Tag Archives: yard sales

Garage Sale Tips: Shopping for Mother’s Day 2012 gifts

It seems like every year when Mother’s Day rolls around the media pushes us to spend big: diamonds, fancy restaurants, and high-dollar perfumes. But you don’t have to burn a hole in your budget to give an unforgettable Mother’s Day gift that the moms in your life will cherish. Your neighborhood garage sales and estate sales are just the place to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts, and mom will appreciate you being smart with your money.

Before you go shopping, make sure you’ve read our Weekend Shopping Guide for garage sale tips to help you get the most out of your experience. Once you’re up to speed, all you need to know is what type of mom you’re shopping for, and what yard sale items match her interests.

Gifts for the Gardening Mom

Unique planters, teacups, or vintage bowls – all of these can be found for $5 or less at garage sales. Put a little soil in them and a miniature plant (think succulents or violas), and you’ve got a gift that will wow. For inspiration, head to Epheriell Designs who made a beautiful teacup succulent garden.

Mother's Day gifts

Succulents like cacti can make great Mother's Day gifts.

Antique spoons – Antique spoons are easy to transform into adorable garden markers. Artsy VaVa has an easy DIY tutorial for creating whimsical herb garden spoon markers. Anyone would love this garden gift.

Lawn buddies – There’s always a cute figurine or two hiding out at a garage sale. Find out her favorite animal and keep your eyes peeled. There’s sure to be a porcelain or brass critter who’d love to call her lawn home.

Gifts for the Bookworm Mom

The obvious, books – Make a list of your mom’s favorite authors and scour the tables of your local yard sale. Books can usually be scored for $1 – $2.

Unique bookmarks – Many garage sales will have items that could be turned into beautiful bookmarks (think buttons, charms, and jewelry) at the sale. Head to Good Life Eats for inspirational DIY bookmark ideas before you go shopping.

Once you’ve rounded up some good reads and reading accessories, assemble them in a beautiful book gift basket with some of mom’s favorite teas and snacks. You’ll win the favorite kid award for sure.

Gifts for the Fashionista Mom

Jewelry – Head to estate sales or garage sales that explicitly state they have jewelry for sale. You should be able to find good bargains ranging from $1 – $10 at most sales. While the big box stores and high price tags might seem impressive, a garage sale jewelry gift is one of a kind and can be a real beauty once cleaned up. Who knows, you may even stumble on a valuable treasure.

Scarves and shawls – These can also be found at many estate sales. Keep an eye out for boxes filled with colorful silks, and you’re likely to find a vintage scarf or shawl hiding in there that would look beautiful on mom. All you need to do is give it a gentle hand wash and iron, and it will be ready for gifting.

These are just a few ideas. There are plenty of treasures to be had at garage sales. Know some gift ideas that we missed? Tell us with a comment, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day, and many successful garage sale treasure hunts!

The PennySaverUSA Team

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Tips for Pricing Items at Your Yard Sale

Items that hold significant value to you sentimentally might really only  be worth a few dollars to shoppers at your yard sale. So how do you find the right medium that makes you feel good about the sale and the buyer feel good about the bargain? Follow PennySaverUSA’s tips for pricing items correctly at your yard sale, and you’ll avoid seller’s remorse.


Post and find garage sales on PennySaverUSA.com.

Before you start scratching your head in confusion, use our helpful pricing guide for garage sales here:

  1. Clothing – $.50 to $2 for regular shirts, $2-$3 for jeans, $5 and up for name-brand items, $5 and up for winter clothing, purses for $5 and up, and items with tags for $7 and up.
  2. Electronics – $5 to $20 depending on the condition of the item. $5 for a home telephone to $20 for a DVD player.
  3. DVDs, CDs, and Books – Sell these items in bulk to get them out of the door faster. $.50 to $1 a piece or $3 for 5.
  4. Furniture – Pricing depends on the size and condition. Range the pricing $20 to $50 to sell it faster. If your item is in excellent condition like a bed frame, you can price it higher like $75 to $100.
  5. Toys – $1 for similar items like Barbies and stuffed animals to $25 for roller skates and bikes.
  6. Household goods and tools – The smaller in size, the lower the price. $2/a piece to $20, if you offer a set.

When it comes to garage sales, you have to remember to price it accordingly. People don’t go to garage sales with hundreds of dollars in their pocket, so they won’t pay outrageous prices.

If these prices seem too low for your favorite vintage leather jacket, that’s a huge sign to sell it somewhere else, like through a classified ad on PennySaverUSA or by trading it at a Consignment shop.

