How to Find Garage Sales Near You (Easiest Way)

by John-Paul Cody

Garage sales offer unbelievable deals.

But the trouble is, how do you find garage sales easily?

Today, I’ll share exactly how to find garage sales quickly, with tips I’ve personally used to easily find yard sales over the years.

How to Find Garage Sales (3 Easiest Methods)

When I got started going to garage sales, I’d spend Saturday mornings driving around frantically hoping to discover yard sales.

Eventually, I started using these methods, and now find 25-50 yard sales per weekend.

1. Yard Sale Treasure Map App

This free app displays all the local garage sales happening in your area, and pictures of what’s being sold (sellers upload pictures about 90% of the time).

If you’re trying to make money reselling, seeing pictures of what’s being sold helps you gauge profit potential ahead of time too.

yard-sale-treasure-map-2

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I’ve used this app for the past 2 years to not only find the best sales happening, but also plan my route on Friday and Saturdays to ensure I start with the sales with stuff I’m most interested in.

My favorite feature is the ability to optimize your route automatically so your trip is as efficient as possible. To activate this feature, you’ll first need to have favorite a few yard sales in your area to add them to your route.

Once you do this, you’ll go to “My Route” and then click the three dots in the corner and select “Optimize.” This feature will save you tons of time and gas money!

yard-sale-treasure-map-optimize

At this point, I’ve tried lots of other apps to find garage sales, and this is definitely the most reliable and accurate.

This app is perfect for someone who only wants the essential information, and prefers an easy-to-use platform.

2. YardSales.Net

This site is a close second to the Yard Sale Treasure Map. It offers much of the same functionality, but has too many features (for my taste).

yard-sales-net

Two great features though are the ability to locate yard sales nearby by item category, and the ability to get alerts, so you’ll never miss a sale.

YardSales.net is perfect for someone who enjoys spending lots of time researching yard sales and occasionally goes to estate sales since those are listed too.

3. Craigslist

It might be the old school way to find yard sales nearby, but it still works like a charm.

Start by going to the Craigslist site for your city, and then click on the “garage sale” section.

craigslist-garage-sale

Here you’ll find listings in your area of garage sales, what time they start, where they’re located, and even what’s being sold.

Although Craigslist may seem outdated, they still rake in millions of visits a month. Make sure you are using all the latest tips for using Craigslist.

Craigslist is best used as a companion resource with one of the other platforms mentioned above, since it usually displays the smallest list of weekly yard sales. That said, Craigslist is still one of the largest local marketplaces to sell stuff.

Avoid the Random Neon Signs

We’ve all seen the neon signs advertising: “Yard Sale Next Turn – Can’t Miss!”

Unfortunately, it’s almost always difficult to read the scribbled information, especially when driving. This usually leads to frustrating detours where you eventually turn around, because the details were vague or misinterpreted.

If you were lucky enough to read all the info on the sign, you’ll sometimes find that the yard sale happened last weekend… and the host never removed the sign.

This has happened to me numerous times.

My success rate following random neon signs to yard sales is 10-15%, at best.

This is why I primarily use the three methods mentioned above, and avoid yard sales advertised on neon signs.

What to Bring to Garage Sales (Besides Money)

Garage sales are lots of fun already. But with a few extra supplies, you’ll take the excitement to another level.

After years of garage sale shopping, I developed a survival kit of things that I never leave home without.

Extra things to bring when garage sale shopping:

  • Full tank of gas – taking a detour to a gas station means less time you can be scooping up great deals.
  • Snacks – you’ll start feeling tired after a few hours, and be glad you brought some snacks to keep you going
  • Extra cash – you never know when you’ll come across that once in a lifetime find. Make sure you have some extra cash so you don’t have to leave it behind
  • Sunglasses – improves your poker face during garage sale negotiations
  • Plenty of room in your vehicle – if the car is full before your shopping is over, you might have to leave things behind, or ask the host to hold an item so you can come back later.

Not only will this survival kit make it a better experience, you’ll make money at garage sales more easily.

What time do garage sales start?

Garage sales most commonly start between 7-8am on Saturday mornings. However, in some cases they will start as late as 10am, and some will even start on Fridays.

Fortunately, specific start times are always included in yard sale listings, which takes the guesswork out (example below).

Even though a sale might say it starts at 8am, purchases usually begin 15-30 minutes before that time.

Seasoned yard sale visitors know this rule, and often scoop some of the best items before the sale technically started.

Some people take this too far though, and arrive multiple hours beforehand trying to snag the better items. I don’t agree with doing this, because it’s so early that many sellers haven’t started displaying items yet, or are still preparing the sale.

For this reason, I believe arriving 15-20 minutes before the posted start time is the earliest someone should arrive, so you get access to the best items and don’t upset the seller.

Wrapping Up

How to find garage sales used to be challenging, but over the years I picked up a few strategies that simplified it. I hope this guide helps make your yard sale shopping more fun this weekend!

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About the Author

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John-Paul Cody is the creator of Trends & Tactics, with the mission of helping people demystify entrepreneurship and money so they can live life on their terms. John-Paul has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill, and currently works in data analytics and marketing.