Garage Sale Treasure: 10 Best Items to Buy at Garage Sales

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 Garage Sale Treasure - The 10 Best Items to Buy at Garage Sales

Garage Sale Treasure – 10 Best Items to Buy at Garage Sales

Spring is here & that means it is the start of the biggest garage sale season, as so many people are busy doing spring cleaning. Once they have cleaned out their houses, they then want to get rid of the clutter with a garage or yard sale. Plus, this is the time that many neighborhood sales take place.  So, if you have some items on your list that you’re needing for your house or your kids, now is the time to start hunting & checking out yard sales.

Top 10 US States with the Most Yard Sales:

Top States with Most Yard Sales

Did you know that the Northwest states are actually in the Top Ten of US States with the most yard sales per capita according to research by GSalr.com? This is pretty impressive & shows that we can find some really strong savings by shopping the yard sales around our own areas. Lots of hidden treasures to be found at all of these yard sales with so much variety in the number of sales available.

Top Ten US States with the most yard sales:

  • Oregon – #1 for the most yard sales in the nation
  • Idaho #2
  • Washington #6

I am an avid garage sale shopper – I love to shop the sales and have hosted a number of garage sales at my home & family members’ homes as well. If you’ll be having a garage sale soon, make sure to check out our Garage Sale Pricing Guide + Tips on for a Successful Garage Sale.

I am also sharing tips on what items are the best buy to watch for when you head out to garage sales! These are the items that will often give you the most bang for your buck in terms of savings!

10 Best Items to Buy at Garage Sales:

  1.  Books

One of the best deals you will find at garage sales is books, both hardcover and softcover books. At most garage sales, you can often find books priced at $2 and under for hardcover books and $1 and under for softcover books. {Check out the garage sale pricing guide to see the typical price of books & other items}. My favorite books to find at garage sales are children’s books. You can often find nice quality kids books for under $1, often the Scholastic books that many parents buy at school book fairs or with the flyers that come home monthly from school. Books can be so pricey and if people don’t want to keep too many books around, they will often sell them still in excellent condition.

2. Clothing  –

Some of my favorite items of clothing to look for adults and kids are things like jackets/coats, ski clothes (we have found most of our ski pants in like new condition at garage sales), and of course baby and kids clothes. The younger the child is, the more items you can find in excellent condition as babies grow out of their clothes so easily. If you go near the end of the sale, you can often find deals such as stuff a bag for a $1 or even offers to take all of the remaining baby clothes for a set, low price which could give you an almost complete wardrobe for baby. Garage sales can also be places to look for specific brands. I love Gymboree clothes for my girls because of the quality and I’d search listings for any sales with that brand & find prices better than consignment sales. Kids dress clothes (dresses, suits, etc) are also items to watch for at garage sales – these items may have only been worn a few times but the kids quickly outgrew them.  Whenever you buy clothing at garage sales, just make sure you have thoroughly searched the clothing for tears, holes and stains and make sure there are no smells like cigarette smoke. Think about buying in 1-2 sizes above the sizes you need for your child, too.

3.  Board Games –

Board games are an item that you can often find at very low prices (often $2 or less) at garage sales.  So many people have high hopes of playing games but then never end up using the games they bought as often as they’d like, so they just sit in closets for several years. The important part about buying board games at garage sales, though, is always make sure all the pieces are there. You don’t want to get home & then realize you’re missing important pieces. We have found some old favorites & new games to try at garage sales. I love board games for group get-togethers as it can be a nice way to break the ice if you have people who don’t know each other as well, just bring out a fun board game.

4.  Picture Frames – 

Frames for Repurposing

If you are in need of new picture frames for your house, you’ll often find picture frames in excellent or even new condition at yard sales. I have been able to find brand-new picture frames at garage sales for as low as a few dollars and then been able to take advantage of the free 8×10’s from places like Walgreens to give a frugal gift to grandparents.

Another idea that is fun is to search for a variety of different picture frames (see the picture above) & then paint them all the same color. I have been collecting unique & ornate looking frames from garage sales to spray paint them all shades of turquoise and hopefully make a fun gallery wall. Even the larger size frames might only be $10-$20, while you’d pay more than double that in the thrift stores (cool, old frames have become very popular in thrift stores and they have raised the prices on these as I’ve been on the hunt).

