Do you love to hunt for a good bargain? If so, you probably enjoying hitting up garage sales and yard sales around the city. Whether you map out a whole plan for your bargain hunting days, or you just stop at sales as you pass them, look no further!
Spring through Fall is prime time for hitting up garage sales, and you can find all lots of upcoming sales in Columbus with the gsalr.com map below. Since its founding in 2007, gsalr.com (pronounced “gee-saler”) has become the largest and most successful garage sale listing site on the internet, so you’re sure to find plenty for your bargain hunting. You can zoom in and out, and move the map around to find the area you want to target.
Make sure you scroll towards the bottom to find a list of garage sales we’ve found, including lots of community garage sales around Columbus! Community yard sales are the best option because there will be multiple homes selling in the area, so you can quickly check out a sale, and move on down the street to the next if you don’t see anything.
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Tips for shopping garage sales
Plan your route. Browse the sales listings and plan to hit the ones that mention items you are most interested in first, whether that is books, kids clothing, holiday decorations, furniture, tools, or whatever.
Be the early bird. Go early! Many people shop as soon as the sales start so they can grab the most valuable items before things get picked over. They’ll even try to shop before the sales start (you’ll notice some sales will say “no early birds).
Don’t linger. If you’re planning to stop at mutiple sales, don’t linger. Do a quick lap of each sale to see if anything catches your eye that may be valuable to you. If you see anything you can’t pass us, pick it up immediately – or else risk losing it to someone else. After your lap, you can delve deeper into the categories of things you are interested in, but don’t waste too much time – the best stuff is probably on top.
Ask. If you are looking for something specific, ASK! If they don’t have what you’re looking for, don’t feel like you have to browse – just thank them and move on!
Plan your outfit. Garage sales can be dusty and dirty, so wear something that is easy to wash or won’t show the dirt. Don’t wear high-end clothing, jewelry, and purses if you plan to bargain – sellers will think you can afford to pay the asking price. Choose clothing with pockets or wear a crossbody purse so you don’t have to carry a purse on your arm or shoulder. You don’t want to set your purse down and forget about it, and you’ll likely only need cash, so there’s no reason to carry your full purse. You can even leave your money in the (locked) car and grab if from the car if you decide to make a purchase.
If you’re looking for clothing, wear layers that allow you to try things on. Most garage sales don’t have anywhere to try on clothing. Layer a tank top or slim fitting shirt under your shirt, and consider a pair of exercise/bike shorts or other thin shorts under pants that would allow you to try on pants and shorts without needing privacy. Wear a pair of shoes that are easy to slip off and on.
Go late for serious bargains. If you’re not looking for anything specific, you’ll definitely find the best bargains later in the day or on the last day. Towards the end of the sale, the sellers are likely looking to get rid of everything, so they’ll usually accept any reasonable deal or even just give things away so they don’t have to haul them back inside or to a donation center.
Negotiate, but be respectful. It never hurts to ask if they’ll take less for an item or for purchasing multiple items. Most people will. But if they don’t, be respectful. If it’s an item you truly want, you’ll probably have to pony up the price. If the sale isn’t busy, you can always thank them and walk away – they may change their mind and accept your offer or compromise on price. Stop back later in the sale to see if they item is still there and if they are ready to take less at that point. You can even give them your phone number so they can contact you if the item doesn’t sell. Some sellers overvalue their belongings, but when they are still stuck with it at the end of the sale, its a reality check.
Filter your purchases. Good deals are only good deals if you need the items. Don’t just haul home a bunch of junk because it was a great price. Make sure it fits your life, fits your body, or fits your home. Otherwise, you’re just giving away money, adding clutter to your life, and will have to donate or sell the items later.
Having your own garage sale?
Listing your garage sale on gsalr.com is FREE, fast and easy.
Prepare days or weeks in advance. Have EVERYTHING tagged and ready to go. You’ll feel like you’re ready, but you won’t be, and you’ll be scrambling early in the morning to get set up. Have plenty of small bills and coins to make chance. Decide whether you’ll accept paypal or other mobile payment. If you live in a high traffic area, consider having your sale open on Friday during people’s work commute. Many people have other obligations on Saturdays, but will stop for 5 minutes on their way home from work if it looks like large sale.
Follow regulations. If you live in a village, township, city or other type of neighborhood that requires a garage sale permit, make sure you get it. It’s usually less than $20. While it’s not likely anyone is patrolling to look for unauthorized sales, being hit with a $50-$100 fine may wipe out your profits.
Schedule with others. If you have neighbors, it’s best to plan to hold garage sales for the same dates. Neighborhood sales draw more people than a single sale and people will browse multiple sales if they are nearby.
Don’t overprice. Selling 100 items for cheap is better than selling 5 items at a higher price. If you’re having a garage sale, you want to get rid of items and make a little money – don’t overvalue your “junk”. It doesn’t matter how much you paid, it doesn’t matter how the item is sentimental to you, and it doesn’t matter how much you “think” its worth. It’s only as valuable as your shoppers are willing to pay. I generally price clothing items for less than $1-$5, no matter the brand or if it’s brand new. Exceptions would be high value designer goods, and you’re better off selling those online or on consignment. Most garage sale shoppers don’t bring hundreds of dollars to spend, unless they are looking for a specific larger item.
Don’t hold items. Shoppers may ask you to hold a popular item for them so they can get money, get measurements, or bring a larger vehicle. Many don’t bother to return because they change their mind or find it at another sale, so don’t hold it unless they can leave a downpayment or an item of value (like a drivers license or something). If you’re feeling generous, give them 20 minutes – that should be enough time to find an atm and return. If they need to bring a larger vehicle, ask that they pay for the item before they leave. You don’t want to be stuck with an item that would have sold to other shoppers.
Get rid of the extra. Make a plan so you won’t bring the leftover items back into your home. You wanted to get rid of them, so load up your car and donate immediately, or schedule with a charity who will pick up items at your home.
GSALR.com Sale Map
Community Yard Sales
Check out our list of community yard sales held around town. Note, we’re including some crafts sales and vintage sales in this list as vendors often have pre-owned items for sale. This list will constantly update as we find new sales, so check back often!
If you have a community garage sale to submit, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org. While we can’t add individual sales, we are can add annual community and neighborhood sales with more than 20 sellers involved if they have an event link on a website or Facebook. Note: the email must be received more than 7 days in advance of the sale in order to be considered.
Annual Community Yard Sales in Columbus
Merion Village Community Yard Sale: May 4, 2019
Great Garage Sale in Grandview Heights: May 4, 2019
Green Lawn Abbey Yard Sale: May 4, 2019
Bexley Community Yard Sale & Freecycle Weekend: May 11, 2019
Groveport Spring Community Garage Sale: May 17–18, 2019
Village Valuables Sale in German Village: May 18, 2019
Annual Short North Yard Sale: June 1, 2019
Minerva Park Bi-Annual Spring Garage Sale: June 1, 2019
Olde Towne East Trash to Treasure Yard Sale: June 8, 2019
Berwick Community Garage Sale: June 14-16, 2019
Westgate Neighborhood Yard Sales: June 29, 2019
Minerva Park Bi-Annual Fall Garage Sale: September 21, 2019
Prefer a more organized sale?
Check out our big list of consignment sales and consignment stores!