Today’s tip is absolutely essential in making the most money for the time you invest in sourcing at garage sales.
Garage sale tip #2 is basic:
How to find ‘em.
The more garage sales you find, the more profits you can make. Some of the methods I use to find garage sales are pretty obvious, but others, not as much.
How to Find More Garage Sales Near You
Go to craigslist.org and find your city (or nearest city listed). In the “For Sale” section of your city’s page you will find a link for garage sales. From here you can enter in your zip code in the search bar. If you live just outside a major city, you can also search for your city’s name to find the sales closest to you. Be sure you look at the dates in the listings. You don’t want to go to a garage sale that was advertised for last week or is advertising for next month.
2. City Websites
Many cities require garage sale permits before someone can host a garage sale. Most of these cities use the permit information to advertise those garage sales. If your city doesn’t offer up a list of sales, then take a look at cities that surround yours. Chances are, you’ll find a few of them have plenty of garage sales for you to visit.
3. Garage Sale Websites
Most of these sites just pull from craigslist, but sometimes, people add their garage sale directly to the site and skip posting on craigslist altogether. Some quality websites include:yardsalesearch.com yardsales.net gsalr.com garagesaletracker.com garagesalefinder.com
4. Garage Sale Smart Phone Apps
Again, most of these pull from craigslist, but often, you’ll find sales only posted on these apps. Some of the apps are the mobile versions of the websites listed above. Many of these apps will show you maps with directions to the sale. Here are my favorites:Yard Sale Treasure Map Garage Sales by Map
The above links go to iTunes, but if you have an Android phone, there are garage sale apps for you too.
Some people still advertise their garage sales in the newspaper. I don’t suggest you subscribe to a newspaper solely for the purpose of finding garage sales, but if you already are a subscriber, be sure to look at the ads. Some newspapers include garage sale ads for free on their websites, so be sure you look at your city’s newspaper’s website.
6. Drive Around
Last year, one of the towns I garage sale shop in posted its list of garage sales on Thursday nights. By the time I got the list, I would see that 9-10 of those sales started earlier that day. When I showed up on Friday to a garage sale that started on Thursday, I wasn’t getting first pick. So what did I do? I decided to drive around town, on the main roads, looking for garage sale signs. On average, I’d find just over half of the sales that would be on the list later that day. This was worth it to me to get there first. I found some great items to resell on Thursdays that I knew would not be there on Friday. So, if you don’t have any garage sale leads, go out and find ‘em yourself!
7. Local Facebook Groups
It seems that almost every neighborhood or area of town in the US has its own Facebook group. If you’re not in these local groups, you might be missing out on some great garage sales that are posted in the groups. To find these groups, go to Facebook and search for the names of your local neighborhoods and subdivisions. When people in the neighborhood have garage sales, they often post it in these groups.
8. The Nextdoor App
If Facebook doesn’t have a group for your neighborhood, there’s a great chance that Nextdoor does. The main focus of Nextdoor is to bring neighborhood’s together. With Nextdoor, neighbors can interact with each other on the app and help build up the community. People usually post questions about what’s going on in the neighborhood (“What’s that construction truck doing on Maple Street?”), ask for recommendations (“Who knows a good plumber?”), or post pictures of stray dogs (“Whose dog is this in my yard?”). One thing neighbors also post about is if they’re having a garage sale, sometimes asking if someone is planning a neighborhood wide garage sale. Check out Nextdoor and find more garage sales.
9. Craigslist (again!)
Yes, we’re back at craigslist.org to find more garage sales, but we’re going to search a little differently. This time, type these words into the search bar: “neighborhood sale” or “church sale” or “rummage sale.” The search results will give you another option for your garage sale trek. Searching for a “neighborhood sale” will give you ads for neighborhoods that are having multiple garage sales in close vicinity to one another. It might not be worth your time to travel 25 minutes to visit one garage sale, but if you knew that there would be a whole neighborhood filled with garage sales, then the trip would be worth it.
The Next Step: Plan the Best Route.
Once I find all the garage sales in my area, my next step is to create my garage sale routes. Most garage sales are on Friday and Saturday, but some start as early as Thursday and end as late as Sunday. Be sure to note the dates of the garage sales when you are making your route. I’ll usually create these routes with Google Maps (or Speedy Route if there are many garage sales). I plan out my routes like this:
Thursday route – All garage sales scheduled to start on Thursday.
Friday route – All garage sales that start on Friday and any from Thursday I missed.
Saturday route – All garage sales that start on Saturday and any from Friday I missed.
Always prioritize the garage sales that start on the day you are sourcing. It’s best to be one of the first people to arrive to maximize your inventory possibilities. Be sure to take note of any garage sales you miss (or don’t have time for) so you can add those stops to your route for the next day.
So what about you? Where do you find your garage sales? Got any tricks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear in the comments below how you find those “hidden” garage sales that nobody else seems to find.
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Anne Zarraonandia says
Thanks for the great tips! I use many of those sources as well!
I love just driving around and finding surprise sales too!
I use list-alert to send me info from craigslist. You creat an alert like “rummage sale” and they find all of the craigslist postings in your area with those words in them and send all of those ads to your email account.
I have a whole list of alerts set up. Plus when I’m looking for something specific like books I set up alerts for those words.
I just noticed that List-Alert was no longer in operation. Just wanted everyone to know in case they were trying to use that service.
An alternative to List-Alert: Craigslist has a subscription option that works much like google alerts e.g. I receive email updates as sales with the word “book” in the descriptions are posted. Useful when it’s *not* yard sale season as the sales are few and far between. This has made me money when I’m in the field and a new posting comes up and I just happen to be in the area and can get there right away.
During full on yard sale season I’m thinking about disabling the subscription because the # of postings will flood my inbox; either than or filter them straight to a separate folder.
Thanks Amanda. This is a great addition to the article.
Jo Ann says
Our community has a Facebook page for garage sales, resale, and ISO posts. I would bet a lot of others do, too.
I tried to get Garage Sale Rover, but iTunes is saying it isn’t available.
Looks like it’s not available anymore. I’ve deleted it from the post.
Mark Brown says
Amazing informative article. It’s really helped me a lot. Many many thanks for sharing with us this great article. Looking forward to getting more resource about garage sales. Thanks.
Ann Poppe says
Recently, in my area, there are a couple of places that do “clean out estates”….always good deals. and I find a lot of good stuff gets overlooked!
Stephen Smotherman says
Yes, estate sales can be really good places to find stuff to sell on Amazon too!