Buying eBay Products at Yard Sales
This is a follow up to my article with Garage Sale Shopping Tips.
In this follow up, I want to share another piece of advice about shopping at yard sales for items to sell on eBay, and then I'll tell you about a specialized resource containing lists of items you will see at yard sales.
Finding Killer Yard SalesOr. . . Location, Location, Location.
There are two ways to go shopping for items to sell on eBay at yard sales.
Some people like to make lists of attractive yard sales by looking in the classifieds, and then plot a route. Usually the sales are selected based on keywords in the ads.
For example, my dad is sure any ad with the word Fiesta in it is a good sale. (Fiesta Ware is tableware made by the Homer Laughlin Company and is very popular with collectors.) He'll also go to any yard sale containing trains.
He's a great example of a plotter. He drives me nuts because he will drive right past a sale to get to the next one on his map. I can't stand it because I want to stop and see what every yard sale holds.
He's a extreme example. Some plotters will stop at sales between the ones on the list, but others ignore them.
On the other hand some treasure hunters are quadrant shoppers. (There has to be a better name for this - maybe you can suggest one?) Quadrant shoppers ignore the classified ads, and just go to specific neighborhoods and hit every yard sale.
This is what I do. I drive up and down the half streets looking for signs. I stop at every yard sale. My typical day starts at a church rummage sale or estate sale and then finds me driving up and down streets in my favorite neighborhoods.
Over the years, I have learned where the better neighborhoods are. I also know where the time wasting sales are. I know which neighborhoods are not worth the time.
Here in Arizona, we have a large immigrant population. Mostly from Mexico and South America. These are people who came here with very little and their sales are usually newer cast offs. Cheaper used clothes, car parts, and low quality tools.
The immigrants tend to cluster in neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are not worth shopping for garage sales. Note - within these neighborhoods are homes filled with fantastic treasures. Find an estate sale in those areas and you will find gold. This is because some people have held onto their homes as the immigrants took over the neighborhood. They have lived in their homes for 20, 30 or more years.
Another common mistake made by treasure hunters is to concentrate on the better areas of town. This is not true. You want yard sales in middle class neighborhoods. Even lower middle class neighborhoods.
I used to keep a pin map of all my purchases. Each pin represented a purchase. East of where I live is a huge concentration of retirement housing. Back when I had the pin map, I saw some trends. There is a square mile area of upper middle class homes. I rarely bought anything there.
All around it are middle class, and lower middle class retirement homes. The map was full of pins.
To the north and south are lower class retirement areas. These are mostly trailer parks, and apartment/condos. While I make more purchases in these areas than in the upper class areas, it's still a lot less than in the middle class areas.
This same pattern holds true all over the Valley. (I live in the Valley of the Sun - This is where the sun spends the summer.)
Anyway, think about your area. I am sure the same strata applies. Get a large street map and start marking off areas where you find great items at yard sales.
I think people who search neighborhoods do better than plotters because there are so many plotters competing for a limited number of good sales.
Either way you do it, yard sales can be fun and rewarding. Whether you are adding stuff to your collection, or buying for resale, you will surely find interesting items in your travels.Now for the resource...
Robbin Tungett's "The eBay Seller's Guide to Finding Profitable Hidden Bargains at Garage Sales"will help you. The book has lists of things to look for.
In fact, I liked the book so much, I've made special arrangements to get you a lower priced copy, and packaged it with an interview I did that explains even more of the garage sale buying techniques that I've learned over the past 36 years.
PS If you didn't get a copy of Robbin's book on garage sales, you can get it here. PPS I mentioned great finds within homes in immigrant neighborhoods. You can find and target these homes. This is explained in my How To Buy Antiques And Collectibles package. PPPS This is part two of a series. Part one explains buying items to sell on eBay at garage sales.
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