5 Secrets Of Thrifty Yard Sale Power Shoppers: How they are getting all the best deals


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If you have been to more than a small handful of yard sales you have seen thrifty yard sale power shoppers.

They are the ones with the laser-like focus that seem to smell the scent of the exact item they want and head straight for it. When they reach said item a tape measure flies out of the pocket and measurements are taken as they observe every inch of the item with the speed of a toddler who hears his mother’s steps when he is doing something he shouldn’t.

5 secrets of thrifty yard sale power shoppers How they are getting the best deals

They make a lightning fast decision to either buy or not buy the item and then POW! They are off to the next sale while you’re still going through the contents of the first of 12 tables.

However, as much as we make fun of yard sale power shoppers, they sure do seem to be getting all the good yard sale deals. Today I am going to spill their secrets (because I happen to be one of them) so you too can get incredible yard sale deals in less time and for less money.

 5 Secrets Of Thrifty Yard Sale Power Shoppers

 1. They shop with a list

If you want to get the best yard sale deals you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Don’t waste your time on things you don’t and end up finding nothing because thrifty yard sale powers shoppers snatched up the good stuff while you were browsing.

Having a list helps you shop with intention; you can scan a table and know right away that what you need isn’t there, allowing you to move on to greener pastures.

Create your list by going through your home room by room, noting what you need and in what color and size.

2. They shop community wide yard sales

Yard sale power shoppers don’t want to spend too much time driving between sale A and sale B because they know what they want could sell while they are traveling. This is why a thrifty power yard sale shopper loves community wide rummages.

These community sales often have 100’s of sales in just a few short blocks or miles depending on the size of the community, enabling the power yard sale shopper to hit dozens of sales in a short amount of time, saving time and gas money while increasing their chances of finding a great deal on an item on their list.

3. If they don’t live in an area with community wide yard sales they plan a route

When I first started yard sale shopping our family lived in an area where community wide rummages were unheard of, so I spent about 30 minutes the night before yard sale shopping planning out a sensible route that would allow me to hit the majority of yard sales going on the next day with the shortest amount of drive time.

4. They wear the right gear

It sounds lame, but it’s true. Do not yard sale shop in uncomfortable shoes: it will slow you down. Instead think of yard sale shopping as a sporting event–wear shoes you can walk in for miles.

5. They bring the right tools

Thrifty power yard sale shoppers don’t want to waste time hemming and hawing about if a coffee table will fit in their family room, so they take measurements of the area they want to put one before they go out yard sale shopping and put them beside the word “coffee table” which is on the list I mentioned in point one. To make sure the coffee table they have found at a yard sale fits they carry a tape measure along with them so they can take measurements.

Thrifty people also don’t want to be slowed down by thirst or hunger. They pack a small cooler with drinks and snacks so they don’t have to stop and buy one (plus that would cost more than a thrifty person wants to spend).

If a thrifty power yard sale shopper has a smartphone they will use it to take pictures of items at home they want to coordinate with. This save times as they can know within seconds that those couch throw cushions are not going to match the living room drapes (if a thrifty shopper doesn’t have a smartphone they bring along paint chips)


Want more yard sale tips? Check out these posts

How I Saved $500 In 1 Hour

Everything You Need To Know To Have Your Best Yard Sale Season Yet

Yard Sale Shopping Tips

How To Hold Your Most Successful Yard Sale Yet

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  1. Theresa says:

    Tell your yard sale buddies what you are looking for. I knew that my friend was looking for Keen sandals for her daughter and when I saw them at a sale in the right size for $2 I grabbed them. My friend was ecstatic. I was also recently at a sale and saw the great prices and good quality on toddler boy clothes and I texted a friend to let her know. She made a point to stop by and scooped up some great deals.

  2. I will have to say I wish I was a best yard sale shopper. I end up finding the best deals at the community yard sales. The bigger the sales the more I can get. Like the 10 mile long yard sale!

