It’s that season again. Community Garage Sale Season!
“The Goldmine for Garage Salers”
While Garage Sales and Yard Sales can be found year round in the warmer states and from spring to fall in most states, the best time of year to find great finds is during Community Garage Sale season.
Whether you go to garage sales and yard sales just looking for things for yourself or you like to buy things for resale, your success will be increased if you follow these 5 simple tips.
Tip #1: Know When The Best Neighborhoods Are Having Their Community Sales
This information can often usually be found right here on gsalr.com. From the homepage, search for your city. Then, click the “Filter” button the the upper right corner of the screen and under where it says “Keywords”, type “community” and then hit “Search”. You’ll be shown any sales matching that keyword. Some HOAs or communities might call it something slightly different such as a “neighborhood wide sale”, so you may also want to try the keyword “neighborhood” as well, to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Find the nicer and larger neighborhoods in your area and do a Google search for their HOA website.
There you can usually find their newsletter or calendar of events.
Take note of each neighborhood and put it on your calendar because some of them may not advertise well.
If you can’t find it on their website, you can always call their HOA and ask.
When you have a plan, you can always be prepared and pick the best neighborhood, which leads to tip number 2.
Tip #2: Pick The Best Neighborhood
If there is one community sale in your area, there are often many more on the same weekend.
The dilemma of deciding which sales to go to and which sales to go to first can be difficult and agonizing.
That feeling on a Saturday morning after you strike out at a community sale that had little participation can often give you that upset feeling in your stomach.
My Recent Bad Choice…
One of the largest community sales in my area was having their sale, but because it’s such a great sale, there is a lot of competition there.
I also knew that there were a few other community sales that I could go to instead that may have a little less competition. One of them was a new guard gated community that I could get into early because I have a friend that lives in there.
I decided to pass up on the large sale I’ve always had success at, and try the other sales thinking I would have less competition and I could have my pick of the litter.
To make a long story short, the other sales had little participation and I was done with them by 9am. I then regretted my decision as I only found a few small things and I was certain I cost myself $500-$1000 in profit.
I then drove to the larger neighborhood and in the first 15 minutes, I had made over $300 in profit. I was kicking myself for my decision.
Here is what I found in my first 15 minutes of the large community sale at 9:15…
New Sealed Sony NWZ-W262 Running MP3 Player
Paid $15 – Sold on Amazon for $75
Various Games and Electronics at 1 Sale!
Paid $100 – Sold for around $350
I said to myself… “What was I thinking?”
I still had a great day and over $1000 profit, but “What if…”?
The Moral of the Story… Always pick the bigger neighborhood with the most participation and don’t worry about the competition!
Tip #3: Get There Early
Many of the best items, especially those that are very under-priced get bought up fast! So you’ve got to be out there early to get them.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but a couple things to keep in mind to not give early birds a bad name…
1. Please be nice and courteous.
I will typically ask “Do you mind if I take a look a little early?”
This will help them let their guard down and feel like you’re not a rude person. They won’t mind your presence as much now because at this point they invited you. If they are not ready or don’t won’t you to look, then just move on and swing back by if you want.
2. Sometimes offering to help with something opens the door.
Early in the morning I will often drive by a house if it doesn’t look like they have anything and they are still setting up, but this one house I passed had a lot of new toys on tables in the garage.
I knew they weren’t ready for customers, but I noticed they were struggling to set up their canopy, so I got out and offered to help set up their canopy. After that, I said “Do you mind if I take a look at what you have? I know you’re not set up yet.”
They said of course.
At that sale I made over $300 in profit.
Here are just a few of things I bought…
Vintage Star Wars Toys
Paid $40 – Sold on Ebay for $241.40 + Shipping
I also offer to help sometimes with moving tables, etc. A little courtesy goes a long way. People like nice people. 🙂
Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Pass Sales
Not all garage sales are created equal, so if there is an abundance of sales, spend your time getting out on the good ones.
This is a pretty easy tip as well, but I will often find myself walking up to an older person’s sale at 7:30 with nick-nacks and household items and walking away saying “Why did I get out for that one?”
Early on, you will have those instances where the person in front of you is walking away from the garage sale with something you wanted and in that situation, if you wasted time at another sale, you’ll be kicking yourself for missing out.
So spend your time early on at the best sales.
Tip #5: Remember to Have Fun!
It really is a treasure hunt out there.
Have an adventure. Enjoy it with someone. Enjoy the weather. Be thankful that you have life and health to be out there.
It’s a great way to save money and it’s also a great way to make a living for those of us who do.
So enjoy your time and make the most of the Community Garage Sale season while you can!
Jamie – The Garage Sale Coach
For more help, training, and tips to be a successful garage saler…