Friday, April 24, 2009

Tis the Season for Sailing, Yard Sailing, that is

Spring is in the air, inspiring everyone to open their windows and clean out their homes! It's Yard Sale Weekend here in Hackettstown, with families on almost every street participating in this town wide event. Picking up some items at local garage sales is a great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Additionally, if you are on a budget, yard sales are truly the places to scope out for some unbelievable buys. Now before you go running out to the nearest one, remember that yard sales can be a double edged sword. People get rid of items for a variety of reasons - items have been outgrown, items no longer function, folks are downsizing, folks are moving. The old adage, "One person's junk is another person's treasure" may be true in some situations, but certainly not all. Here are my tips for happy shopping:

  • Look for "classic" children's items - kitchen sets, houses, walkers, push/pull toys, books, ride on toys, shopping carts, play phones, tables and chairs, easels, desks (plastic items can be hosed down with a mild soap and left to dry in the sun, which is a natural disinfectant, this has worked great for us).

  • If you are buying children's items, ask the seller, which of these did your children enjoy the most? What age is this geared for? Can you give me a better deal if I take a few?

  • Ask yourself - Do I really need this item? Is it in decent condition? Can I get by without it? How often do I see myself using it?

  • Be chatty and interactive with the sellers, usually they just want to get rid of things, maybe they will come down on the price for you.

  • Try to scope out areas/communities/streets that are having sales, so that you just park once and can hit a bunch instead of driving around.

  • Get there early so you can get first choice.

  • Just like falling in love, the best deals usually happen when you least expect it, so just keep an eye out for signs when you are riding around on spring weekends ;)
Craigslist, Freecycle, and local consignment are also resources to use throughout the year when yard sales simply aren't in season. I have personally used Craigslist and local consignment for some purchases in the winter, although I have not found them to be great deals. My friend, Regina, is a Freecycle member and raves about this resource. Everything through Freecycle is literally free. Just make sure you are safe with pick up and drop off points, whether you use Craigslist or Freecycle.

We had lots of "steals" at last year's yard sales, with all items costing $1 or $2 dollars (including the "Country Kitchen Set" by Little Tikes) with the exception of the table and chairs set, which cost $10. We also landed a $4 coffee table, which was recently passed off to a friend. Yard sales are great ways to get out your shopping energy without breaking the budget :)

1 comment:


It worked...Valley Music Center just picked up 4 seating area chairs for $20! amazing. Thanks Lauren

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