    • Victoria says:

      I have heard about the 10 mile sale. One of these days I think it would be fun to do with a few girlfriends. It would be a bit of a drive so for me it would be more of a thrifty girlfriend getaway.

  3. You’re right on the mark on this blog post! I’m a frequent yard sale and thrift store shopper, too — and blog about my finds often. My post Twenty of the Best Bargains of My Life is available at http://thoughtstipsandtales.com/2014/07/06/best-bargains-of-my-life-part-1/ — and below that post is a list of individual links to posts about some of my best thrift store buys. It’s so much fun to get big bargains!

  4. Amanda Roby says:

    My favorite garage sale find was when I bought the first two books in the Hunger Games series for a dime apiece, just before the third came out. So exciting!

  5. Telena Reynolds says:

    Check ALL the sales–sometimes the best ones are the ones that don’t look too appealing from the street!

    • Victoria says:

      Great tip! I once almost drove past this sale that looked like it didn’t have much of anything I would need, I decided to stop anyways and walked away with a big box of Lego and like new sheets for our RV. You just never know.

  6. My best yard sale tip is NEVER pay the asking price. OK, well sometimes you might end up paying the asking price if it’s something you really want and the price is worth it. But ALWAYS ALWAYS ask before you buy if they’re willing to go down. And I never offer less than half the asking price because any lower than that is just rude. Typically, they come back to me with a price in the middle… or if they just want to get rid of their junk they meet my bargaining offer. Either way, I often get the item for less.

  7. Shared on FB

  8. I always plan a route. During rainy days search yard sale site for church or community indoor flea market. Oh and bring a bag!

    We are hitting rt 11 yard crawl next weekend 8/1….40 miles of yard sales can’t wait

  9. Best tip I have – get there early! I know it is obvious but still pretty important.

    • Victoria says:

      You are so right! Being early (but not too early, that just makes the sellers mad) is the best way to get the best selection to shop from.

  10. My favorite yard sale find was a director style chair that both kids have used. I have recovered it twice to match different rooms, and it is still in use, many years later.

  11. I LOVE thrift sale and yard sale shopping! I totally agree with hitting group or community sales. So much more of a better use of time and it;’s the “critical mass” theory too. The bigger group of items there is to pull from, the better chance of scoring great items and deals! Stopping by from the SITS.

  12. Lisa Leonard says:

    My best garage sale find was spotting 3 rattan dining chairs. As soon as I looked at them, I was instantly inspired… the seats were all ripped out, and whomever owned them had purchased new rattan with plans of re-weaving them. Not my intentions… I grabbed all 3 for $5, took them home, cut out the rest of the seats, leaving some rattan for character. ..spray painted them and placed large round flower bowls in the center of the seat. Just adorable in my flowerbeds! Not bad for recycling old chairs… 1.67 each ?

  13. Great tips! I have been yard sale shipping my entire life. My tip for getting great kids clothes? Go to the sales 30-90 before they are ending and bring a brown paper bag. Offer to take entire bags of clothes off their hands for $1-$2 a piece.

  14. Kelli Taylor says:

    Shared on FB!

  15. Kelli Taylor says:

    I loved finding baby equipment I needed at yard sales when pregnant with my first child! Sweet memories.

  16. shelleyb says:

    My best bargains were the same sale in my subdivision (bonus short drive). Got a razor scooter for $1 and a shoe storage piece for $2. My kids love to have a few dollars to shop and maybe spend at garage sales.

  17. For the neighborhood sales, I make a note of the sales that have the kid clothing in sizes I need then go back the next year. Works for sporting equipment, too.

  18. My best tip is to bring plenty of $1 bills and quarters so you have the exact change for smaller items you purchase. It is a huge time saver and the sellers who run out of change early tend to appreciate the ones.

  19. Love yard sales and love these tips! I have two: give your kids a few quarters and ones so they can shop, and make sure you aren’t buying junk you don’t need justybecause it is cheap! Not that I’ve ever done that ; )

    • Victoria says:

      Yes! the buying because it cheap thing has tripped me up on more occasions then I would like to admit.

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