Aug 05 2008

Do you like going to garage sales?

Yesterday’s post about baby clothes got me to thinking more about garage sales.

In the comments section, I wrote that I’m not a big garage saler. I just plain don’t like getting up early on Saturday mornings–what can I say?

Some people love the thrill of the hunt, but I don’t like spending a morning going from sale to sale looking for a bargain. I don’t like visiting dud sales, and I feel awkward picking through people’s belongings.

Garage sales can be a great way for some people to find bargains. Some people think it’s really fun.

They just don’t work for me. I prefer one-stop bargain shopping such as a large church rummage sale or something with a lot of stuff in one place, you know?

Do you go garage saling? How do you make it work for you? Are you just a shopper, or do you hold your own sales sometimes?



20 Responses to “Do you like going to garage sales?”

  1. I am not much for garage sales either. Getting in and out of the car is a pain, and yes the dud sales are annoying. However, I am a random garage sale person. If I see some signs, I may or may not follow them. If I am looking for something specific, I usually do not find it at the first few. Then I get discouraged and go home.

    I usually just shop clearance racks at the stores… I usually can find good deals. But I don’t like driving around wasting precious gas looking for the best deal. If I am at the store or near the store, I will go in and check it out..

    I do scan ebay often for new with tags, or gently used clothing for my two girls. I keep in mind a spending limit to what I would pay for each item, including shipping. If it goes past that price, oh well, nothing lost.

  2. As you know, i LOVE garage saling. However, i don’t usually stop at sales unless there are multiple sales on the same street, or if i find them on craiglist and they’re advertising stuff i want (toddler boy’s clothes, infant girls clothes, etc.) If there are multiple sales on a street, usually you’re not alone in rifling through other people’s property, and you can be basically left alone and not glared at.

    i also drive by a LOT of garage sales. If i don’t see something from the street that looks interesting, it’s just not worth stopping.

    i do love the community sales at churches and schools. Those are incredible. But usually in an actual garage, you find slightly better deals. (onesies 2/.25 instead of .50 each at church rummage sales.)

    i also drink a little bit of caffeine before i go. This incites me with a bit more energy=more chutzpah to go into someone else’s garage and possibly make *shudder* small talk with them:) i’m a bit of an intravert in real life.

    The thing is, it’s uncomfortable going to some garage sales, but honestly, it’s been totally worth it for me. i find incredible stuff that i actually use for ridiculous prices.

    Do they only have sales on Saturdays by you? Here, they start on Thursdays and go all weekend.

    jessica @pianomomsicle’s last blog post..Tip on thrifting

  3. I do love garage sales. I love them. It usually only works for me to go if it is a community sale or like at a church because I usually have to drag my sweet children along (who stop being sweet by about the 5th garage sale). I usually carry only a $20 with me. This pretty much makes me bargain and it makes me very choosy with what I am getting. If I see a big ticket item (like a bike for my son) I will go get more out if I think it is a good deal. I am very cheap at garage sales though. I will not pay more than $0.10 or $0.25 for an item and usually not more than $1.50 or so for an outfit unless it is like brand new or brand new.

    Gretchen’s last blog post..Kitchen Tip Tuesday, organize your medicine and vitamins!

  4. I like going to yard sales but I don’t usually get to too many because it’s too much of a pain to do while toting around kids… especially when they’re still in carseats… way too much work!

    But when I can get out to a few with my mom and hubby keeps the kids at home, it’s great! I’ll only go if I have someone with me so I don’t feel as weird going through people’s stuff.

    Oh and we just drive right on by if the stuff doesn’t look good from the street. And we usually try and go to an area where they are holding town-wide yardsales or atleast a few in the same area… so that way we know we can park, walk down the street and get to a bunch of sales at one time.

    As far as holding our own sales… my parents have one at their house twice a year and we always join them and it turns into a big family event.

  5. I am not a garage sale person. I have been to three in my whole life. Although, I am known for accepting things that are garage sale worthy from friends. Before they have a yardsale they often ask me to come and get what I want.

    Alot of times they don’t want to have a yardsale and end up donating the items. People are always giving me the things that I would normally purchase second hand anayway. My friends and acquanitences know that I gladly take hand-me downs.

    For instnace this Sunday my girlfriend gave my daughter about 4 pairs of shoes and 8 pairs of sandals along with 7 purses. 6 of the purses were still new and so was a pair or two of the sandals and shooes. Her husband gave my husband a bush trimmer since he had two of them. We had been borrowing a friends once a year to trim the bushes. Now we don’t have to borrow and we didn’t spend any money.

    I say all of this to say that it is good to let friends and family know that you are open to second hand items. I haven’t spent over $500 on children’s clothes since they have been born. I have four children ranging from age 4-15. Most of their clothes are second hand good quality name brand items. The stuff that we don’t use we give away promptly. I think that this helps with the law of reciprocity.

    I am always being given something because I am always giving something away. I don’t hold on to things hoping that I will use them one day. I believe that if I haven’t needed it in the last year than out it goes. I figure that when I do need it that God will provide for my needs.

    I think that I went a little off topic, but my point is that when people offer you clean quality things, if you are not embarrassed about taking hand outs, take’em. What you don’t want can always be donated or consign.

    Hadias’s last blog post..Work-from-Home Opportunities: Freelance

  6. I have really, really good luck shopping at garage sales in my little 3000 people town. There are about 2-5 garage sales each week and I usually come in with a landslide of bargains. THe most important thing is that you go to them on opening day in the morning. Which is usually Thursday or Friday. Most likely your lack of finding the amazing deals all the time is because you are only able to go on Saturdays. When I have gone on Saturdays or even later in the day on a Friday, I find practically nothing. But on the opening day, WOW, I find sales like you wouldn’t beleive!

