Tips for Buying Furniture at Yard and Garage Sales

Well it is officially garage sale season so many of you as I myself do, head out on Saturday mornings in droves looking for that one or more amazing purchases. But make sure you shop wisely and don't spend all your money in one place.  My sister Kim is the complete Guru of garage sales and she has one very important motto with regards to finding great pieces.

 "Old neighborhood, old junk...new neighborhood, new junk."

So depending on what you are looking for...a great old piece of furniture or newer items like artwork or accessories...choose wisely the neighborhoods you plan to shop.

1.    The main rule Kim has as far as what to pay for any given item is that you should never pay more than 10% of it's original cost. Case in point...I was out with Kim one Saturday and we came across a rope hammock. It looked like it was in fairly good shape, although you could tell it was used, and the owner said she wanted $30 for it. I looked at Kim and she shook her head...no I did not buy it, instead I went on to the next house and I ended up purchasing a beautiful wood dresser with mirror for $60. My sister actually negotiated it down from $75.

2.   Don't be afraid to barder with the owners...especially when it is getting into the noon hours. Their stuff will just have to be hauled back into the house or to a dumpster, this will provide you with more room to haggle on the prices.

3.      Also...when looking at items, keep in mind the possibility of refurbishing them or re-purposing them, especially if they are solid and or in good shape.

Here are a  few items I picked up for $10 or less.

You can Hurt Nothing By Asking...

These chairs I snagged for $10 each. They are solid wood and HEAVY. I bought 4 right from under the this women's kitchen table. They were not actually being sold at her garage sale but when I inquired about them she said..."I was ready for new chairs anyway!!!"

If it's in Good Shape and The Price is Right...Buy IT!

This is one of my favorite finds. Kim was at a yard sale down in Pennsylvania when she came across this beauty. She called me from the sale to see if I wanted it for Grace's room. I asked how much and Kim replied $5. My response was SOLD!!! Even if it didn't fit in Grace's room I figured I could always sell it or give it to a friend!! This was just too good to pass up!!!

Keep Your Eyes Pealed for Freebies

I had been wanting a serving cart for may back porch but didn't want to pay a lot of money. Well you can't get any cheaper than FREE. This darling cart was sitting on the curb with a sign on it that said Free. I brought it home a slapped a little black spray paint on it and voila...I had a beautiful new serving cart.

If it is Cool Looking and Cheap...Grab IT

I bought this window box for $2 at a yard sale last spring. I had no idea what I was going to do with only one window box but I hung onto it anyway. Then as I was getting ready to decorate for Christmas I had a brainstorm. Why not create a flower arrangement using the window box as the container. So spray painted the box gold along with some dried up hydrangea and then added pine sprigs from the backyard along with a few berries I bought at Michael's Craft store. I added an applique to the box and had a gorgeous arrangement in my entryway for the holidays!

Just remember that you can really make a killing and have a lot of fun with as little as $20 in your pocket if you keep these tips in mind the next time you hit those Saturday morning garage and yard sales!

Linking to these parties...


  1. Thanks, Barbara. Those are really good tips to put out there. Anyone who 'junks' will benefit from them..Happy Thursday, and you really got some beautiful (when you got through with them) treasures..Judy

  2. Thanks so much for the great advise. I didn't know what % you should pay for an item. You have saved me some money, I just didn't know it yet, lol!

    By the way, that dresser you got is to die for!

  3. I need to go garage saling with you two! Great finds!

  4. I need to have a garage sale! I rarely go, and only look for dishes, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading your tips!
    Here from Yvonne's.


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