How to Find a "Gem" at a Garage Sale

I am sure some of you are thinking: "I can never find anything at garage sales" or "I don't know what to look for."  Well my friends, read on.  We are going to give you some tips on how to find your own gem!


  • Do Your Research.  Search for sales with furniture pieces, not just clothes. Check your local Craigslist (under Garage Sale section), check local newspaper classifieds, look for signs posted around town, etc. HINT: Fishing opener weekend is a great time to get out to some of the first sales of the season!
  • Prioritize. Figure out which sales might have the best items and map out which ones to shop first. Most of the best pieces are sold before noon so you want to start early!
  • Timing is Everything. Get there about 15 minutes before the sale opens. Don't be shy - get in line.
  • Chat with the seller.  They may end up giving you a better deal if they get to know you a bit!
  • Do a quick sweep. Don't spend a lot of time in one area at the beginning. Sweep the entire sale first to see if anything catches your eye.  Be quick. You don't want to miss anything.
  • Look beyond the obvious. (the following statement is from the Today Show, The Junk Gypsies) "Some hidden treasure is just that: hidden. You have to look for its potential." The Junk Gypsies look for bigger items like lamps and solid wood furniture, even if it’s not in good shape. “We can’t do much with particle board furniture,” says Jolie, “but solid wood is almost always a good buy. You can add architectural pieces and decoupage, stain, or paint it.” HINT: A simple coat of paint can do wonders...just check out our Before & After photos to see the transformations!
  • Claim It.  Anything that you might be interested in that is. Do this right away to avoid missing out on something.
  • Analyze It.  Avoid items that are broken and unable to be repaired or pieces that would be hard to fix.
  • Negotiate before you buy. Don't be afraid to negotiate.  That is what garage sales are all about; getting a deal! The seller doesn't want to have to bring anything back into their house....they want it gone.  Make an offer, even if its a long shot! If the seller says no, offer a slightly higher amount and negotiate until you are able to agree on a price.


Now that you are prepared, go out there and enjoy Garage Sale Season!!!  And don't forget to post your favorite finds to the MECO7 Facebook page!


Happy shopping!





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