Went to a few yard sales today with my grandma, who has recently started her own etsy shop. I haven’t had much luck at finding good stuff at yard sales this summer, but today my luck changed.
I found an awesome old bag that I assume was for a camera. It’s real leather, but the strap is very dried out and it’s cracking, so I will probably have to replace it. The best part — it was free! Then I found a wicker handbag at a Mennonite garage sale for $0.50. Not too shabby. At one garage sale, I found a neat bag of old Halloween decorations, which had these two blinking buttons that you see pictured above. Not pictured, I found three pairs of vintage earrings that need some TLC, 90s Tupperware brooches (I know, weird), and an old advertising yard stick for my workspace/craft room. (Oh, yeah, I made myself a work space that I will have to share with you guys. It’s furnished completely with second-hand awesome-ness, including a mid-century TV stand I found on the curb and carried home.)
Yard Sale Tips
1. Here’s a good tip I learned from my grandma — a lot of yard sales start on Thursdays, so it’s the best time to get the good stuff. Antiques dealers and vintage hunters get their early for the best stuff. They’re your competition!
2. Late Saturday afternoon is the best time to get cheap prices, because sellers are ready to throw in the towel. They are probably more willing to negotiate, and start throwing items to the curb, free to anyone who wants them. Being late has its advantages!
3. Check the free boxes! That is where I find the weirdest, coolest stuff. I found that cowhide bag in a free box. Once, I found an 1800s Bible that sold on eBay for $60. So, you just never know! Just be shameless and raid those boxes! Remember, they want that stuff gone.
4. An effective haggling maneuver at yard sales is bundling. If a seller has items marked higher than what you’d feel comfortable paying, suggest a single price for multiple items. Take them to the seller and ask, “Would you take $5 for all of this?” and insert your offer as you see fit. The seller feels like they are getting more money and you get more for your buck.
5. Try to see the potential in an item, while still being realistic. For example, today I saw an awesome black wool coat that looked like it was from the 40s at a garage sale. It was marked $5. I thought about haggling, but I smelled it, and it smelled like mildew. Mildew is a difficult thing to get rid of, and in the end it was going to cost me too much, so I decided to pass.
6.To build on the last point, use all of your senses to help you make the right choice. Be realistic about whether you will give an item the TLC it needs. I have a lot of stuff sitting around that I said I’d fix up, but haven’t. Don’t be like me!
Good luck with your yard sales while the weather permits!