Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How To: Be a Yard Sale Fanatic

Did you know it is spring?
(In Utah it is sometimes hard to know for sure)
Spring, for us, marks the beginning of yard sale season and you better believe we are out the door at 7am every Saturday morning on the hunt for local yard sales. We are so nerdy that we even make it a point to go to yard sales on our weekend vacations.

With all the yard sales we go to, Kyle and I have developed our own little system for effective yard sale-ing and I have decided to share our tips with you today--lucky you!

Kyle & Kourtney's Tips for Awesome Yard Sale-ing
1. Search the classifieds/craigslist for sales.
Here in Utah, usually has the best selection.

2. Plan your route.
I am extra nerdy and put all my yard sale information into an Excel spreadsheet so I can sort by city or time and come up with a route we want to follow. I also include notes on each sale like: "baby stuff" "neighborhood" or "multi-family" so we can pick out ones we really want to go to. That said, usually the neighborhood and multi-family sales are our top priority. They are more likely to have a wider selection and more sales in one location.

3. Know the areas.
We have had especially good luck at yard sales in certain cities and neighborhoods and make it a priority to hit those ones first. (Hint: wealthy areas) When we moved to our house a year ago, we quickly learned which neighborhoods yield the best sales and it has been a fun way for us to get to know this new county we're living in. Also, having a GPS really helps get from one sale to the next in the fastest time.

4. Get there early.
The good stuff goes fast, so the earlier you can get to a sale, the better chance you have of getting what you're looking for. That said, I have stopped by some sales late in the afternoon only to score on some really great treasures like the $10 chandelier I revamped for the nursery.

5. Bring cash.
Always keep small bills in your pockets. This is especially helpful when bargaining for a price. I'll keep just a few dollars in one pocket, but larger bills in another. When a seller sees you hand them cash, even if it’s their asking price, they're more likely to lower the price for you. People want cash!

6. Grab onto things fast.
If you are contemplating an item, hold on to it or someone else will grab it first and you won't even have the choice.

7. Don't be afraid to bargain.
I'm not the best at bargaining, but I'm getting better. My mother-in-law is a yard sale pro and will bargain a $1.00 item down to $.25 in a matter of minutes. I don't know how she does it. My advice is to know the max you would spend before asking for a lower price and be prepared to walk away if it doesn't meet your terms. Most people having yard sales expect to get a little less than what they ask for most things.

8. Don't give up!
It's really frustrating to drive around for a couple of hours and see a ton of yard sales with nothing we really want. But, the more you go to, the more likely you are to find that darling vintage rocking chair or the $40 grandfather clock (both of which we scored at yard sales!)

Happy Yard Sale-ing!

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