3 Awesomely Random Yard Sale Finds

This weekend my wife asked me if I’d like to do one of the top 2 things a guy could ever ask for. Go yard saling with her ;) (I bet you can guess what the other thing)

If there was ever a person who didn’t like driving around and looking at other peoples’ used stuff, it was her. But with the magical birth of our little baby boy 14+ months ago, she quickly found out how CHEAP you can get kids stuff at these things, and now every once in a while she throws out a zinger like this reminding me again why I love her so much. Not so much for just wanting to go yard saling with me, but for *keeping me on my toes*. Something strongly required in a relationship with me as I have the awful concoction of both needing CHANGE every other second, and having a healthy dose of A.D.H.D. Not to mention my constant dreaming and cockamaimy ideas.

At any rate though, my gorgeous wife made me one happy blogger on Saturday. And off we went exploring the city on the hunt for a new stroller and car seat. Neither of which we found, but we also didn’t come home empty handed. Here’s what we picked up:

  • A pile of warm clothes for the bambino.
  • Two pairs of almost-new baby shoes! Which was on our list to go get AFTERwards. Great timing…
  • A complete set of Shakespeare’s works from 1910 – For only $5.00
  • An industrial size shopvac. Which was also  incredible timing since I was literally just telling my brother-in-law he needed one 45 mins before leaving! His water heater was crapping out, and he was about to start grabbing some pails and start emptying the thing one jug of water after another. So now for the cost of less than a coffee ($3!!) it should only take him a matter of seconds :)

All things needed and to be put to use, except for maybe the Shakespeare books ;) But how could you turn THAT down??? Especially when you find out the owner had found them in their attic when moving in years ago?? I gotta imagine I could offload them for much more than $5.00 if I wanted to later… And actually, this may make for the perfect next item for our Trade Up game! I can just earmark the money from the stroller hustle we did last month, hmm…. Good idea, self!

shakespeare hoodie
But this point isn’t about my random finds over the weekend, oh no, it’s about those my family and friends have harvested over the years of hunting. A tribute, if you will, to always keeping your eyes open and asking questions as you never know *what’s* for sale there!

So, without further babble, here are the three  awesomely random (and crazy!) finds from over the years… Lord knows what’ll be next.

1. A Car

Yes, a car. My mother – God bless her – will ask if anything’s for sale if she sees it and wants to bring it home with her. And in this instance years and years ago, it happened to be a car. My dad’s truck had died the week earlier, and they were on the hunt for another decent beater that was safe and reliable for us kids to start using soon (if I recall correctly, I was just about to get my license). It was a blue Chevy Corsica, and cost her all of $800. About a third of what it was worth at the time. I, of course, wanted her to get us a sports car, but who were we to make demands ;)

2. A Rental Property

This one I just learned of a few days ago. Apparently the parents of a good friend of ours picked up their first rental home at a yard sale – for a whopping $19,000 (!!!).  Granted this was 20+ years ago or so, but still. $19,000? For a HOUSE?? As the story goes, the yard saler’s mom had recently passed and she was in charge of selling off everything they weren’t keeping. So my friends’ parents got a house! And with that started their rental property empire later growing to over a dozen+. Pretty dam cool. (Side note: we used to make fun of my friend’s parents for being so frugal and business-y all the time. Not so much any more ;))

3. A Date!

I can’t for the life of me remember if it was my brother or my old best friend (this happened like 15 years ago), but regardless the pimp came back with a phone number, and later a bonafied date :) If I was as witty then as I am now I’d have asked if he haggled over it! (Bah dum-ching) The relationship didn’t last long, but not many can say they’ve picked up chicks at a yard sale before, haha… that’s true bad-assary right there if I’ve ever seen any.

There’s been a slew of other random, and awesome, stuff picked up over the years at these things, but those are the biggies that stand out. This weekend I also saw a crotch rocket for sale for only like $2,500, but luckily I told the seller I didn’t have a motorcycle license so I couldn’t be tempted to buy it ;) Her answer? “I’ll throw in motorcycle classes!”

