10 Types of Yard Salers

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10 Types of Yard Salers

I’m a yard saler. Each Saturday morning that isn’t snowing you can find me wandering around town looking at all that is available. Some mornings I have great luck in finding just what I need, other mornings I don’t really need anything so I return empty handed…but it’s the fun of the morning out treasure hunting that keeps me going back week after week during the summer months.

I have a very specific system down. On Fridays I look up the sales I think I’d like to go to, then I map everything out, based on timing, and then in the morning all I have to do is put the addresses in my gps and I’m ready to go. I have a system for picking out which sales I’m going to check out and I usually am pretty good about finding what I need when I’m looking for something specific.

Rummage Sales are a way of life for us. If I don’t find clothing to last us through the winter than we go without new things or different sizes…I’m very strict about only buying used clothes .(Especially for the baby because he wears something once and is done with it!)

Over my years of yard saling I’ve come across many other special yard salers. I’ve found that there are very specific kinds of yard salers and you seem to come across a few of these each time you venture out.

The First Time Mom – 

These poor women are usually close to their due dates and still need quite a bit of stuff and are starting to stress over it. They are very easily talked into buying all kind of contraptions by the yard sale owner and head home with a car full of things they won’t ever use.

The Meticulous Picker –

This person is obvious to spot. They look through piles of things and carefully set each thing they’ve looked through to the side. If they are looking through clothing they carefully inspect each piece for tears, stains, or damage and then fold them and make a pretty pile. (True story, at my rummage sale last year I had a Meticulous Picker come and stay for 2 HOURS.)

The Social Gabber –

This is often the person that is dragged along by a friend and has no interest in the sale, they just want to catch up with their friend on the latest gossip. Occasionally they pick something up, only to not look at it and set it back down where it doesn’t belong.

The On-A-Mission Shopper –

These are the yard salers you think have been prepping for this day for years. They are fully showered, dressed, and armed with $1 bills and totally ready to shop, at 5am.

The Drive By –

These shoppers don’t stop to shop. They simply drive by the house, slow down and stare over the items, then speed off.

The Buying-For-Everyone Shopper –

These people have a list of about a dozen different sizes written on it. They are shopping for everyone they know. They are asked by the owner if they are looking for anything in particular and they can honestly say they are looking for so many things they can’t take the time to list them, so they will just look everything over.

The Collector –

This person will always buy a random assortment of things because they aren’t really looking for anything in particular, just shopping to shop. I’m scared to know what their house looks like….

The Comments-On-Everything Shopper –

This is the shopper that picks things up and has to make a comment about everything. “Oh remember when so and so bought one of these and never used it?” “Oh isn’t this cute? What would you do with it though?” “Oh remember when so and so used to wear this size?” They don’t end up buying much but spend a lot of time at the sale.

The Negotiator –

Nothing is a good enough deal for this shopper. They always ask for a different price on everything they plan on buying and like to bundle things together and ask for a bulk deal. They finally get their total down to pennies and then pull a fifty dollar bill out of their pocket to pay.

The Grabber –

This scary yard saler is on a mission and has severe tunnel vision. They are determined to get what they came for and no one else will stand in their way. They grab things off the tables like this is the last yard sale in the world and they have to stock up while they can.

I’m definitely the On A Mission Shopper and a little bit of a Buying For Everyone shopper! I’m scary prepared for the morning of shopping and yes, I know everyone in my family and my extended family’s sizes so I can shop for them as well! (Mostly because no one wants to get up with me that early and tag along!)

What kind of yard saler are you?


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  1. Hi, fun post. I am a negotiator, but not in bulk, and I am a sometimes on a mission shopper and guilty of being a drive-by-shopper. Thanks for the reminder about garage sales. Around here lately, garage sales are less and less and large resale stores are more and more.

