Why Yard Sales are Sustainable

Have you ever been to a yard sale? They used to be quite popular 15 or so years ago, but since the Internet has stormed our households, suddenly yard sales aren’t as useful. After all, instead of spending 30 minutes making ourselves look presentable enough to go outside and peruse that sale, we could be sitting in front of our computer and finding a great deal with our pajamas on. While you can find some deals online, I still believe in the art of finding deals at your local yard sale.

Let’s think about our online purchases for a moment. I’d say that five years ago or so, it was pretty easy to scroll through Craigslist or Kijiji and find a screaming deal on something we were looking for. It was great! We called up the buyer, made sure they still had the item, and then we hopped into our car with our cash to go pick it up. Simple huh? But what’s it like today? With so many people online, here’s how the scenario typically plays out: You are looking for a new smart phone to replace your old one that recently took a dive in the toilet, and low and behold, there it is! It’s an iPhone 4S (it has Siri even!) and it’s only listed for $50. It was posted just a couple of hours ago, so you might still have a chance to pick up this sweet deal. Quickly, you dial the number on the ad and nobody answers. In fact, not only does no one answer, but their voice mail is full. There has already been so much interest in this phone that the seller has stopped answering her phone and her voice mail is full! You never had a chance.

With all of our interest flowing from the yard sales to the online sales, it is now much more difficult to find a deal with your computer. But, do you know where you can find the deals now? You’ve got it: the yard sales.

Fewer and fewer people stop at those yard sales, but the sellers still want to get rid of all their stuff! As the day goes on, prices start going down and down. The only difficulty is knowing what’s actually for sale in the yard. Well, the only way to truly know is to get down and dirty and take a close look at everything.

Typically, yard sales have exercise equipment, furniture, sports equipment, books, kid’s toys, and gently used kid’s clothing. Since the interest in these items is low, you can really find some sweet deals here. Furniture is often priced at less than 10% compared to store prices, and the same is true for that exercise equipment! If you’re looking to get back in shape, don’t head to the retail store. Take a trip to some yard sales! You’ll find some great stuff, and it will be priced so low that it might still be worth buying, even if you only work out for 2 weeks.

Not only is it fun to pick through these yard sales, but it can also be very profitable. Yes, you might find some great deals, but occasionally, you might also find some very rare antiques. If you have an eye for expensive, rare items, you could very well be one of the next surprised faces at the Antique Roadshow with your $25,000 vase. Who knows! There are surprises at every yard sale. Stop by and score a deal sometime soon.

3 thoughts on “Why Yard Sales are Sustainable

  1. I think if you’re going to do a yard sale, get the whole neigbhourhood involved – make it an event. Far easier to market a neighbourhood yard sale than one just at your house.

    One weekend in May our entire town has a yard sale. It’s great, we just comb the storage and get rid of everything. A few years ago a friend had cleaned their closet out and gave us some of their stuff to sell. This guy comes up and is intently examining a suit I’ve got for sale from the friend. He’s got a puzzled look on his face. I ask him if he’s interested. Nope. But he did tell me that I was selling his wedding suit :). His wife cleaned out the closet without telling him, gave it to our mutual friend, I end up selling it on my front lawn. If I had my time back, I’d have given him the suit to take home again.

    1. The weekend following the long weekend in May our neighbourhood does precisely this. The main part of the sale is on “Gilmour” (90% of the homes participate) and each home donates the proceeds to charity. Other houses nearby also sell on that weekend. You pretty much can’t get a car onto the main sale streets – everyone is out and about walking, perusing, buying and walking out.

  2. almost went to a yard sale this past weekend. . . but I don’t need anything. . . so I would have been just shopping to shop.

    But I have some planned purchases coming up. When the money is saved, I will start looking.

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