Buying Second-hand goods at Garage Sales saves money

I wonder if garage sales are becoming less popular, because people often turn their nose up when I mention that I buy “stuff” from garage sales. I personally really enjoy going to garage sales early on a Saturday morning. With the local paper under my arm, a handful of change, and the kids in tow, its a bargain hunters dream.

Of course you cannot buy everything you desire at a garage sale because not all second hand goods are in a reasonable condition.

Things that are great to buy at garage sales

  • Books I usually buy my children books for 20c and 50c when a new book in the shop is around $10.00. How could you go wrong? who cares if someone has read it, as long as all the pages are there and it is not drawn all over.
  • Brand label clothing. Children grow out of their clothes very quickly. You can always pickup some preloved and pre-expensive clothes for your child at a garage sale. You have really hit the jackpot when you find top clothing that has almost never been worn.
  • Shoes. You can get children’s and adults shoes that seem to look almost new. Even if it is something to wear around the house, it will still save you money.
  • Old collectables. Often people do not really know what they are selling. I have picked up a timber dressing table that was $5 because it was in pieces. It only had to be put together, which I did, and then sold it for $200. That was still too cheap! Paintings are also a good one..People have no idea about them.
  • Furniture. If you were starting to furnish your first house, I really do recommend a garage sale trip to do the job. You could save thousands of dollars. And if you are creative, and think outside the circle, you will save so much more!

Things that are common at garage sales and you shouldn’t buy

  • Glasses that are missing most of the set. Who wants glasses that are all odd? I don’t’ know why they are at every garage sale I go to.
  • Old sheets and pillow cases that smell like moth balls. They are also usually faded. Lets get it straight, their price does not increase with age.
  • Worthless pottery items
  • Glass plates
  • McDonalds kids meal toys. They were free with the kids meal at McDonald’s and now people want to sell them to you.. Are you crazy?
  • Stained and torn clothing.
  • Items that no longer work and cannot be fixed.

When my children were young they rarely received any gifts from me that were new. I bought books and toys from garage sales, always in excellent condition, and they were none the wiser. The items looked new but cost less than a quarter of the original price.

I also buy any timber furniture, in good condition or not, as you can always restore it to new condition. Once I bought a silky oak bedside table for $5 because it had paint on it. You have to be early to get that type of bargain.

Once you have been to a few garage sales and come home with some great bargains, you will never look back.


  1. zoe says

    My Kids also have been brought up on mostly second hand toys books and so on. The only way to go. Fisher price toys that cost a fortune, u can pick up for a few dollars.

    I know where you are coming from in regards to their comments on second hand things, but I reckon that more and more people are Turing to garage sales and op shops, because you can find valuable and hardly used if not new things. Lots of people have started communicating on how hard tough times will become, and often ask their parents how they got through it. Thrift shops and trash and treasure markets were a common thing.
    You often find things that have been handmade that you can’t find anywhere, like crouched blankets beanies’ and so on. You find people comment on those things more than something generic from target.
    So if you don’t want to get caught out of pocket with your atm card at target or anywhere else, save your spare change up and teach your children about recycling and take them to a garage sale. Or why not have one yourself with your kid’s old toys and clothes, and they then can use the money for new pre loved items LOL!!!!
    Have fun treasure hunting!!!

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