Today I had the chance to arrive at a great yard sale just as the people were bringing out the boxes. I picked up about 60 dollars of future presents for about 10 bucks. First to arrive is one of the best times to get great deals at a yard sale. But, it isn’t the only time.
There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to shopping at various times during a yard sale. These rules also apply if you are going to an indoor yard sale!
Pro – If you are the first person to arrive at a yard sale, you will have the pick of all the best stuff. This can range from unopened gift items to collectibles. Believe me, the people who sell antiques and collectibles are on hand several hours before the noted starting time, looking to snatch up some deals.
Con – Sometimes if you arrive too early, much of the merchandise isn’t even out of the garage yet. It usually takes most people at least an hour to get all of their stuff out. Sometimes they remember items as late as 3 or 4 hours into the sale.
Biggest Con – At the beginning of a sale, people have an inflated idea of what their stuff is worth. You will pay top dollar for items if you arrive early.
Pro – You arrive during a busy portion of the sale. Most people have their mathematical skills taxed by this time, so they are willing to give you a better price if you buy a lot of items. Also, all of the merchandise is out of the house.
If you arrive during a lull in the middle of the day, everyone is laid back. They have gotten past the big morning rush. Whew! They want a rest and are willing to give you a pretty good price.
Con – If there are still several hours of the sale left, the sellers might still be holding out for a top dollar price. Most of the really good stuff is gone and now you have to pick through what is left. I consider this the worst time to yard sale.
End of Sale
Pro – Everyone is tired and just wants to be done. You can get rock bottom prices on whatever you want. Many times, the seller is willing to give things to you for free just to get rid of the stuff.
Con – The merchandise is picked over. However, I have found wonderful gems during End of Sale shopping.
Whatever time you land at a yard sale, remember to limit yourself to what you intended to spend. Just because it is a yard sale doesn’t mean that you can’t ruin your budget. Determine ahead of time how much you are going to spend during your yard saling and don’t go over that limit. There will always be another day with another sale.
If you get lucky, you may even run into a celebrity at a garage sale. How fun!