Today, for once, neither my husband nor I had a race, and we decided to spend the morning scouring yardsales. I try to find all of my son’s toys, clothes, and books secondhand (with the exception of his cloth diapers, most of which I have won through various contests. I have been known to buy them used on consignment and resell them on eBay, however, if they’re in excellent condition). Consignment shops and yardsales have the best deals. The best thing about hand-me-down baby clothes is that they’re almost always in like-new condition, since babies grow out of sizes before they have a chance to wear them out, and they retain their resale value.
Here’s how we planned for today’s outing: Last night I checked the Facebook groups for local yardsales, reading descriptions of what people were selling and where they would be located, jotting down the times and addresses. We decided that we’d go to the sales that opened earliest first (7 AM), prioritizing the ones that appealed to us the most.
The morning went a little differently than planned. I missed my alarm clock because the volume was on silent, but luckily my baby woke us up at 6:45, so we were able to make it out of the house by 7:30 (everything takes longer with a baby!). Knowing there was a chance of rain in the forecast, we ditched our plan and headed toward the outdoor sales first, saving the garage sales and indoor church sale for later in the morning.
Today I had a list in the back of my mind of things to look for: baby clothes, baby toys, toys for my classroom, and stuff to sell on eBay. I try to find a few vintage or brand-new items to post on eBay to make up for what I spend during the day at the yardsales.
On the way to the first home, however, another huge sale caught our attention, and we knew by all the bright colors in the yard that they had baby gear – and lots of it! We ended up sorting through several tubs of baby clothes that were priced at 50 cents per item, plus shoes that were $1 a pair. After chatting with the family, we realized that we had met them before. They gave us a discount on the clothes, threw in a pair of shoes for free, and we bought a couple other small items. In the end, we spent $17 there.
I had to smile at a pair of Oxford navy and white saddle shoes I found at this sale. I have the same exact pair in my son’s closet that were hand-me-downs from his 10-year-old cousin. The price sticker on the shoebox of the the 10-year-old pair (pictured below on the right) still reads $38.95 from 2003. I bought the pair on the left for $1.
At the next yardsale, we almost turned around when both parents were outside smoking. But a quick sniff test of the clothes proved that they were clean. We bought just a few baby clothes, and I haggled for a toddler trike in the shape of a giraffe.
We then made our way to the indoor church sale, since it was starting to drizzle, and that was a huge bust. Maybe we got there too late, but there wasn’t anything interesting or appealing to anyone remotely in my demographic. I bought a (brand new) book that would make a great gift. (A quick scan showed it would also sell well on Amazon.com). Having our phones is convenient for checking prices. My husband found a CamelBak backpack (valued at $50 on ebay) for $20, but decided against it in the end.
We had read about a 15-family yardsale through Facebook that sounded promising, but driving through the neighborhood, we saw that all of the families had moved their sales into garages, and we didn’t see any children’s items from our initial drive through. My son was napping in his carseat at this point, and it was raining harder, so we didn’t stop. It looked like an older neighborhood with older couples.
I peeked on Facebook one last time to see if we had missed any sales that looked interesting, and I noticed one lady had posted that her sale was still on, despite the rain, and it wasn’t too far from our house. We pulled up, the only ones there, and my husband decided to wait in the car with our sleeping baby. I sorted through a box of shoes and four crates of baby clothes, coming away with a new fall wardrobe for my son at 50 cents per item. The homeowner let me use his golf umbrella, so I did a lot of the sorting one-handed. I spent $21 at this sale.
Coming home and really looking at everything is always my favorite part. I counted 66 pieces of baby clothing, all at 50 cents each. All but a handful of the items were name-brand (mostly Gap, Carter’s, Old Navy, Polo, and Izod). Not that names matter so much to me, but I know they’re a good quality, I know how their sizes tend to run, and I know they’ll retain their value at consignment once my son outgrows them. Somehow, I also ended up with 11 pairs of baby shoes, all at $1 or less, most of them in great condition. We had also gotten four books, a crate of 80 jumbo faux-Legos ($2), and the trike toy. Oh, and clippers for our topiary, still in their packaging (50 cents).
I made a pile of things to sell on eBay that I thought my son wouldn’t use, and threw everything else in the washing machine.While they were washing, I created my eBay listings, so now it’s just a matter of time before they sell.
I then washed all 80 faux-Legos in the sink to save for when my son is a little older, and let him play on his new trike.
How do you do yardsales?