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.

You will need

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

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.

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.

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.