15 Things You Should Always Buy at Yard Sales

Shopping at garage and yard sales is a fun and easy way to save a ton of money — especially if you spot any of these items.

8. Certain baby items

Don’t scoop up a secondhand car seat or crib, as we detail in “10 Things No One Should Ever Buy Used.”

But it’s generally fine to buy items like baby clothes, strollers and bassinets used. And the price is a real pacifier.

9. Travel guides

Are you Barcelona-bound? Heading for Hawaii? There are online travel guides aplenty, but a good, solid travel guidebook often comes in handy.

Here’s a savvy traveler’s tip: The history, maps and basic info about a region may stay the same for decades, but if you buy a guidebook that’s more than a few years old, verify that hotels and restaurants are still in business before showing up at one. Bon voyage!

10. Sports gear

Obviously, Olympians don’t pick up their ice skates or soccer knee pads at yard sales. But backyard athletes and kids starting out should make it a goal to acquire some sports accessories there.

They’re often only lightly used.

11. Halloween costumes

Creep it real at Halloween by buying used costumes — whether child- or adult-sized — at yard sales.

They’re often barely worn and frightfully cheap.

12. Fancy dress-up clothes

Wedding gowns, prom dresses, tuxedos with lapels that span a continent — formal wear is a yard-sale favorite.

Not everyone wants to go all Molly Ringwald in “Pretty in Pink” and remake a vintage prom dress, but discarded duds will delight kids with princess dreams.

Or, use them for Halloween costumes. You won’t feel guilty splashing fake blood on a $5 wedding dress to create a zombie bride ensemble.

13. Musical instruments for children

Not every kid is a Prince-like prodigy. Many of us were nudged into music lessons, then abruptly quit the school band and shoved that barely used clarinet under the bed for the next decade.

You may not find the best-quality band instruments at yard sales, but at yard-sale prices, your young Mozart might not care.

14. Pulp fiction

No, not the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie, but pulp paperback books — cheap reads with lurid and colorful covers.

A good pulp makes a juicy purchase — whether you want to frame the cover, read the book, resell it or give it as a white-elephant gift.

15. Vintage board games

Everyone has Monopoly, but not everyone owned the wonderfully goofy Mystery Date game — in which players opened a plastic 3-D door, hoping the correct handsome hunk was waiting.

A vintage board game could make for a perfect gift for that friend who helped you survive the ‘70s. But be warned: Pieces are probably missing.

Have you scored some yard-sale bargains? Share them on our Facebook page.


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