And before you start pricing your items, learn more about deciding what’s junk or a family heirloom by reading here.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Tips for Making a Successful Yard Sale Sign

Making a yard sale sign seems pretty simple, right? You just draw an arrow pointing to your house and tack the sign to the nearest pole. Not so fast. While that sign may get some shoppers headed in the right direction, you’re going to lose lots of drivers who won’t give your sign a second glance.

Luckily, PennySaverUSA.com is here to share the three elements for creating successful yard sale signage to make sure you get the most from your next garage sale.


Put up signs for drive-by traffic and place a free ad on PennySaverUSA.com to get even more visitors to your sale.

The Three Elements of Successful Yard Sale Signage

  1. Clear Address and Time– more important than any other part of your garage sale sign is that shoppers can clearly see the address and time of your sale. This includes day of the week and hours. E.g., Sunday, 7AM – 1PM, 1123 Sycamore Street. Make sure that this VIP information is bold and legible, so it can be easily read from the street. Our friend, the Curious Crow, has a hilarious blog on this topic.
  2. Visibility –You want your sign to make drivers stop everything and reverse course to your sale. To do this, Facebook fan Laura S. recommends using neon signs, with an arrow pointing in the direction of your sale. And Martha G. even recommends tying balloons to your sign. Anything you can do for extra attention is a plus.
  3. Sign Location- This goes along with visibility, but you’ll also want to make sure your sign is in a high traffic area and clearly visible from the street. We recommend placing a couple at the major cross streets near your home and placing some at the beginning and end of your actual street.

For even more eyes on your yard sale, place a free garage sale ad in PennySaverUSA’s online classifieds, where thousands of shoppers browse every day.

Do you have any tips for making a great yard sale sign? We’ve love to hear them with a comment below.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

MOGASA’s Shopping Tips for Finding Valentine’s Gifts at Garage Sales

PennySaverUSA’s garage sale mobile app MOGASA will provide a guest blog post each Tuesday. Enjoy …


Vintage items like this owl from our blogger partner Thrift Core make good Valentine's gifts.

Romance and garage sales? You don’t often hear these phrases paired together, but MOGASA wants to change that because we believe thrifty can be thoughtful. Find a gift this year that will truly speak to your Valentine’s heart when you give something uniquely theirs that you found at a garage sale. MOGASA’s handy shopping tips will make romance come easy.

Getting Started

The week before you shop, look for neighborhood signs, ads in your PennySaver, and posts on the free MOGASA mobile garage sale app and pick a number of sales to visit. (Hint: MOGASA allows you to create easy driving maps to the sales you’re exploring.) For garage sales, the saying “The Early Bird Gets the Worm” holds true, so plan to hit the trails around 6AM to find the best stuff.

What to Shop for

There are a lot common items that you’ll see at almost every sale, and with a little love, they can be transformed into the perfect Valentine’s gift. Here are our top five picks.


To the right person, old books can, in fact, be sexy.

  1. Vintage jewelry – Often found in full boxes at estate sales. All these need is a little cleaning (Silver for Sale has great tips), and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece the recipient will treasure forever.
  2. Picture frames – There’s always a beautiful picture frame or two hiding in a yard sale. Dust it off, and then check out Funky Junk Interior’s 83 tips for unconventional picture frame uses. Or, just put a sweet picture in it.
  3. Porcelain or ceramic figurines – Have a friend who loves owls, rabbits, or the elusive unicorn? You can bet you’ll find one of these at a garage sale along your route, and our friend at Thrift Core has an excellent tutorial for transforming figurines from retro to chic in a few short minutes.
  4. Books – Avid reader on your list? Look no further than the book pile at your local yard sale. There’s sure to be a good James Patterson in there, and Joanne Palmisano author of Salvage Secrets has a great tutorial for creating a sweet reader’s gift basket with thrifted books.
  5. Vases – You can save on a beautiful flower arrangement when you pick up the vase at a yard sale. We bet every sale you visit will have one. Once you’ve chosen the vase that speaks to your heart, save even more when you get her favorite long stems at your local farmer’s market.

**Super shopper’s hint** Write out everyone you need to buy for and some highlights about what makes them unique, e.g., favorite color blue, loves owls, collects old records, this will make tracking down the perfect gift much easier.

We hope we’ve helped you create an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. Leave us a comment with what you’re giving your sweetheart for Valentine’s.  Happy treasure hunting!

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Get the new garage sale app MOGASA for your mobile phone

Calling all garage and yard sale enthusiasts. PennySaverUSA.com has a big announcement! We have created a FREE new mobile app called MOGASA that allows you to find, post and even review local garage sales and yard sales in your area.


Download MOGASA, PennySaverUSA's new garage sale mobile app.

To go along with MOGASA’s launch, we are holding an online contest. By entering the “Join the Hunt” online contest, you will be eligible for a chance to win a cash prize! If you sign up as an individual, you have an opportunity to win $150, while team entries have a shot at emerging with $350.

On the weekend of Aug. 13, 2011, garage sale treasure hunters will compete to win by finding all the garage sale items on a scavenger hunt-style list.

The individual and team to find all items in the shortest amount of time within the 48-hour contest time period wins!

Among the many MOGASA features are simple search options, custom treasure trails, a check-in button and much more. Watch the how-to video to learn more about using MOGASA.

MOGASA’s mission is to be the ultimate application in your garage sale treasure-hunting tool belt. With custom treasure trails, garage sale ratings and reviews, and adventure sharing features, it’s never been easier to uncover unbelievable bargains right in your backyard.

We’re very excited about our new garage sales and yard sales app and hope you download it today for the iPhone or Android. Please let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

PennySaver Memories

As many of you know, especially our California readers, PennySaver is a brand that has been a part of millions of lives for 48 years,  is in over 700 local editions, and is mailed to 95% of the residents in California. And because of this, there are a great deal of stories that we hear from our readers about how the PennySaver shaped their lives. We want to share a few of these every week with you here on our PennySaverUSA.com blog.

Penny Saver is a Life Saver. I fell in my bathtub and made a big hole in the floor of it. I was so upset , not because I fell, but because of the cost to repair the bathtub. Then a friend suggested to me “Why don’t you put an ad in the Penny Saver to get some extra cash” to fix the bathtub. Sure enough. Through the ad from the Penny Saver (or Life Saver, as I call it now),  I was able to get enough money for the repair and even had money left over to buy a rubber duckie. Thank you so much, Pennysaver-The Life Saver.  -Valencia, CA

Three years ago I found a cockatiel under a desk in my backyard. I put up fliers and on online classified sites, to no avail. Then I called PennySaver, placed an ad in the lost and found, and the young cockatiel was reunited with it’s owner. It had flown from North Park to La Mesa unarmed,  just a little scared.  -Spring Valley, CA

Years ago, I won a 4pack of Castle Amusement Park tickets through the PennySaver. I took my grandsons and they had the time of their life. It was so wonderful for them (and us), considering at the time there was no way we could afford Disneyland or pretty much anything for them. It was truly a blessing. THANKS AGAIN, we’ll never forget it. -Victorville, CA

I love Wednesday, that’s when my PennySaver comes in the mail! The PennySaver has the best ads for yard sales. I get my pad of paper out and write them down. My favorite PennySaver memory is the great find I found at a yard sale. It was a box of jewelry that I bought for $ 10.00. Well, in the jewelry box was a 1 carat diamond ring!  A REAL ONE!  That was 5 years ago and I gave it to my daughter when she had my 1st granddaughter. Thanks PennySaver, I LOVE WEDNESDAY!  -La Mirada, CA

Do you have a favorite PennySaver memory? Let us know about it by commenting below!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

PennySaver Memories: Garage Sales, Farmers Markets and Amusement Parks

As many of you know, especially our California readers, PennySaver is a brand that has been a part of millions of lives for 48 years,  is in over 700 local editions, and is mailed to 95% of the residents in California. And because of this, there are a great deal of stories that we hear from our readers about how the PennySaver shaped their lives. We want to share a few of these every week with you here on our PennySaverUSA.com blog.

I remember as a child checking the PennySaver for garage sales. My mom and I would then go out hunting down great deals in our local neighborhoods. I couldn’t wait for the newest PennySaver to be delivered! We picked up a lot of good finds at the sales and my mom taught me how to bargain for a good deal. Now, as a parent, my young daughters also love garage sales. We head out and find great deals. One of the best finds was a Barbie Dream Hotel that another girl gave to my daughter for free because she wanted someone to enjoy it as much as she did. Thanks PennySaver! – San Mateo, CA

I can remember lots of summers where my dad would look for yard sale ads in the PennySaver and he often wanted to take me to ”help” look for tools and stuff for home improvement. Sometimes I didn’t want to go, but when I saw him look through lots of treasures out on blankets on people’s front yards, he became an excited little kid at a Easter egg hunt. I felt happy that my dad was so happy,and sometimes I would find something for myself, a kid’s book, a old stuffed animal and I would have a big smile that matched my dad’s. And later that day, we would show mom our treasures we found at summer yard sales. -Azusa, CA

Years ago, I won a 4pack of Castle Amusement Park tickets through the Pennysaver. I took my grandsons and they had the time of their life. It was so wonderful for them (and us), considering at the time there was no way we couldn’t afford Disneyland or pretty much anything for them. It was truly a blessing. THANKS AGAIN, we’ll never forget it. -Victorville, CA

So every week my now 8-year-old son will look through the Pennysaver for the puzzles, free stuff, and a Farmers Market coupon. One day we decided to go to the Farmers Market with Pennysaver in hand. Well, the day we went it happened to be raining. The Farmers Market is always on rain or shine. My son wanted to walk around and look for the perfect item he wanted. The rain was steady and in time, the coupon had fallen apart in his hands, but they still honored it even though no one could tell what it had said. He was so happy and we were both soaked!!! We had a lot of fun and without our Pennysaver, we would have never gone to that Farmers Market…thank you, Pennysaver!! We are always looking forward to getting our Pennysaver in the mail!  -Ventura, CA

Do you have a PennySaver memory? Let us know by commenting below!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

$200 Million Garage Sale Find

As all of our PennySavers out there know, stopping by a yard or garage sale can yield some very cool and unique finds, and it is usually worth a few minutes of your time. But, every now and again, you might come across an item that could be worth more than anything that your imagination could conjure up.

In the Spring of 2000, in Fresno, CA, Rick Norsigian, a Fresno School District painter, came across a box of antique glass photo negatives and purchased them for $45. He soon began to suspect that these negatives were the work of legendary and renowned photographer Ansel Adams, and this moved him to begin authenticating the find. The negatives were run through a barrage of tests by a barrage of experts, and all the evidence was reviewed by a former FBI Agent and former Assistant United States Attorney to determine the validity of the work. All findings pointed to authenticity of the negatives, and there has been talk of the find being worth over $200 Million. There is an ongoing fight between the estate of Adams and Norsigian over the validity of the negatives, but the magnitude of this find will never be undone.

If there is any lesson to be taken from this, it might be that you should consider stopping by a local yard or garage sale and taking a good look at the items that someone else no longer needs. They might be sitting on a jackpot and not know it. Or, at the least, you might just find something for yourself that might not be worth millions in dollars, but can become priceless to you.

Come to PennySaverUSA.com to check for all of the yard/garage sales in your area!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage/Yard Sale Tips!

A great by-product of spring cleaning every year in many households is the annual garage sale/yard sale.  Many of us experienced this trademark of domestic enterprise that would rid closets of grown-out-of-clothes and toys, old electronics; anything that you can put a price on and a neighbor or passer-by can purchase and enjoy for themselves!  PennySaver would love to supply you with a few tips before your garage or yard sale to help to maximize your effort.

1. Location, Location, Location: When I was a child, we lived in a rather remote area, miles off of the highway, in a low traffic area. A yard sale at our house was sure to yield almost no profit, because, on a given summer day, literally 5-6 cars would pass per hour, and that doesn’t make for the ideal condition to encourage shoppers. If you live in an area without a lot of foot or car traffic, maybe ask a relative or friend if they would want to participate in a joint venture, or if you could just use their prime real-estate for your sale.

2. Pricing: We know that it’s hard to part with certain items that are taking up room, but pricing too high because of your affection for the item doesn’t help anyone. Price things reasonable, and that will encourage people to buy a larger quantity, which serves the exact reasoning for the yard sale in the first place: To Clear Things Out!

3. Bundle Items: Create bundles of similar items to sell in larger quantities. It might encourage people to buy, as it encourages their chance of satisfaction in a single purchase.  If you’re selling books or dvds, group them together in fives; even if the customer doesn’t end up enjoying the first book, they have four other chances and a new book to add to their bookshelf.

4 . Create Bargain Bins: Everyone loves  a good bargain bin! It’s great to sort through merchandise and know it’s all the same price and easy to add up what you’re spending, and the person selling doesn’t have to label every item. Save time and money!

5. Advertise: It is vital to advertise your sale with flyers and ads on…um….PennySaver!  Some people live and die for yard sales and garage sales and are looking for sales in their neighborhoods on a daily basis . It will be worth it when you turn a big profit from a very little investment!

6. Fun Stuff: Why not have some refreshments for your customers? Bring out some lemonade, have some bottled water on hand; on a hot summer day, it will help to create a better shopping experience. Have some music playing, and greet everyone just like you’re running your own little store for the day. A happy customer is the best kind of customer!

7. Raffle: If you have a large item that you need to get rid of that might be a bit much to sell at a yard sale price, but you really need it to go, do a raffle! People will flock to a sale if they think they might win a lawnmower, a TV, a bedroom set, etc.  People might show up just for this and end up buying something else!

We even provide you a little assistance for signage for your sale, Click Here! If you’re a seller or a buyer, it truly is a great place to find a great deal and a great place to make a little extra cash. And these days, that’s a great scenario either way, right?

Rating 3.00 out of 5