15 Things You Should Buy at Yard Sales

Who doesn’t love a good yard sale? Saturday mornings spent hitting all of them you can find and bringing home the best bargains is an American pastime we all participated in at some point in our lives. Everyone wins at a yard sale. The seller makes money on items they no longer use, we get fun stuff at a reduced price, and the environment doesn’t end up with more stuff in a landfill.

Shopping yard sales and estate sales with friends over the weekend is fun, but have you ever wondered what’s worth purchasing at these pop-up sales? Here are 15 things you should buy at yard sales when you get the chance.

1. Furniture

furniture showcasing for yard sale
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As the saying goes, “They don’t make ’em like they used to.” Yard sales can be a jackpot of unique and sturdy wooden furniture pieces lacking in most stores today. Though the old dresser or nightstand might not match your overall design style, they are almost always guaranteed to have good bones, and with a coat of paint and new hardware, you will love the end product. Whether you want to furnish a room in your home or refurbish furniture pieces for resell, yard sales are a gold mine of potential.

2. Video Games and Consoles

vintage games up for sale in a yard sale
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Video games are great for collecting and playing. The vintage games are making a comeback and nostalgic fans are going wild for their chance to play a childhood favorite again. Many yard sales will have an old gaming set from years ago and you might just luck out with a highly collectible commodity. Even if you are not looking to turn a profit reselling collectibles, video game consoles are a great addition to any home for rainy-day fun with the little ones or playing online games like Fortnite with friends near and far.

3. Cast Iron Cookware

cast iron pans racked up together on a wooden table-top
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I love cooking with cast iron and a well-loved set of this cookware is a great investment. They aren’t just good for in the kitchen, this versatile kitchenware is perfect for cooking over a campfire too. Next time you stop at a yard sale look for the cast iron and put together a set to pass down through generations.

4. Tools

collection of power tools
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Every household needs a quality set of tools, and it can get rather pricey when you consider all the different tools needed for home maintenance or if you are thinking about taking up woodworking. If you come across a yard sale with well-cared-for tools, you should snag those as quickly as you can. Specialty power tools can cost upwards of $200, and having the option to buy them secondhand can help keep the dollars in your bank. Here are the 7 essential woodworking tools for beginners.

5. Art

art displayed for sale
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Admit it, you want to be that person who finds a priceless work of art at a yard sale and becomes an instant millionaire. It’s not that likely to happen, but buying art at a yard sale can help you create a unique atmosphere, and it helps keep these items from ending up in a landfill. Don’t settle for cookie-cutter department store prints when you might find a painting of dogs playing water polo at the neighborhood yard sale event.

6. Vinyl Records

vinyl record for sale in front of collection of albums
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Vinyl records are making a comeback with the newest generation and yard sales are a gold mine for old records from some of the greatest names in music. Purchasing these items at music stores can cost you a pretty penny, but stumbling on a decent collection at a yard sale could mean a money-maker for you.

7. Picture Frames

different picture frames portrayed in a yard sale
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Picture frames are great to keep on hand for housewarming presents, but buying the same old rustic wood frame from Target can get a bit monotonous. Yard and estate sales can be littered with distinctive frames in various sizes that are sure to make a statement on any gallery wall.

8. Baby Gear

white baby's high chair over a gray wall
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Babies require a lot of accessories, and that can get expensive quickly. Though we wouldn’t suggest buying a car seat secondhand (for safety reasons), you can save so much money by purchasing cribs, high chairs, and more at yard sales. Secondhand baby gear will allow you to spend the money where you need it, diapers!

9. Books

female hands searching for books in a yard sale
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Books are more than just a gateway to stories, their also great for decorating and creating a homey atmosphere. You could go to a bookstore and spend hundreds on new books, or you can spend a fraction of that at a garage sale. You might even luck out with a rare first copy of something, now that would be one for the storybooks.

10. Costume Jewelry

costume jewelry displayed on a pink cloth
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Grandma’s collection of rings, necklaces, and pendants might seem outdated, but those elaborate pieces can make quite a statement. The next time you stumble upon a yard sale give a good once over of the jewelry. You might be surprised to find some of your new favorites were from someone else’s collection.

11. Silverware

beautiful set of silverware
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Any mom can attest, that your silverware magically disappears once you have teenagers. It’s like they throw it away, or it’s developing an ecosystem under their bed. Replacing that silverware gets expensive so consider stocking up on utensils at yard sales. Forks, knives, and spoons can be easily cleaned and sanitized, and when you are saving $50 a month replacing all the spoons, you’ll be happy to have them.

12. Sporting Goods

tennis racket and balls on the floor
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Maybe you are taking up a new outdoor hobby, or your little ones suddenly want to learn to play tennis, either way, sporting equipment is expensive. If you come across a nice set of golf clubs or even fishing rods at a garage sale you should buy them. These items go for hundreds of dollars brand new and a well-cared-for secondhand set is just as usable.

13. Musical Instruments

woman playing guitar found in a yard sale
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Whether it’s an acoustic guitar or a flute, musical instruments can run you upwards of $1000. We never thought about spending a mortgage payment on a clarinet for the school band, but we did just that recently. If you are lucky enough to find an instrument at a yard sale, they are worth the buy, whether it’s for personal use or resell.

14. Exercise Equipment

treadmill used to running indoors
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A new treadmill might not be in the budget, but one man’s trash can be your treasure. Exercise equipment can often be found in yard sales where the owner is just looking to clear up storage space, and that means you can get that set of dumbbells for less.

15. Clothing

clothes displayed in a yard sale
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With the rise of fast fashion, clothing waste in landfills has skyrocketed, and the quality of new items has diminished. Consider investing in a thrifted pair of slacks or a secondhand coat from a yard sale. Not only will you lessen your carbon footprint, but you’ll look chic at a fraction of the cost.

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Outside of a dollar tree store
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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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