The Saturday Weekly Review

How To Stop Wasting Valuable Time At Garage Sales : The Saturday Weekend Review #219

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Please don’t state the obvious especially if you don’t fancy garage sales because I can already hear responses echoing in my head- “Don’t Go”, “Stay Home” or take a little walk and the urge will go away.

I’m afraid you can’t take the frugal out of us especially when we can save big buying used to compensate what we can’t save money on. Having a toddler in tow makes second-hand shopping far more interesting because there will always be something needed.

Each year after a season of garage sales which start slowly in the Spring I seem to learn something new about what I like and don’t like about them. Then what do I do? I come and blog about my findings to all of you so you learn from mistakes or like I say, “Money projects”. My money projects are about research, doing things differently, being the bad customer, the good customer etc.

In fact I’m probably the buyer I describe as “avoid at all costs” but without personal experience it’s hard to say I know how something is when I haven’t lived it. You can’t share baking tips if you haven’t made the recipe. Catch my drift?


Rain or Shine


Garage sale classifieds have been slowly making their way online especially during the Spring. Lots of homeowners Spring clean their house this time of year and it’s not as hot as it would be in the summer. I would say Spring garage sales are far more relaxing than baking in the sun for hours on end, unless a tan is your Saturday mission.

Garage sales today compared to 10 years ago when I moved to Canada haven’t changed much but they are popping up everywhere. I’m not sure if this is a sign that homeowners are minimizing what they own, are in debt and need money or figured out they can make cash from their used stuff. A bit of all three I’m sure.

Related: 20 Garage Sale Tools To Attract Buyers

Not everyone plans to go to garage sales but one might catch their attention while driving by motivating them to stop and look. Garage sale furniture is always the popular choice for those seeking deals. Then there are others who do the drive-by garage sale shopping likely because they are looking for certain items. The best items are those not listed or unknown to buyer.

What makes you stop for certain garage sales and rush away from others?

This is what I want to talk about today not only for the seller but the buyer who doesn’t want to waste time in a competitive buy and sell market. Not only is petrol pricey but driving around town to garage sales without a goal is going to increase that expense.

Limit your time, your tour and expenses by knowing what you are looking for and how to go about finding it. If you’re a seller don’t waste your time on certain customers because while you’re busy chatting someone is walking away or stealing your stuff. (another blog post).

Typical Scenario:

Buyer: How much do you want for this necklace?

Seller: Ah, I don’t know. This necklace was my grandmother’s who acquired it from her mother but we don’t know what it’s worth or IF it’s worth anything. Ah, take it for $5 and it’s yours.

Buyer: SOLD

The buyer knew that the seller had no idea what they were selling. Judging by the sellers story and the quality of the necklace the buyer knew he had found a deal. Don’t be the donut seller to the smart shopper who’s going to make money from your stuff.


Weekend Garage Sale warriors


The weekends are high times for garage sales and buyers out to buy low and sell high for profit or those frugal seekers of the next best deal.

The best garage sale ever that I attended was with my parents when they were visiting. From a buyer’s perspective it was a horrible disaster because set up wasn’t complete but what they were selling was good quality and in some cases an easy flip for cash.

Although we were hesitant to waste our time at a garage sale that wasn’t properly set up on time we dropped by only because of what we saw coming out.

Garage sales have one purpose- to sell stuff you no longer need or use. This couple was holding a moving sale because they were moving out of Canada to Europe and needed to sell everything.

So, just because they weren’t prepared for the garage sale they listed for at 7 am we managed to score some great deals. They had no idea what they wanted to charge for their stuff so they guessed. This is one of the biggest mistakes of a garage sale owner-never guess a price especially if it’s a good quality product.

Know what your stuff is worth and make ‘reasonable’ money from it and be open to negotiations otherwise you might as well just give it away for free. Ideally, the name of the game is to sell stuff when hosting garages sales however don’t short-change yourself on items you paid good money for. Much like real estate, you’ll always find a buyer.