    Once you are in full, full swing of buying clothes for older kids, you will really like getting to garage sales. They save a lot on your budget. I think I clothed two of my kids fully for a whole winter for well under $50.00 last year at garage sales.

  7. I garage sale but (for me)it is not frugal being I always buy stuff I have no need for. I do have a sale every year though so I can thin my collections.

  8. I have to watch out for yard sales–it’s so tempting to want to buy cheap things. In reality, having minimal possessions is MUCH more frugal (you need less space to store your stuff and less money to maintain it). I only shop at sales when I’m looking for specific items that I want second-hand, like furniture–though I’ve gotten most of the furniture in my house for free from friends and relatives who were redecorating.

  9. I love garage sales but there are some key things. First I check out the online paper before and make up a little schedule of sales that are close that have what I want including directions. If I’m looking for clothes I look for specific gender and sizes to be listed. My favorite sales are when a neighborhood does a sale, then you can just drive through one neighborhood. Usually I get up early to beat the heat and crowds although some of the best deals I’ve ever gotten have been at the end of sales. People are often willing to slash prices really low so they don’t have to haul stuff back in. Finally I go with girlfriends. I love my kids but it is nice to take a little vacation every once in awhile. Hubby gets the kids up and feeds them breakfast and lets them watch cartoons and I get out of the house and have fun chatting and shopping with my girlfriends. Yes there are lots of dude sales, some that are two expensive or the stuff is junk but when you hit a good sale it is so worth it. My kids wear all Gymboree, Baby Gap, and Old Navy and I get all their stuff for between 25 cents and a dollar a piece. The crazy thing is I’ve even been able to sell the kids used stuff at our local consignment sale for five to eight dollars.

  10. I used to be a garage saler when I was growing up; let me rephrase, I was ONLY a garage saler growing up. We never went to the stores to get new stuff, so I think I’ve grown to really hate them. I like to save money but I’ve been garage saled to death in my past life! :)

    hank’s last blog post..Some Rights Reserved

  11. I love going to yard sales, although holding them makes me a little nervous. I guess it’s the idea of people judging whether or not my stuff is “good.” Of course I prefer a church rummage sale or something big like that, but I lump that in with “yard saling” in general. You never know what you’ll find, but I enjoy finding unexpected treasures.

  12. Oh, I LOVE garage sales! Now that gas prices are so high the best ones to go to are neighborhood garage sales. Go to those subdivisions where a bunch of people are having yard sales on the same day. It’s great. I love finding great deals. I hit a good one right before my daughter was born, someone was selling all their girl clothes and baby girl things. It was great!

  13. I’m not a huge fan of garage sales and don’t go to them with any kind of regularity. Of course, part of the problem is that a lot are only on Saturday when I can’t buy (for religious reasons) or start on Saturday and have nothing even half decent left by Sunday. I occasionally stop if I’m driving by and see one with stuff that looks interesting, but even then I almost never buy (though we have been *forcibly given* a few dolls or stuffed animals by people when we’ve had our DC with us).

    As for having them, I’ve tried a couple of times and made very very little money. You have to deal with “early birds” who show up 2 hours ahead of the sale and are miffed if you don’t let them take everything they like for next to nothing. That’s actually the biggest problem, I think. Everybody wants to get things for practically nothing and they make insultingly low offers (like .50 for an almost brand new pair of skates or $5 for a dozen china cups & saucers in a popular and expensive pattern when they go for about $65 each new).

    On the whole I say they’re not worth it.

    Shevy’s last blog post..And So To Bed

  14. I only go to garage sales if I happen to pass by a sign and it’s convenient to stop by. They also have to have a sufficient amount of stuff that I can see just by driving by that indicates that they have kid’s stuff (like toys or baby stuff).

    However, in MI, we have sales called Mom-to-Mom sales which are usually held in churches on Sat. mornings where a local MOPS group, etc. brings in stuff only related to babies and kids. It’s nice, because it’s like a big rummage sale, but all related to the items you are most likely looking for.

    Corrie’s last blog post..Welcome!

  15. I’ve gotten some great deals at garage sales. But I only go to sales when a whole neighborhood or a whole village (I live in a small town) is having a sale. That way I can drive there and park and walk around. I tend to go to the homes in the nicer neighborhoods as they are more likely to have brand name clothes for my kids. And while I don’t care about the name, I have to say that Gap, Children’s Place, Gymboree…. they all wear very well. I have three girls and I have yard sale clothes that have been through all three and are still looking great when I give them to my best friend’s daughter.

    I pretty much only buy kids clothes and some shoes if they are newish. I don’t even look at the other stuff.

  16. I love to go to garage sales and yard sales! Well, when they are plentiful. I find if I spend a day yard-hopping and don’t find anything that great, it feels like a major waste of time/gas and it keeps me from going again for a few weeks.

    Daphne (One Mom in Alabama)’s last blog post..Happy Birthday Hubby!!!

  17. When my kids were babies, I’d go to garage sales all the time. Yes, it was a pain to pull them in and out of the car and into a stroller, but the bargains outweighed the pain. I am so OCD, I’d scourer the paper the day before, and put together a numbered map. I’d do many drive-bys and not stop if it wasn’t to my liking. Now that they are older they prefer Plato’s Closet.

  18. I am definitely not a garage saler. I don’t understand the urge to buy stuff that other people don’t want because it’s been sitting around their house for who knows how long.

    Now I realize some of the things may be new or a good value, but I’m just not into it. But in my town the roads become clogged every friday and saturday morning with parked cars of all the people hitting up garage sales.

    Shaun Carter’s last blog post..Get $50 From Trade King

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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