Yard Sales for the Distracted: Ten Tips for Shopping Yard Sales

“nose tonge (sic) & glasses in rear”

Now we know why he looks like that…

Yard sales are my favorite place to pick up books, kids clothes, and a good laugh. Yard sales are also very dangerous places for the distracted. I can wander for hours at a really big yard sale. I find myself reminiscing about things and people. A book, an album cover, or an eight-track tape can take me way down the rabbit hole.

I have developed some strategies that enable me to shop efficiently, and stick to my list. Yes, I keep I list of books, etc. that I want. Having a list of items I am shopping for also lets me enjoy my side trips down memory lane.  I don’t have to worry that I will forget why I wanted to come to the yard sale.

Here are my tips for staying on task, and not coming home with a bunch of stuff you will just have to toss or resell later.

  1. Take only the cash you want to spend. This is the number one way to only spend what you planned to spend.
  2.  Make a list, with sizes, if you are shopping for kids clothes. Use the Evernote on your phone and you will always have your list with you.
  3.  Stay hydrated and eat. Many a bad decision has been made when thirsty, hungry, and tired.
  4.  Allow yourself to reminisce and remember, and then move on!
  5.  Go with a friend, a good friend who will remind you to stop and think, one that is not afraid nudge you when it is time to move on.
  6.  If you are looking for bookshelves, or other furniture, etc. bring the measurements of the space you have available. It is not a deal if it does not fit!
  7.  If you are trying to match colors, bring pictures with you. The Evernote app lets you store pictures and is great for this.
  8. If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break. Remember that there will always be another sale.
  9. Try to avoid bringing young children with you, it is hard enough to stay on track when you only have to worry about yourself. Older kids may be able to help, unless they are just like you…
  10.  Don’t feel guilty if you make a bad purchase decision. Better to make a $1.00 bad decision than a $100.00 bad decision.