Garage Sales don’t sell themselves – CBB

If you’re not hosting a garage sale for the money then you’re likely hosting it to get rid of stuff so you don’t have to yourself. It makes sense to have buyers haul away crap you don’t want instead of bringing it to the dump or second-hand shop.

Believe it or not people scan the free section of online buy and sell sites all day, every day waiting for the next Free Ad. Money is there to be made and these people are willing to earn it. A little extra cash didn’t hurt anyone, right?

Hosting garage sales so you can donate the money is another good reason you should know what you’re selling so you raise more than anticipated. If you’ll give it away for a silly price someone will buy it. Just don’t shortchange yourself or your charity in the process.


Your Money Paid For It


There are things that depreciate in life but there are lots of things such as furniture, vintage items and clothing that hold their value. If you worked hard all your life to buy stuff to fill your home whether it be decor, tools, furniture and so on that money came from your pocket. You earned it.

If you plan to host a couple of garage sales this season make sure you do it the right way so you attract the right buyers. As simple as it sounds to host a garage sale there really is a process to follow if you want to make some of your money back.

Related: The Best Staging secrets for your garage sales this summer


Garage Sales To Stop At or Avoid


During your window of opportunity save the garage sales that are iffy or on the avoid list until the end of the day IF You have time to spare. Remember if you didn’t like the look or sounds of a garage sale the first time around you probably won’t like it the second.

Avoid Garage Sales

  • Stuff sitting all over the ground without any form of organization
  • Items are dirty and not taken care of. Not everything can be brought back to a new-ish state.
  • You don’t see the listed item you wanted based on the garage sale ad.
  • Very few items unless something catches your eye
  • The seller was rude when you emailed them with a question.
  • Garage sale ads that make no sense or have very little detail ex: Stop by our house 7-2 lots for sale. If you’re in too much of a rush NOT to leave a proper ad then just give it away.
  • Garage sales that are Late-come back later if you really want to
  • The place is falling apart and the outside property is filled with junk that is not for sale.
  • Smoking and pets… if you want pet-free and smoke-free keep on driving (always list this on your add too because it saves buyers time if they are not interested.)
  • Sellers who look like they should be in bed rather than in selling mode.

Put the brakes on for …

  • Garage sales with really cool signs and effort put into them ex: Balloons, refreshments, tables.
  • Garage sales that are on time with pricing, change box and the homeowner.
  • Garage sales where people seem friendly- Don’t scare buyers away.
  • Garage sales with lots of people drawing interest
  • Community garage sales- Related: How to host a community garage sale this summer


Window of opportunity


The hottest hours for buyers and sellers for garage sales are between the hours of 7am-9am after that you can pretty much bet the good stuff is gone. These days you may even find garage sales starting at 6:30 am with viewings the night before.

Sellers like this are smart because they know if they can get the buyers in while they still have money they have a shot of selling all of their stuff. Don’t wait until their money is gone…smart selling.

Related: Garage Sale Pricing Guide

When people stop at garage sales after 9am they are typically stragglers or what I like to call garage sale tourists. They go from sale to sale just to get out of the house, don’t mind chatting to everyone and taking their time exploring the day. If they happened to find a deal so be it. Sellers beware of these buyers and buyers who aren’t interested in buying keep the line moving.

Even if garage sales are just a way to reduce what you have in your house or to save money decorating your house always remember that time is money. You wouldn’t waste an hour at work standing around and not get paid, so prioritize what you want and don’t want. Learn to cut conversations short while being friendly and business-like.

You might miss a deal or a serious buyer but at least you’re not wasting time you can’t get back if you know how to navigate the buying and selling world of garage sales.

Discussion: What makes you want to stop at a garage sale? What makes you want to drive off?

Other hot garage sale posts



A week in my life


This week started out great as I had the day off on Monday which turned into a visit to the emergency room for 4 hours. You may have noticed my blog posts have been off schedule this week and this is why. The little dude recovered well but certainly put a big scare into us. Not every parent gets that opportunity. Life is precious.

