Second Hand Steals

by Kelsey Norwood

in Thrifting

yard sale bargains second hand shopping

I went out last Saturday to see what I could find at some local yard sales and came home with some fantastic steals! I found my new favorite book, These is My Words, brand new for $.50 and an old favorite, Cold Sassy Tree, was thrown in with some other stuff so it was pretty much free! I got the two serving plates for $.25 each and the pizza stone for $2. This is what keeps me going back for more!

Here are some helpful yard sale tips I live by:

  • Look on craigslist (or KSL if you live in Utah) or local print classifieds to find advertised sales and map a route.
  • Notice where yard sale signs tend to collect  and stop there on your way out. There are a few corners I know I’ll find a handful of signs for yard sales that I didn’t find on KSL.
  • Be the first person there!
  • Go with a mental list  – you’ll be amazed how much you can find that you were actually looking for.
  • Carry a list specifics: shoe and clothing sizes you need, books you’re missing in a series, knitting needle sizes you don’t have, etc
  • Ask for prices on individual items as you shop instead of waiting until you’re ready to pay. REASON: those two serving plates I found were $.25 each. If she hadn’t told me first, I would have offered more because I assumed she would ask more. When you’re all finished, offer a flat amount for everything – “Would you take $3 for everything?” Most people don’t want to appear super cheap so they usually won’t dicker with you over a couple of dollars and they’re glad to see their junk go.
  • Be nice! If they still ask more than you’re willing to pay, say thanks anyway and politely put the items back. And don’t be embarrassed to put stuff back. You should definitely have second hand price points and stick to them.
  • Go back at the end of the sale to pick through the left overs. People are usually willing to give stuff away or sell it for really cheap.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything – there’s always next Saturday!

I can’t wait until Saturday!


1 Missy June 10, 2010 at 6:21 am

I really liked These Is My Words. It really wasn’t what I expecting at all.

2 Kelsey June 10, 2010 at 7:28 am

I know! I’m glad that Jenny told us to expect some trauma at the beginning because I really needed to prepare myself for that. But what an amazing woman and such a sweet love story! Now I can read it again and mark all my favorite parts.

3 Dana June 10, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I love yard sales too. I really like the different colors of the Fiestaware dishes and have been able to add to my collection at a great price.

4 Kris June 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I love the big square platter it looks like Pampered Chef. If so that is an excellent deal. I love yard sales to.

5 Elizabeth June 11, 2010 at 9:18 am

I wish I knew how to yard sale shop. I’m always jealous of the people who can bravely go out there and find the great finds. Instead I feel awkward and hurry and run away before anyone can see me!

6 Sue D June 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I wish I would have started a lot sooner going to garage sales. I get most of my craft supplies and clothes for my grandchildren from garage sales. Also church rummage sales are great–prices are usually lower.

7 Valerie June 15, 2010 at 7:51 am

These Is My Words is a great book, you will love it. I loaned my copy out and never got it back. Blah!

8 Donnetta June 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Great finds! The pizza stone is a real prize! I use mine for pizza and homemade artisan bread. It really does make a difference.

9 Charity June 19, 2010 at 7:24 am

I love Cold Sassy Tree. There is a sequel as well that is almost as good. My mom’s side of the family is amazing at yard saling, but I have not had the time to perfect my skills…a 2 1/2 year old and a 3 1/2 year old and one due in 6 weeks make yard saling a little hard, but I love a good Mom 2 Mom sale!

Previous post:

Next post: