During the summertime, it's hard to find a weekend when there aren't a ton of garage sales going on in every neighborhood, especially in such a downturned economy. However, if you don't want to go out every single weekend and would prefer to stick to one or two weeks out of the year, here are some tips on picking the best times to swoop in and get some great steals.
Springtime sales may give you a ton of unusually popular items, because it's about this time that people get spring cleaning fever and start tearing through all their stuff, eliminating all but the essentials. Gently used items you don't need to buy new can be found this time of year, and people are often more eager to get rid of something than to get a good bargain on it. Spring is also good for fall and winter clothing, since new fashions for the coming year come out in the spring and people are making space in their closets.
Weekends after holidays are great, because people have already gotten in their vacations the week before and can now buckle down to focus on hosting a yard sale. You will have significantly more competition, because all of your fellow shoppers will also be back from vacation, but you won't have to worry about fewer sales due to people being out of town. Hosts will also likely be more congenial, since they just got a little R&R, so you won't have to worry about encountering nasty hosts quite as often.
This means that the weekend after the 4th of July and the weekend after Labor Day are perfect for your annual saling trip. People often take some extra time off work for both of these holidays, and when they get back they know they need to refocus on life; decluttering their home space may be just the thing they need. Be sure to prepare yourself for these weekends by not spending your cash for a couple of weeks beforehand, and making a list of items you need so you know what to definitely bargain for while you're out.
Ask around your neighborhood to see if anyone is planning a sale soon, and if two or more seem to coincide, you can take that as a pretty good sign that it'll be a regionally good garage sale weekend. Keep an eye on the ten-day forecast; although it isn't always very accurate, it can show you some more promising weekends a week and a half in advance.
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