The best thing about yard sales

Bargains, treasures and collectibles, oh my!

Yard sales are the best thing to happen in a summer season if you’re looking for deals and sales, unique home decorations, and a bartering extravaganza.

In celebration of this year’s Yard Sale for the Cure (details below!), here are some tips for your thriftiest shopping adventure, no matter your proclivities.


Unfortunately, many parents don’t teach their children how to manage their money.

Did you know it could be as simple as taking them to a yard sale? Show them how to allocate their allowance funds, make a list of “desired items”, and how to barter with the shop owner.

They’ll also learn that “second-hand” doesn’t mean “worthless”. What’s old to one kid is new to yours. Yard sales are an important lesson in up-cycling.


Yard sales are the best for:

  • Children’s clothing at bargain prices – they’ll grow out of it anyway!
  • Toys and games that will be “new” to your kids
  • Unique furniture that you can’t find at IKEA
  • Old books to leaf through
  • Records at low prices
  • Kitchen needs for the college-bound or newlywed (utensils, dishes, cook ware)


Be sure your potential purchases have their necessary components (there’s no use in buying Monopoly without the thimble!). If they’re missing pieces or broke, but it’s still what your heart desires, negotiate a lower price.

And on that note, you can negotiate any price at a yard sale – it’s even expected. If you’re on the hunt for bargains, arrive at the yard sale in the last hour, when vendors are desperate to sell their final items.



The Yard Sale for the Cure is Toronto’s biggest yard sale ever – seriously. It covers two of the city’s biggest parks and you might see an ancient grandfather clock, an antique elementary school desk, a working retro lamp (or three!), or a totally funky pair of platform boots a la Pretty Woman.

The sale always kicks off in the early morning, around 8am on May 23rd, at Trinity Bellwoods Park and Kew Gardens in downtown Toronto. We take over the streets for the best cause: everything goes to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. In 2014, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? raised over $35,000 for research to cure this terrible disease.

This year, you’ll be excited to find a refurbished piece from a famous Canadian designer up for auction … so stay tuned.

And guess what? Across North America, we’re hosting yard sales to raise money for local charities. This year, there will be HUGE yard sales in the following US cities:

  • Springfield, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Sonoma, CA
  • Madison, WI

If none of these sales are in your location, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? suggests holding your own sale, or a block party yard sale by getting your neighbors in on the deal. Everyone can set up a yard sale in their garage, giving the rest of the community a chance to shop ‘til they drop! For tips on how to host a killer yard sale, read our post here!

The best part is that you can still donate all proceeds to a charity of your choice.

What’s the best ‘treasure’ you’ve ever found at a yard sale?

Sarah Gray is PR Manager for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, and sister companies You Move Me and WOW 1 DAY PAINTING. She’s known for her can-do attitude, whether it comes to communications or home improvement projects. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn.

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