Thursday, March 15, 2012

'Tis the Season! Yard sales, auctions, flea markets are back!

My favorite time of year is here! Spring, which for me means not only warm weather and gardening, but sales! Yard sales, garage sales, auctions, estate sales, flea markets, sidewalk sales, all the best kinds of sales!

Here are some of the ways I stay in the know about second-hand sales, which are not always easy to find. Please share your tips in the comments!

Yard/Garage Sales: My "method" is somewhat haphazard- I usually look at the garage sale listings on Craigslist, write down a few that look promising, and head out relatively early on a Saturday.  I always find more sales along the way to the addresses I've written down, and stop at any that look good. I also don't always make it to all I've written down- either I decide to quit for the day if I've already gone to a bunch, or sometimes I just can't find them, ha.  Garage sale tips: 1. Get there as early as you can (but not before the "starting time" the seller listed!) 2. Always carry cash, in small bills and coins. 3. Have fun, and don't be afraid to talk to people- you never know who you might meet or what you might learn. 4. Always be polite: don't make a mess, say please and thank you, offer correct change if you can, and while some haggling is ok, don't be rude about it.

Flea Markets: Lawrence only has one outdoor flea market, as far as I know. It is held the first Sat. of the month at Tee Pee Junction north of town. They have a facebook they keep updated:  The first market of the season is April 7! The closest thing to an indoor flea market is the Lawrence Antiques Mall on Mass St., which is kind of a mixed bag- some over-priced antiques to be sure, but often good deals can be found as well.

Estate Sales/ Auctions: Possibly my most favorite kind of all the sales! I keep up with these by looking at the LJ World Classifieds and - I actually follow them on Twitter @kansasauctions. I was at first very timid when I went to my first auction, because things can move pretty fast, and I didn't know the vocabulary. I would recommend observing at first, then try your first bid on a low priced item, just to see how it goes. Now I'm addicted and looove auctions!

Secondhand Stores/ Thrift Stores: Of course these are not seasonal, but during yard sale season it seems like more things come in to these places. Check out my list of Lawrence thrift & bargain stores here.

I've got a list of items I keep that I'm "looking for" and try not to buy much that is not on my list. It also helps to set a budget and stick with it, especially at auctions where it is easy to get carried away. That being said, I have gotten amazing deals on a lot of things at yard sales, flea markets, and auctions. Happy hunting!



  1. I try to keep in mind that shopping at yard sales and thrift stores isn't like going to Bloomingdale's - you never know what you're going to find, and you might not see a particular item again. So I tend to stay open-minded and buy whatever interesting items come along. Of course, that often leads to my donating lots of things back, but the constant turnover means I get to play with a lot of things and see how they fit into my closet on on my shelves. Thanks for the nice piece, and if I'm ever in Lawrence I'll be grateful for the recommendations. :)


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