at all and with a little fixing up would be cute as can be.
Small armoire was $40. Again, this piece would look great painted black or white with new knobs. I think it’s for a small TV.
Set of white rockers were $80 for both, really a great pair. Can’t you see this on a front porch somewhere?
Now, here’s what I found this weekend. I went to probably 10 houses in all for all of this and one estate sale. Four more melamine plates ($2 for all) for outdoors in a pretty aqua that will go with the placemats I have and with the acrylic blue/green glasses I found last week, remember?! The like new set of spatulas were $1 for both.
From an estate sale, an old copy from a library for $2.50 of To Kill A Mockingbird, one of my all time favorite books, by Harper Lee, a revered Alabama author.
Check out these bunny salad tongs, I think they are pewter, $3 for the pair.
And a red bunny piece of cookware by Chasseur (made in France), brand new never used, with the papers inside, for $2. Now, check out this link, it sells retail for $100 or more and is called a terrine, made of enameled cast iron. See, you just never know what you'll stumble across. I had no idea what this was when I picked it up.
Old wooden basket for $1. I’m going to store my potatoes and onions in here.
Set of mother of pearl jewelry came from 2 different sales both on the same day. Necklace was $1 and the earrings were $2. Don’t they look like they belong together? And notice the M on the necklace, my last name initial. I love these and the earrings will come in handy for some other necklaces I have found in mother of pearl.
Cute little birdie bowl was $2. The bluebird’s tail is broken off, but it doesn’t really matter. Nice clay pottery piece.
Black 8x10 frame was 25 cents. No glass, but I have extra. I decided to put my Fifi Flowers painting in this frame and it's perfect.
Blue/white plate was 50 cents.
Cute Express lightweight sheer sweater was $1.
Ann Taylor Loft black long sleeve top was $1. And I got a soft and fuzzy pink robe from Target that looks brand new for $1 that I didn't take a pic of.
So, that’s how I did this week. How about you? I also got my shabby cabinet hung up, so you'll be seeing it this week.
I need for all of you to read these instructions again, please:
Most of you know how to play, so add your link to Mr. Linky. Again, please link back to THIS post from your blog post. Some of you STILL aren’t getting the links right. Please add your permalink (your thrifty post url) and NOT just your blog url. There IS a difference and I have to go back and fix at least a dozen who aren’t linked correctly. If you don’t link your party post, then months later when someone clicks on your link from here, they will not find the right post and I don't want to have to just start deleting wrong links. Thanks for getting this right, please!