  2. I’m definitely the “buying for everyone” and now since opening an etsy “The Collector”….yes, be afraid to know what my house looks like! 🙂

    enjoyed this…Pat

  3. I recently started seriously yard saling with a girlfriend to help fill in the blanks in my husband’s and my new house. However, your list makes me realize that I definitely shop the same no matter where I am… 95% Woman on a Mission with a bit of Collector and a drop of the Drive-By. Shopping is not my favorite sport in any situation so I only drag myself out there when I have a list of things needed, but I’m not averse to picking up a sweet something that catches my eye when least expected. And if a sale doesn’t have anything remotely close to what’s on my list, I pass on by. I’m just not enough of a mosey-er to stop at every sale.

  4. The thing about garage sales if you have one you price it at like $3.00 knowing the person will haggle it down. You can still get the price you want for something. I just had one this weekend. Simply I had a cooler for sale looking for $2.00 so I put it at $3.00 knowing that I would be haggled down. If I was firm on a price I put it on the tag.

  5. Im sad to say this, But I dont do yard sales. Ive tryed in the past. Just cant do it. I’ll go to second hand shops. I dont know whats wrong with me.

  6. We saw quite a few “drive bys” this time around. Since we had a lot of children’s items in the driveway, they assumed I didn’t have what they wanted in the garage. You can’t see what I have in the garage from the road, so they might have been missing out on something great. I also have experience we two other types of shoppers.. The men running to the sale looking for tools, lawnmowers and spare parts, and the re-seller who is looking for deals to sell on Ebay for a profit.

  7. I yard sale every Fri with my Mom. Cranky kids? Don’t bother her in the least. She is the buy for everyone, search through every pile and find treasure and up at 5 am with her list ready to go. Me, I show up for the company, treasure (home, kids clothes, books and for me clothes) and COFFEE STOP that always accompanies our weekly ritual. I have recently discovered online yard sale sites which is also fun.

  8. I love yard sales. I’m on a mission type shopper. My husband however is a “I got to buy this stuff cause its a good deal and some day I might need it.” The clutter is unreal. I’m trying to talk him into purging and having a huge sale ourselves.

  9. I’m a drive by-er. Most of the garage sales around here fall into two types….people with kids or people who have a perpetual junk sale. I’ve never had kids so I’m very apt to just take a look. If I see a bunch of baby stuff, etc., I don’t bother stopping. I look through the sales on Craigslist….sometimes there’s one nearby that might have…. okay I like to shop for fishing gear, etc. (actually its where I retreat to because I don’t have kids).

    And I’ve never had a garage sale of my own. I live in a rural town, so there isn’t a lot of traffic. Besides, everybody here is looking for kid stuff!!

    I have my best luck for clothing at Goodwill. I always can find pricey, top name items for a few dollars, both for me and the husband, a XXLT.

    (and I have to add here…..I’m an thrilled with that little chocolate frosting recipe that was on the end of the zucchini recipe the other day. So easy! And I don’t have to store powdered sugar. I’m going to give it a go with peanut butter chips and white chips some time too. Thankyousoverymuch!!)

  10. Shucks! I might be a comments on everything shopper! I try to be very strict about buying anything unnecessary which is why I usually don’t spend very much. I have tons of fun with my family just going and looking. We laugh a lot and enjoy the adventure of flee marketing and yard saling. Thanks for the fun post Merissa!

  11. As a Grammi – and retired…. I am definitely the “Buy for Everyone” type…. working friends, plus my kids and Grands 🙂

  12. I am a partial drive by shopper as I don’t go to sales of mostly kids clothes as my grandkids are teenage. I shop garage sales for tools, new packages of electrical and plumbing supplies as these can be expensive, camping supplies, and I always shop the free box. My husband and I have circled back and been offered or got off the boulevard many useful items that were putout or given to us cheap or free at the end of the sales in small towns we rummage. We don’t go to big city sales, too much driving. We have been given scooters, sleeping bags, dishes, chairs, things they don’t want to deal with at the end of the sale.