Spring cleaning is underway, which means people are getting rid of their old wares by throwing them out, donating them, or hosting garage sales. If you're in the market for home goods, gently-used clothes, yard furniture, and assorted other items, then you'll need a yard sale app or website to point you in the right direction.
Usually, garage sales are advertised in the days before they occur via flyers posted around the neighborhood or ads in the local newspaper. More and more, however, people are posting their events on Craigslist in the For Sale section under "garage sale." In addition, Craigslist now has a free iPhone app to help you find goods and events on the go.
Sites for finding cheap yard sales have sprung up over the last few years. There's OA Online, which lets you plunk in a date and a ZIP code to find an event near you. Garage Sale Tracker not only lets you find garage sales, it also sets up a route for you to follow to take advantage of several events in one day or weekend. This site also has a garage sale app for iPhone. Garage Sale Cow shows a monthly calendar of garage sales in your area, including the number on each day, and lets you search within 5 to 50 miles of a certain ZIP code.
There are several other sites that offer similar functions for finding cheap yard sales in your area. GarageSales.com and Yard Sale Search, a very Craigslist-looking site, simply list events. Yard Sale Treasure Map lists sales by date, by city, and by distance on a map; Gsalr.com also features a map in addition to a garage sale app. Patch.com, the hyper-local neighborhood sites built by AOL, now post community events like garage sales. Check the site nearest to your town to see if cheap yard sales are coming your way.
And now for still more yard sales apps... Garage Sale Rover gleans listings from Craigslist and other sites and gets you to them with GPS voice. There's a cost of $3.99. IGarageSale is a $1.99 yard sale app (free for the "lite" version) that's unique because it lets you search for a specific item and tells you at which sale you can find it. Yard Sale Mapper mines from Craigslist and Yard Sale Treasure Map to find local sales. Garage Sales App is another option.
Now that you're on your way to your yard sales adventure, remember to always set out with a plan. As with couponing, daily deals, and bulk buying, you don't want to end up spending or buying more than you intended. You might even want to make a list of what you're looking for so you don't get swayed by glittery junk or products that serve no purpose. Also don't forget to use your bargaining powers to snag an even better deal on a steal. Last, but not least, make sure you really want the item, because there's no returning it after purchase.
What are your tips for finding cheap yard sales?