*Turned around and ran*

If there’s one thing I’ve learned after all these years, it’s that you’re liable to bring home all kinds of unintentional stuff if you’re not too careful. Sometimes for the best (see: my shakespeare books!), but many times also for the worse (see: my $500 rock collection. Haha, okay, well that was a big fat lie. But I do know someone who HAS picked up rock collections at them! And he’s a reader of this blog too, so let’s see if he chimes in here ;))

At the end of the day though, you can find massive bargains at these things, and it sucks they’ll be closing down soon for the winter… What the hell am I going to do now on Saturday mornings?? ;)

Photo by joelukehinrichs

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  1. Aimee September 23, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    There are FB pages for local online yard sales where about 90% of the items posted are baby items. My local one has about 5 each of strollers and car seats right now. See if there’s a local one for you guys.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Great idea for sure! I know there’s some mommy clubs in the area that my wife keeps saying she’s gonna join, but so far no bananas ;)

  2. jestjack September 23, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Yard sales are the best…bargains…cheap entertainment…social networking…what could be better? It has always amazed me how cheap baby clothes go for at yard sales. It would seem it would be easier to just sell them by the pound…Will tell ya with some skills you can score. I bought a Sears gas powered chainaw….”that hadn’t run in years”…for $2. Took it home, dumped out the gas, replaced the fuel lines and cranked her up. I use it all the time…

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      Nice! That’s gotta feel good. Double your manliness right there ;)

  3. Debt and the Girl September 23, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Yard sales are awesome. You can find some great things for great deals. Gotta love those deals!

  4. Mysti September 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    PLEASE don’t buy a car seat from a yard sale! You have no idea if that seat was ever in an accident, and even if it looks ok….the structural integrity may be compromised. Additionally, if they have stored the seat in the attic or basement…it could have heat/cold damage, or mold or bacteria.

    Also, car seats have expiration dates! ALWAYS check, even if it is brand new!!!! There is a tag on the seat, usually under the padding.

    Please don’t risk the safety of baby for the sake of a few bucks. I know car seats aren’t cheap (I have twins, so we had to buy 2 at the same time!)…but our kids are worth it.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      Funny you mention that actually – the wife REFUSED to even consider the idea of car seats at yard sales, but then I told her she could do some good research on the ol’ iphone before buying at the sales which gave her a lot more peace of mind :) And worst case we’d lose $20 if it turns out it was a bad one – though I guess you still wouldn’t be able to figure out if it was defective or used improperly, etc just by looking at it, so you raise some damn good points.

  5. Debt Blag September 23, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Yard sales are amazing! But even I would have never guessed that the #3 thing on your list would be a date :)

  6. Laurie @thefrugalfarmer September 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    My friend picked up a digital camcorder, nice one I might add, at a yard sale for $5. She wasn’t sure if the hubby, who was selling it, didn’t know the diff between writing $5.00 and $500.00, or if he just didn’t care, but his wife, the cashier, didn’t care enough to ask him, so, SCORE for my BFF!

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Rock n’ roll!

  7. EL @ MoneyWatch101 September 23, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    The Misses recently picked up a drawing easel for the kids for 10 bucks, and it goes for $90 in the stores. I must say that is a great deal. The kids look like little picassos drawing on that thing.

  8. MonicaOnMoney September 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Wow, a car? Seriously? That’s just amazing!! I need to find yard sales in my area too. I know they have yard sales but I’m not sure where to find them in our city. I’m checking Google!!

  9. Romona @Monasez September 23, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    I’ve shopped at flea markets but not yard sales before. I might have to check one out one of these days.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Never?? That’s impressive. The only downside to it all is that you have to be up and out there SUPER early for a Saturday morning, which usually nixes the idea for most people right there ;)

  10. Mark Ross September 23, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I didn’t know that you could pick up a date on a yard sale. I think that’s a pretty amazing thing if that really happens in your life.

  11. Brian September 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    We gave away one of our car seats at our yard sale once. A young couple came up looking things over and the had a baby who was younger the 6 months and the mother was holding the infant in the backseat. My wife and I look at each other and we just gave the seat to them.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      WOAH!!! SUPER UNSAFE!!!! (The mom just holding the baby in the back seat – not you giving them the car seat, that’s just plain awesome of you guys :))

  12. Slackerjo September 23, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    I think the Shakespeare is practical. There is lots of stuff about $ in his works.

    I love garage sales because you can get a lot of practical stuff at super cheap prices. And then since you saved all kinds of money, you can buy stupid stuff, like this!


    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Haahhhaha…. you are TOO much over there I say, TOO MUCH!! And I love that old antique typewriter you had in the background there too – you ever use it?

      1. Slackerjo September 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        Sadly the typewriter jams after about 5-6 keystrokes. It’s on my list of things I would like to get working again. I also have a telegraph key next to it (thrift store find 50 cents!) and I tell people it’s the original modem/laptop set up.

