The Ultimate Garage Sale Guide

garage sale guide!We absolutely love going to garage sales! If you are looking for great deals, then garage sales are for you! Our garage sale guide will help you decide what garage sales are worth your time.

Garage sales are typically cheaper than thrift stores because they do not have employees that need to be paid, and they set their own prices. We are going to talk about 8 types of garage sales, and each one has its pros and cons. We are here to explain to you what the different types are and what you need to know about them to find the best deals!

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garage sale guide

garage sale guide

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1. Neighborhood Sales

Neighborhood sales are exactly what they sound like. A group of garage sales in a neighborhood. Generally we would consider a neighborhood to have 5+ sales. At least the good ones do…

These are great because they are usually grouped together. You can park your car and walk to several, then move your car to another group.

Try to start at the back of the neighborhood or away from where everyone else is starting. The very first sale you come to is usually picked over “quickly.”


  • lots of sales in one place (less gas money spent)
  • saves time from driving to one sale after another
  • lots of stuff to look at and buy!


  • neighborhood sales can be busy due to the number of sales
  • less parking available because of all the sales


2. Church & School Sales

Basically, this is when a church or a school decides to host a sale at their building to raise money for themselves. People donate the items that are sold at these sales, so there is usually a variety of items. These sales range in size depending on the amount of items donated and the building size.

These sales are great for finding a lot of items in one place. Also, they usually have decent prices.

Tip: these sales typically go on for several days. After the first day of the sale, their stuff is usually discounted. It sometimes can even be FREE!

You will normally find the best items right when they open, so sometimes you might want to get there early and line up at the door.

Tip: bring a reusable grocery bag or tote bag to carry stuff in because you might find a lot of stuff!


  • good prices
  • lots of items to choose from
  • discounts after the first day


  • lots of people
  • may miss out on items if you are not there early


3. Garage Sales That Aren’t Close By

As the name suggests, these are sales that you have to drive a way to get there. Typically we would consider that to be more than 10 miles.

Sometimes sales that are way out in the country can be good because no one wants to drive that far. It also can be bad if you don’t find anything — then you wasted gas. We usually only go to ones that aren’t close by if we have other sales to go to on the way there.


  • less people
  • not picked over as quickly
  • chance to find a real bargain


  • costs more in gas money
  • takes more time to get there

Related: How to Have a Successful Garage Sale


4. Thursday Garage Sales

In the Midwest, sometimes people have sales on Thursdays. We find it to be a good thing since a lot of people work on Thursdays and can’t go. That means that you will be more likely to find something. We find less on Saturday because more people are out shopping then.


  • less people
  • bigger chance of finding something good


  • If you work on Thursdays, you won’t be able to go to these sales


5. Estate Sales

Estate sales are when someone is selling most of the stuff they have in a house. Typically, you go inside of a house because of the amount of items. For example, you would find all of the kitchen items laid out in the kitchen for you to look through.

These sales are usually expensive. A lot of them have an appraiser helping out that chooses the prices. We generally don’t find many bargains at estate sales


  • they often have vintage items
  • they have lots of items


  • they are usually pricey


6. Garage Sales in Affluent Areas

These are sales that you will find in wealthier areas.

Most of the sales we go to that are in richer neighborhoods have higher-priced items. They don’t seem to know what normal garage sale prices should be.

Also, they tend to own more expensive items. Every now and then we do find something, but it is rare.


  • nicer items


  • usually more expensive


7. Retiring Teacher Sales

These are sales when a teacher is retiring and getting rid of all their old classroom items.

A lot of great books among other things can be found at these sales. Many teachers have hundreds of books and prices are usually pretty cheap. Last year we went to a sale where the books were 10 for $1!

Also, if you have kids that are home schooled, you can find other useful school items like maps, charts, etc.


  • lots of books
  • usually great prices
  • great items for home schoolers


  • If you don’t need books or teaching supplies, there is not usually much else there


8. Daycare Going-Out-of-Business Sales

When a daycare closes, they typically sell off all of their items at a sale.

These sales are great for finding toys and books. Some have older toys that are actually worth money!

They are also good for large, outdoor toys like playhouses.


  • lots of toys & books
  • might find older items worth money
  • can find large outdoor play items


  • if you don’t have kids or your own daycare, you will probably not be interested in this type of sale

Related: Beginner’s Guide to Start Selling on Ebay


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Do you like going to garage sales? What types of sales are your favorite?

Did you find this garage sale guide to be helpful?

Comment below! We would love to hear from you 🙂


Related posts:

10 of My Best Garage Sale Finds

Best Bargains of the Summer

Garage Sale Tips & Tricks


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