What to look for at yard sales {How to shop yard sale series}

how to shop yard sales button

Today we are continuing with our “How to shop yard sales” series.  And I am coming off a fun weekend of LOTS of fun finds at some great sales this weekend so I am super excited to talk about yard sales today.

We have talked about “WHY to shop yard sales” and “WHEN and WHERE to find yard sales” – but today, let’s talk about “What to look for at yard sales.”

Now this of course depends on what YOU are needing at your point in life, but there are some things that I pretty much always look for at yard sales or things that are pretty much always good yard sale deals, so let’s talk about those and then you can chime in what you look for in the comments.

1.  Kids clothes – I think this is pretty much #1 on the what to look for at yard sales.  I don’t currently shop for my own kids although if I do see a really good buy on something super cute for my nieces and nephews I might pick it up.  Why?  Kids grow so fast and need lots of clothes – I can’t imagine buying ALL of my kids clothes off the rack at stores???   $6-25 a piece for kid clothes – no thanks!  I am not saying I would never buy clothes off the racks as you can get great clearance deals sometimes.  (And there are kids consignment stores, consignments sales, thrift stores, hand me downs too.)  You can easily find clothes for under a $1 at yard sales – sometimes even as low as 25¢.  And you can find brand names – GAP, Children’s Place, Gymboree, Children’s Place, Osh Kosh, and more at yard sales for a fraction of the price.  So you could come home with 10 pieces of brand name clothes for $10 or less, for the price you would pay for a t-shirt and shorts non-brand name at the store.  See what clothes run in your area and stick to your budget and price point.  When I know I have seen clothes for 50¢ each, I would not want to pay $2 each at the next sale.


I do look for clothes for me though!  And especially for jewelry Smile.  Purses, belts, ties, shoes are good finds too.

2. Home décor this is pretty much #1 on my list since I don’t shop for kids clothes.  I am in the process of really settling into our house – I finally have a vision for my style, have a little bit of spending money to do some minor upgrades/changes, and am having fun dreaming and DIY-ing!  I made a comment to a friend the other day that after really starting to shop yard sales in the last 2-3 years with a vision in mind, with ideas of what I like, what I am looking for – my house looks so much better and even more expensive.  And the fun part is I look around and am literally surrounded by things I say “got that at a yard sale for $1, that was $3, or that was a steal at 50¢.”  No payments being made on furniture or for large décor pieces – it was found thrifting and paid for in cash.

These things might not be the color you are wanting but a fresh coat of spray paint fixes that right up.  (See other spray painted changes here.)

Found this gorgeous oval mirror for $8 at a yard sale.


But the gold was not my color.  A quick coat of spray paint and it is my favorite mirror now, even more than the one I bought new at Kirkland’s for $30 before my yard sale shopping days.


Some of my favorite décor items:

  • picture frames – GREAT deal – $1-3 each
  • knick-knack stuff
  • seasonal décor
  • candle sticks
  • wall art
  • craft items to make my own décor – wreaths, flowers, greenery, fabric
  • lamps and lamp shades

3. Furniture – another big one on the list.    You can find great deals on furniture at yard sales.

I found this coffee table for $3 – definitely not my style or color but a great deal!


A little paint and stain and I love it!   See more transformed thrifted furniture ideas here.


The little dresser I use as a buffet in my dining room was a $20 yard sale find.  See the rest of my dining room before/after here.  No paint or stain needed – just polished it up with some furniture polish.


4.  Glassware.  Dishes, antique glass ware, serving pieces, china, and so much more can be found at yard sales.  I LOVE milk glass!  Antique milk glass, Fenton milk glass, pretty much anything white.  I collected over 15 pieces last summer for $1-3 each. Smile   I have also found Princess House pitchers, serving pieces for $1-5, china pieces, cake plates, and so much more.

5.  Kids toys, bikes, games, and books.  I have 2 nieces – age 2 + 4.  In the last 2 months we have found a bike with training wheels for the oldest for $10 at a yard sale and another for the younger one with training wheels and a horn that she loves for $12.  Training wheels alone sell for $10 at Wal-mart.  I think I will take the used yard sale bike attached to the training wheels for $10, instead! Smile  Many parent shop yard sales for bigger toy type items and save them for Christmas and birthday presents.  Books are expensive in the stores!  I bought my niece a special “What is Easter all about?”  book for Easter – $6 at Wal-mart!  (I wouldn’t have even bought it or spent that much but I really liked the message and they needed to have that reminder to not focus on the Easter eggs but on the ONE who gave HIS life for us on Easter.)   You should be able to find general books for 25¢ – at the most $1.00 at yard sales.

You can pretty much buy anything at yard sales.

  • Tools are another great find.
  • Outdoor things – benches, pots, swings, etc.
  • Antiques – some times people don’t know what they have or what they are selling.  If you know what you are looking for you could find a great deal on a piece to keep or resell at market value.  (Smart phones are great for this.  Looking at a piece at a yard sale or thrift store and don’t know if it is of value?  Do a quick search on eBay and find out right then before you buy.)
  • Light fixtures – thrift stores and yard sales are my favorite places to buy light fixtures.  I found 2 outdoor light fixtures for $5 each – 1 was new in the box – see how one was a failure, one was a success here.

I could go on and on and I am sure will continue to find new things that become my new favorite things to find a yard sales.  By the way, I am changing things up this weekend and instead of shopping yard sales I am going to have my OWN yard sale (to earn money to shop other people’s yard sales – LOL!)  So look for some tips on having a yard sale in a future post.

What do you look for at yard sales? 

What has been some of your favorite finds? 



  1. Love this post! Oooh, I wanna shop at your yard sale! I will pray that you make lots of money and get rid of all that stuff so you can find more! Lol
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  2. I love the coffee table you found and how you refinished it! Really nice! We have our family yardsale in August every year and I do well, than buy something I’ve been wanting with my money that I earn or clothes shop. To me it’s free money to spend the way you want:)

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