Are Yard Sales Treasure Or Trash?

By GALTime.com Contributor Elizabeth McGuirk

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In many parts of the country, spring is prime yard or garage sale season. If you've never gone "yard sale-ing" before, you might want to give it a try. With the economy tight, more people are selling unneeded household items, and more people are turning to yard sales for the great bargains. Learn just a few tips to make it less overwhelming, and soon you'll be wowing your family and friends with your great finds!

First of all, scout out your area. I usually check CraigsList and local weekly newspapers for yard sale listings each weekend. However, it's hard to know how good the sale will be until you actually see it. In my area, many homeowners' associations host community yard sales, where many homes in the neighborhood host sales on their lawns on the same morning. I love these events, because you can just walk or drive around the neighborhood and hit many sales without going far. I also look for sales in more affluent neighborhoods, because there's a better chance of finding high-value items at bargain prices.

(The Art of Treasure Hunting At Consignment & Thrift Stores)

Most yard sale shoppers try to get out early (8:00AM is the usual starting time in my area). The really hot items will go quickly, so shopping early guarantees you won't just be picking through someone's random knick-knacks. However, some bargain finders also swear by shopping at the end of yard sales. If you're willing to haggle, you can probably get any items you do find for next to nothing, as the seller won't want to bring his stuff back into his house!

It's easy to get carried away by the low prices of yard sale items - "Wow, an electric juicer for only $5!" However, smart shoppers make a list of what they actually need. You probably don't want to clutter up your house with "bargains" that will just be collecting dust. Click here for details on how I tell the difference plus tips on knowing the "going rates" in your area.

Most of all, enjoy the hunt! Part of the fun of yard sales is searching for the great deals and never knowing what you might find. So take a friend and a cup of coffee, and go find some bargains!

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