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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yard Sale Strategies

I love yard sale-ing. My sisters taught me how to yard sale. I didn't really get into it until about 10 years ago. Here are a few of my special yard sale buys. I paid $10 for this Coach purse.

I bought this toy for one of my little cousins for a couple of dollars!

I bought this for a baby shower gift.

I buy clothes, household accessories, furniture, kitchen and dishware, etc. I bought an antique crystal and silver powder box for $10 at a yard sale only to see the same thing in an antique store for $350! One of the best buys I ever got was my Kitchenaid mixer. I found it for $10 at a yard sale! I've had it for 8 years now and it has always worked perfectly so there was nothing wrong with it. I have a yard sale strategy. Here are my suggestions.

The day before:
1) Get your cash money. Be sure to have a good handful of silver change. Plenty of quarters.
2) Fill up your gas tank.
3) Map out your route. I check the newspaper and Craig's List for yard sales in my area. From these I decide if I want to go to yard sales that have things I'm particularly looking for or to yard sales in a certain area. For instance if I'm seeing more interesting yard sales on the north side of town. If I need to be careful of my gas, then I will choose to stick close to home. Use your Google maps to find the addresses of places you don't recognize. I copy and paste into a Word document all the places in different areas of town. I start getting a feel for where I want to go. I can delete the other areas once I've decided where I'm going to concentrate. Make sure, in your list, you have the address, opening time and any notes of what they are selling that you are interested in.
4) Plug in the addresses to your GPS.
5) Lay out your clothes.
6) Make a snack to take tomorrow.
7) Get a good night's sleep so go to bed early.

Yard Sale day!
1) Eat a decent breakfast. It amazes me how yard saling wears me out. Be sure to eat some protein and carbs.
2) Be sure to pack your snack, Make a coffee thermos.
3) Be sure to have your cash money.
4) Be sure you have your list and GPS.

My Tips:
Make sure someone knows where you are going. Maybe leave a copy of the list with a family member.

Take your cell phone and a measuring tape.

Be flexible. If you see another yard sale on the way, STOP! My list is not in stone unless there is a specific place that I really wanted to go to.

Be careful and courteous when parking. Don't park in front of someone else's driveway or tear up someone's yard. I have had an accident at a yard sale. People around you aren't being careful. They are sliding in where they can and jumping in and out of cars. So be extra careful. Watch for people, especially children, and for cars coming and going. Know who's around you when you go to back up. When I feel bad, I want to park as close as possible so I don't have far to walk. But when I feel good, I would rather park farther away to protect my car and then walk the block back to the house for the sale. When I'm lucky, my husband will drive me around. That doesn't happen often and the first couple of times he had to learn what I wanted to do. That was stressful because he thought I was nagging. But now, he knows to look for signs, to accept instructions from the GPS (boy, that is so hard for a man to learn!), to pull up and drop me off, get turned around and pick me up. But he doesn't go often so I have to do this myself. I love having a shopping buddy but the only ones I really like to go with are my parents, my sisters and their husbands, close friends and Stan. We are so alike and know each other so well that it's fun to shop together.

Don't buy something just because it's a good bargain. You have to need it or really want it and have a place for it. If you buy stuff just because... then you will soon be a hoarder. And if you collect stuff, you can overdo. For instance, I like old world globes. Don't know why. But I come across globes all the time. If I bought them all, even though they are $5 bargains, my house would be full of globes. That's unrealistic. So I have about 5 globes and that's all I will collect. That's all that I can place and store. I won't buy another one unless I find something particularly unusual and then I will get rid of one of my old ones. If you collect salt and pepper shakers then you could buy pairs at every yard sale you go to but it wouldn't be too long before you have boxes full of them and that's not smart. Only keep enough that you can display and keep clean. So be discriminating.

Be aware that everything you buy needs to be cleaned when you get home. Wash or dry clean the clothes. Wash the toys thoroughly and put in new batteries. Wash stuffed animals. Use antibacterial cleaner on baby furniture and items. Check for recalls on baby and children items like car seats, etc. By the time I get through cleaning my stuff it's cleaner than it is when you buy it from the store. Think about it! Whatever you buy at a store has been through assembly lines, stored in warehouses, come across on ships, etc. I always clean anything I buy even if it's not used. But be sure to clean every used item before giving it to your children to play with. If you can't clean it, don't buy it. Even a leather purse, you can clean by pulling the lining out of the purse and just washing the liner in the sink, rinse and let it dry before you push it back in. Then use leather cleaner on the leather. For shoes, spray the inside with Lysol and let them dry in the sun.

Then put it away. I haven't finished my yard sale experience until everything is washed and put away. If it's a gift, I put it in my gift closet. If it's clothes, after they are clean, I put them in the closet. If it's toys, then once it's dry and new batteries are put in, it goes in the play room or toy box. It's the same for thrift store shopping. You get some wonderful bargains but be sure to wash it and put it away when you come home.

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