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How to Score Big at Yard Sales

Knowing how to look for great deals and how to bargain are keys to getting a bargain at a yard sale.


  • Step 1: Make a list Make a list of specific items you're looking for. Include things like garden equipment and tools – things that you don't need right away and can hold out for a bargain on.
  • Step 2: Look in fancy neighborhoods Watch for signs in affluent neighborhoods. People with more disposable income have a higher rate of inventory turnover, so their items will likely be in better condition.
  • Step 3: Look for block sales Look for block sales. Block sales save you travel time and you can cover more ground more quickly.
  • Step 4: Arrive early Arrive early to get the best deals at each sale. Yard sales typically begin at 8 or 9 a.m., and the best stuff goes quickly.
  • Step 5: Bring cash, tools, and bags Bring cash to purchase items; tools to take apart items that are too big to get into your vehicle; and bags to carry away smaller items.
  • TIP: Measure objects to make sure the sizes will work for you. Check items carefully for signs of mold or mildew.
  • Step 6: Don't be afraid to haggle Negotiate prices or bundle items and offer a low price. Prices are never firm and sellers expect to do some haggling.
  • TIP: Drive an older car. If you show up in a fancy car, sellers are less likely to give you a deal.
  • Step 7: Don't buy impulsively Don't buy items impulsively – you'll bring things home you'll have to sell or give away later.
  • FACT: Did you know? The Highway 127 Sale is the world's longest yard sale. In 2009, it stretched 654 miles, encompassing five states, from Alabama to Ohio.

You Will Need

  • Want list
  • Affluent neighborhood
  • Cash
  • Tools
  • Bags
  • Measuring tape (optional)

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