Fall is usually associated with the wedding season, Halloween and Thanksgiving. But it’s also a season of great garage sales and apt purchases. I truly believe in the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” During the fall season, people want to clean and get their houses ready for the holiday season. They try to get rid of unwanted and useless things that are only cluttering their homes. We are hardly surprised at commercial goods these days and garage sales are a great chance to buy something unique and special or just cheap. Some people visit garage sales to find things for resell, while others are looking for something they need for themselves. Here are some of my favorite things I always buy at fall garage sales, even when I’m not on a tight budget.
1. Vintage stuffGarage sales can easily compete with antique stores. You can find veritable treasures such as limited editions of rare albums and vinyl records, old-fashioned jewelry, pictures, chandeliers, furniture, coins, or whatever you want. If the seller is unaware of the item’s true value, you may be lucky to purchase the thing for a song! My father is a music junkie and passionate collector of vinyl records, and I’m often fortunate to find something worthy to rejoice him!
2. BooksGarage sales are a wonderful and frugal way to bulk your library with new books. I’m a book junkie so I never leave garage sales without a pair of good books. They are usually sold for $1 or less so you can save a pretty penny. Here’s my hint for parents: if you know that the parents from your kid’s school have garage sales, go there. You will surely find textbooks and other reading materials for half price.
3. DIY thingsGarage sales are all about handmade toys, soap, jewelry, stoneware, pictures and other DIY stuff. You can get acquainted with local craftsmen and find really outstanding pieces of art. Lots of people have their vacations in summer, thus they go back home with heaps of interesting overseas knickknacks. They have much to show and sell at the fall garage sales. I never lose an opportunity to buy something interesting and unique for my friends and kinsfolk.
4. ClothesFall garage sales are the perfect place to replenish your wardrobe. In fall people usually sort out their clothes and have heaps of unnecessary items. Recently I bought name-brand new jeans, pretty bags and lots of t-shirts without wrecking my budget. Kids’ stuff can be also found in abundance at garage sales. If you are short on money, you can purchase some infants’ and toddlers’ pieces of clothes that are usually worn for a month. On the other hand, I have never bought the things such as hats, shoes, or swimming suit – these are too personal things.
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5. Toys and board gamesWell, I don’t have children, but there are plenty of toys to buy for my little niece at garage sales. I opt for plastic and wooden toys – they are easily cleaned with hot water and vinegar. Moreover, wooden toys are often durable enough to pass it from generation to generation. I avoid buying stuffed toys because they aren’t designed for laundry washing and they contain various microbes and bacteria. Board games are also a good thing to purchase at garage sales. If they lack some pieces you can easily replace them.
6. Household knickknacksSilverware, tools, electronics and kitchenware are the right things to find at fall garage sales. I always ask how old the thing is and how long it has been used. Last fall, I was fortunate to buy a wonderful silverware that was old and new at the same time. Examine the thing carefully for rust and other drawbacks and ask for a data sheet when intending to buy any gadget. Just be sure you test everything you want to buy.
7. FurnitureCoffee tables, chest of drawers and chairs are all great items to look for at fall garage sales. I can’t only save some dollars but find really high-quality piece of furniture since I believe that older furniture was made better. Wooden furniture is easily repainted and it can also serve as an appropriate detail to your shabby chic interior. The only items I stay away from are beds and couches since they are an expensive form of transportation and you never know what secrets they can have.
8. Sports equipmentDon’t be afraid to haggle and you will surely get rewarding things for less than full price. My last year’s most fortunate purchase was a bicycle. It was absolutely new – its owner wasn’t really fond of cycling. When choosing a bicycle always take it for a spin to feel how it rides. Ask about the status of the brake pads, wheels and the way it has been stored. Apart from bicycles, you can find some sports accessories, fishing rods, exercise equipment and many more.
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When heading for a garage sale I take only $1 so that I can easily haggling. It’s so funny! If you want to get something valuable make sure you are an early bird. And, of course, you need to possess great patience to sort through all the lumber and odds and ends to find the real gems. But it’s worth it. What do you usually buy at fall garage sales?