5.  Camping Equipment – 

How many people do you know that have big intentions on going camping so they buy all the gear brand-new and then after just a few tries they realize that they much prefer hotels. This happens more than you think, so you can often find gently-used, like new equipment for a fraction of the cost. Tents are one of the big items you may see at garage sales as it’s often hard to find a good tent as you don’t have a chance to put it together when you buy it. If you do buy a tent at a garage sale, just make sure to inspect it thoroughly (I’d ask to lay out the tent or even set it up) to make sure there are no tears or holes, that all the poles are there, and that it’s in good shape. You’ll often find other camping supplies like camping stoves & lanterns, sleeping bags and more in excellent condition at garage sales. Last summer, we found a brand new, quality camping lantern for $20 which was regularly $50. We also found a nice Coleman stove for a fraction of the retail cost.  Just make sure you know what the items are selling for in the stores to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

6.  Craft Supplies

One of my favorite items to look for at garage sales are craft supplies. So many people overbuy craft supplies – they have good intentions of starting projects and then never complete them. Or they buy more supplies than they need for projects and have leftover items. I love to find craft supplies to use for birthday parties (I always do at least 1 craft at my daughters’ birthday parties) such as ribbons, glue, paints & more. Last year, I went to an estate sale & found a little tackle box filled with all sorts of ribbons for every project you can think of for just $2 (you can see some of the ribbons I used for an Easter bake sale with the Rice Krispies pops I packaged up).  You can also use craft supplies such as scrapbook paper, stamps, punches, etc for kids’ rainy day craft days.

7.  Tools & Lawn Equipment – 

My husband loves to head to garage sales with me as he’s often on the hunt for good quality tools and lawn equipment. We got our current weedeater for just $10 at a garage sale & it’s been working well for us for 7 years. You can also find things like rakes, shovels, spreaders and more at garage sales for just a few dollars.

Tools are also an item that people may buy and then realize they don’t have a need for it and it’s just taking up space in their garage. Or they buy it for a specific project but then it collects dust after the project is completed. With lawn equipment and tools, you want to make sure you thoroughly check everything out to make sure it works well. If it is gas operated, make sure that you turn it on to see it start. If it’s electric, ask for an outlet to make sure it’s working properly. You’ll also want to make sure that tools are not rusted.

8. Wood Furniture – 

It seems like they just don’t build furniture as strong as they used to and I can often find the heavy-duty, well built wood furniture at garage sales or estate sales. If it’s a piece of heavy-duty, sturdy furniture, chances are that it has been well taken care of too. There are so many fun ways you can repurpose wood furniture now that quality wood furniture is a hot commodity to search for now at garage sales.  Buy some chalk paint (or make your own) to spruce up that bookshelf or end table with very little work. Or repurpose the bookshelf into a number of different uses in your home.  If you find those furniture items at the end of the sale, the seller may be more willing to bargain, too. However, those pieces often are the first items to go at a sale if they are in good shape, so you may want to consider getting to the sale early if you know they will have several wood furniture pieces.

9. Bicycles – 

We have yet to buy a bicycle for our kids at the stores as you can find such great deals on kids bikes at garage sales. Kids grow so quickly that we just haven’t found it to be a good value to purchase a bike at a store, but instead look for a bike for $10 or less at a garage sale. Inspect it and ask if your child can ride it to make sure it’s a good fit & in good working order. I’m going to be on a hunt for an adult bicycle for myself this spring as I don’t want to pay the high prices in the stores for something that I will only use occasionally, so a garage sale is the perfect place for me to find a bike.

10. Electronics –

In this day & age when electronics are constantly changing, people are always wanting to upgrade their electronics. You can often find electronics even a year old or less for a steep discount from what you’d pay in the stores. I’d stick with the quality brands that you trust as there is a lower chance of having issues than lower end brands that may not be as durable. Also, make sure to ask to turn it on, plug it in & make sure it’s working properly.

 

How to Find Garage Sales::

gsalr.com to find best garage sales

We all know about the typical way to find garage sales ahead of time such as the newspaper and Craigslist . But I wanted to share about a newer way you can search for local garage and yard sales before you leave the house or when you are out and about. There are several websites that you can put in your town & they will show you all of the sales near your house. You can see the sales in a Map or List format. Many of the listings not only have descriptions of the items they are selling, but they show you pictures of many of the items as well. Several of the sites have search features, too, where you can search for specific items that you are on the hunt for such as tents, bicycles and more.

With sites such as YardSales.net and GarageSaleFinder.com, you can put in your email and city location and they will send you emails when they find sales near you as well. I love that feature as it can be time consuming to do all the searching and this way, you are notified of sales as close as 5, 10, or 15 miles from your home.

Check out these garage sale listing sites:

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by GSalr.com and YardSales.net.  All opinions are 100% mine. See our disclosure policy for more details.