Sunday, August 9, 2009

Garage Sale Shopping 101

I've been inspired by a lot of DIY trash to treasure makeovers lately in the blogs that I read, so I decided to go garage sale shopping on Saturday. I've never really shopped garage sales before so this is a new concept for me, but I think I'm hooked now! It's so fun seeing the potential in other people's trash!

I know I'm still a newbie to this but I learned a lot just in one day. Here are my tips for garage sale shopping:

1. Use Craigslist to find garage sales. There is a "garage sale" section of Craigslist just for people to post their upcoming sales. It's awesome! I got on Craigslist on Friday night and printed out the listings of the sales that peaked my interest (basically all of them). Then I organized all the listings by their locations so that sales in similar parts of town were together.

2. Gather your supplies. I put all my organized listings in a folder. Also it's important to have a pen (to take notes, if needed) and cash. It's a good idea to have small bills and larger bills since a lot of garage sales can't make change. I used my GPS to find garage sales but if you dont have one you can just plug all the addresses into Mapquest and print out directions the night before.

3. Start early! Most garage sales start at 8am so leave your house at 7:45am or so. I got a later start yesterday (8:30) because my friend needed a ride to the airport so I missed out on a lot of the popular items like furniture. At one of the first sales I went to I actually saw a couple loading a BEAUTIFUL shelving unit into their car as I pulled up. I was so bummed!!

4. Have an idea of what you're looking for. For me, I was looking for home decor and furniture so I was able to zone in on those items. Some sales that I went to mostly just had clothing and such so I was able to walk away in less than a minute without wasting time.

5. Don't get discouraged. As I said above, I got bummed in the beginning because I didn't find anything I liked at the first 4 garage sales. But I'm so glad I kept going because I ended up finding some great stuff!

6. Negotiate! One garage sale I went to I asked how much something was and the lady said "$3" and I said "Okay, well I'll buy it if you can give it to me for $2." And she agreed. These people just want to get rid of this stuff so they are DESPERATE to sell! Granted, I'm not all about robbing these people of their stuff but if I think their price is a little high then I'm going to negotiate!

7. Look beyond the outer appearance of the items and look for potential! I'm totally guilty of being an outward appearance kind of girl. If something doesn't look nice, I won't buy it. I had to change that mind set as I was garage sale shopping though because so many things have great potential with just a coat of spray paint or a good scrub down.

Ok so you wanna see my purchases? I probably went to 8 different garage sales, plus I went to two different Goodwill stores and I was done shopping by 11:30am. Here is my bounty:I spent a total of $13 on all this stuff! Amazing!

First off, the teapots: I started off finding the one with the pears on it at Goodwill and I thought it was so cute and would be great as kitchen decor. I figured I could spray paint it to match my decor. But then, at the next 3 garage sales I found the other 3 teapots and I just couldn't resist buying them either! I guess I started a teapot collection! Ha! I think I'm going to display the teapots on top of my cabinets in the kitchen but my new dilemma is whether or not to spray paint them. The one in the front right is just too beautiful to spray paint so I'm thinking I may leave them as is. I'm kind of loving them!

Next up, the Christmas angel candleholders. How adorable are these?!?I actually had to dig these out of the bottom of a box but I'm so glad I did. They are REAL SILVER candlesticks and I'm pretty sure they were never even taken out of the box because the stickers were still on the bottoms and they look new (minus a little tarnish). I paid $1 for these beauties....ONE DOLLAR! O. M. G. What a steal! I can't wait for Christmas season to get here so I can display them!

Finally, these little green glass urns (I guess you would call them urns...not sure?).So cute! I think I have an affinity for colored glass because I was so drawn to these. Plus, they are GREEN which is a color I am loving right now! For now, I have them displayed on the mantle and I love them there.

So there you have it, folks! $13 worth of garage sale finds. Have I convinced you to go garage sale shopping yet?!? Can't wait to go again!


  1. You know your MIL collects angels ;)

  2. Don't spray paint the teapots.....they are too cute, even the one with pears! I love the idea of teapots above the cabinets...its perfect!

  3. Next time you go garage sale shopping let me know! I love garage sales! :) btw how is sewing going?

  4. ASHLEY!!! I love garage sale and estate sale shopping (and browsing... you never know!)!!! Let's go together one weekend???? I didn't know Craig's list had garage sale listings!!! Cute finds :-) Let's go.


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