If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your next weekend, you have to go shopping at a garage sale near you. Hunting for goodies should make you feel great, and just imagine how excited you’ll be if you find a hidden gem that sells at a bargain price. Indeed, most retailers nowadays have very tempting offers and discounts on a regular basis, not to mention the big sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but nothing compares to the experience of shopping at a garage sale. It’s full of mysteries - you never know what you’ll find. You’re playing a detective’s role, trying to find evidence that there is something precious and worth buying with your hard-earned cash.

What items to look for at a garage sale?

Garage sales draw quite a varied crowd. From children to seniors, all are looking for something interesting. From passersby to shopaholics, all are tempted to buy something. Who’s going to give in first? A common problem among shopping-addicts is that they don’t really know what they want to buy. When they get out of the door, they just let themselves led by instinct and end up impulse-buying. Is this you? Or are you thrifty and careful about your finances?

Regardless of your attitude toward money, here are the main things that don’t need a second thought from you:

Tools and appliances

We were amazed to find that one of the real estate agents used to give a full red metal toolbox to his clients as a closing gift. Isn’t that a great idea? After all, homeowners always have something to fix around the house. If you find a tool that you think you might need one day, buy it. And you should buy tools, especially if they help you in your profession as an electrician, plumber, or builder. So, don’t ignore them next time - they are garage sale treasures. And so are most kitchen appliances. Not sure how often you might use a certain kitchen appliance? Buy a used one before you commit to buy the latest model.

Used furniture

Tables, chairs, sofas, and cupboards in all shapes and sizes are great garage sale finds, especially if they are in good condition. If you happen to be redecorating a man cave or she shed, old furniture is perfect for that purpose. You may also find solitary pieces that deserve a special place in a hallway or at the entrance. Look for interesting designs, patterns, color combinations, innovative features, creative shapes. If done by a good craftsman, even restored furniture and upholstery are worth buying.

Intriguing artwork

At garage sales, paintings worth millions don’t show up often. In the few cases this happens, the owners must have no clue regarding the painter or the history behind that painting. Old paintings are valuable not because of the content itself, but because of the techniques employed in producing that piece of art - the colors, the canvas, the frame. When you look at a painting, you see the thoughts of a painter expressed in colors. Truly impressive, though, is the fact that the art outlives the artist. It’s joy and sorrow altogether. The older it is, the more it deserves your attention and appreciation. And don’t think only about paintings. Look for sculptures, black and white photography, musical instruments, and clocks. And although the antiques worth millions are more likely to be found at auctions, you never know...

Baby Gear

Whether you’re expecting or not, don’t splurge on fancy baby stuff. Buy as many used products as possible: from strollers to car seats - it’s better to buy second-hand products, especially if you come across high-end brands. Also, clothes for babies and kids are great finds. You can save a lot of money this way! After all, your kids will only wear each clothing item a few times before their bodies ask for the next size. Of course, you may experience mom guilt for buying second-hand products. You may blame yourself for not offering your child the best quality or the latest products. But remember that children know how to be happy and find joy in the things that they have, be those new or used. For them, labels don’t matter.

Other garage sale treasures are old toys and board games, wooden toys, and video games. Also, don’t hesitate to invest in various educational books. Pay attention to choking hazards, though. You know the saying: little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems. Nevertheless, the little ones have a gift for keeping their parents on adrenaline all day.

Light and heavy gym equipment

Have you always craved a corner in your house where you could exercise peacefully? Well, stop procrastinating and build your home gym with some used equipment. Dumbbells, benches, multi-use strength equipment - all can be easily found at garage sales for a fraction of their retail price. These are usually made of durable materials that last for decades. Even your sons can use them! Don’t ever regret your investment in a home gym! Taking care of your body is a great way to destress at home. And speaking of sports, other garage sale treasures are tents and boots designed for hiking and camping, but you may also find bikes and other wheeled vehicles.

Can you make a living by reselling items found at a garage sale?

Well, if you know how to identify antiques worth millions at a garage sale and you manage to buy them for a lot less so that you can make a decent profit, then yes, you can make a living from garage sales. But that is a very unrealistic scenario.

You may be tempted to organize more garage sales yourself and mix your own stuff with other garage sale finds, however, that is already a business, and you may have to be self-employed or have an LLC and pay taxes accordingly. Most states limit the number of garage sales you can hold during the year, so check out your state’s laws. However, you can still have a 24/7 garage sale online on websites like eBay or Craigslist. To make a living from selling used things, you have to know how to plan a successful and profitable garage sale. Know your market, identify the garage sale treasures your customers are looking for, and give them what they want. Like in any business, your success depends on how involved and passionate you are.

Everyone can go home with fantastic garage sale finds - from little toys and memorabilia to antiques worth millions. And everyone can enjoy an early Black Friday. Deep inside, we are all bargain-hunters. Nobody can stop us from finding the hidden gem at a garage sale. Now, get out of my way!

Author's Bio: 

RealEstateAgent.com is the Official Real Estate Agent Directory® connecting homebuyers with home sellers across the USA.