        1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 1:12 PM

          That doesn’t surprise me ;)

  13. Retire By 40 September 23, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Wow, a house! That’s nuts.
    The shoes were a great find. We are buying shoes every couple of months now. That’s not fun.

  14. Lance @ Money Life and More September 23, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    While yard sales do die down here in Florida, you could still have one in the winter if you wanted to. One of the benefits of no snow woohoo!

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      I’d love that!! We’re nearing the end of the sales I’m afraid over here :( Gotta get my last fills of ’em before they disappear for the winter… *tear*

  15. Sarah R. September 23, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Yard sales are the best! If you are looking for a new car seat, I highly recommend the Britax Marathon. I see them on CL and yard sales all the time. Shouldn’t be too hard to give the thing a good check over. Also, the manufacture date is listed on the stickers (look on the back and sides, and pull up the cover to find it). I think they go to 60 pounds. Woo!

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Cool, thx! Our main one we use right now is Britax and we love it :) This 2nd one we want is for when friends/family want to pick up the little guy from daycare so we can make sure everything is a-okay when they’re ridin’ with them.

  16. Broke Millennial September 23, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I’m a fan of the yard sale. Both as a buyer and seller. In fact, my entire crazy love of money started from a yard sale when I was 7. Sadly, decent yard sales in NYC are few and far between. Plus, you have to worry about the possibility of bed bugs…it also really puts a cramp on dumpster diving.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      HAHAHA…. I bet. Though I have picked up some of my favorite art from trash dumps in NYC back in the day :) Never have I found such cool stuff being THROWN OUT than in the city!! It’s like some people just bleed money over there…

  17. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life September 23, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    A car? A House? A Date? I need to start going “yard sailing”. Too bad I’m stuck in this concrete jungle of NYC. Block sale?

  18. Claire September 23, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Personally, I think that buying a used car seat is like picking up a World War II hand grenade – you never know if that thing will blow up in your face.

    There are plenty of NEW car seats which are reasonably priced and if you ever did get in a wreck with your baby in the car I’m sure you’d gladly have spent the extra $$ to have a safe baby.

  19. J Wolf September 23, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    For a minute there, I thought *Did I ever tell him about my rock buying?!?*

    So… you’ve got TWO friends (and I’d guess more) who are into buying rocks.


    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Haha nice! You can’t have too many rock lovers in your life, now can ya? ;)

  20. EJ September 23, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Me and my mum go yard sale shopping about once every fortnight. My recent score was a 3 piece Balinese Sturdy outdoor lounge set that i got for $150 ($3000 brand new) from a wealthy couple selling their beach house! Last weekend picked up new change table in immaculate condition for $10 and one of those toddler trampolines with the safety bar for $5, a magnetic dart board for the man cave $2, a baby proofing kit $1. Can’t wait for next weekend to
    go again :) I only really buy stuff I need and generally try to flip free stuff that i find online on gumtree ( like your craigslist) for a profit.

    1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      Cool! Glad to see yard saling is just as popular all across the world like that :) Keep on hustling!

  21. Micro September 23, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    This reminds me back in college of prowling the dumpsters near the end of the semester. So many times students would dispose of couches, futons, TVs, and various other items that were just too much of a hassle to take back home with them. It was a great way to score quality items for cheap.

    1. Slackerjo September 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM

      College. I am LONG out of college and still prowl the dumpster!

      1. J. Money September 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        YES!!! Totally. I have many a things still from dumpster diving back in the day :)

  22. Brittany September 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    I guess what you’re going to do now on Saturday mornings is that OTHER thing that guys could ever ask for! ;o)

    1. J. Money September 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      I hope so! I don’t know how else we’ll be able to make Baby #2 soon ;)

  23. DC @ Young Adult Money September 26, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Haha wow I can’t believe someone you know bought their first home at a garage sale! That’s impressive. My wife loves garage sales and I don’t mind them, but I do I feel like it’s hard to find that really good vintage stuff at garage sales, but maybe I’m going to the wrong neighborhoods.

    1. J. Money September 27, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      More often than not you’re just going at the wrong times and missing all the goodies :)

  24. Marissa@Thirtysixmonths September 26, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    Those 3 random biggies are awesome! I was laughing out loud especially when I got to the date part. But the Car and the Rental House are something else! Yard sales are indeed the best!