Yesterday we made it a priority to spend time all day as a family doing fun stuff. We painted Easter egg rocks, went to the park, ate a Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffin and played with lots of toys while visiting our in-laws. Needless to say we didn’t have to coax the little one to sleep last night. Gone with-in seconds. Parenting win for sure.

That has been my week and although it started off with a bang it ended perfectly.

Happy Easter Everyone x

Mr. and Mrs. CBB and stunt boy.


CBB Published Posts


easy easter cupcakesIf you have a question that you would like to ask me fill out the Contact Mr.CBB form on the blog home page and I’ll do my best to reply to each question.

If you would like to share a story via a Fan Question please ensure that there is minimum 500 words and lots of details…we love details!

Contact me for more info at or you can find me on Twitter (@Canadianbudgetb), Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, Stumble Upon, Flipboard.

Top Post This Week: How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?

Personal Finance Bloggers and Fans: I’m currently recruiting for guest posts on the blog while we go away on holidays. This is your opportunity to get published on CBB. If you have a topic idea and interested please contact me via email. let’s talk.


Making a difference (MAD) 2017


Making A Difference Canadian Budget Binder MAD

Welcome to the 2017 Making A Difference series! Join the networking movement of Personal Finance Bloggers around the world.

If you are a personal finance blogger and would like your blog to be featured simply drop me an email. I’m currently booking June/July/August 2017-Limited spots.

LackingCentsLogoHello Mr. CBB and Readers!

My name is Matt and I am a husband and father to two young children.  Despite earning my bachelors degree in finance and accounting, I entered the adult world overwhelmed by the responsibility of personal finance. is the financial journey that started with me – a single Millennial with student loan debt and no financial sense – fresh out of college ten years ago. I made many financial mistakes including renting an apartment I could not afford, leasing a fancy new car, and never stopping to write an actual budget to eliminate my debt. I learned from my mistakes and want to share my experiences to help younger Millennials avoid the same missteps.

Join us for the ride as we discover the importance of setting financial goals, and learn the art of personal finance to lead a very fulfilling life as a family.  The blog includes insights about how our family budgets, how we reap the benefits of good credit, and some tips and tricks to save money.

Thank you for the opportunity to share a bit about my blog with you and your readers, Mr. CBB.  I look forward to talking with you all again over at Lacking Cents!

Fan Brag of the Week


free crafting suppliesSend in your deal or brag of the week to along with a photo and small write-up to be entered into our yearly draw.

Enter as many times as you like. If your brag gets featured you get an extra ballot in the draw.

Hey everyone,

Crafting supplies and yarn are expensive so when you find a deal or a freebie grab it.

This lovely photo of materials came to me via mail from an old friend for FREE.

It was her Mother-in-law’s and she knew I would get much use from it. – Colleen K.

It amazes me though how many people would rather just donate stuff instead of seeing if anyone they know can use something or offering it to family. I guess it’s a personal choice but I think if you can help family and friends, why not. We do that with stuff we sell.

What a lovely gesture Colleen, thanks for sharing with us. You have two more ballots in the yearly draw which could win you a President’s Choice gift card.


CBB Finance Tip


always celebrate each morning as if you received a wage increase and promotion happy

Be happy…that’s all.


Top finance post


You know I just have to share “How A Night Of Sex Cost Me $4000” from The Financial Diet because this Financial Confession was worth a laugh even if it was a trip to the emergency room. I love the tips shared at the end for the readers in the event you should injure yourself during sex and need medical attention.


Recipe hot spot


chocolate-cream-pie-d1aFood is a big part of any budget and a struggle for so many people which is why I’ve created frugal recipes for my family and yours for many years.

I have a second Facebook page called The Free Recipe Depot where I exclusively share recipes from Food Bloggers around the world.

Check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB compiled of frugal recipes that are 100% tested and accepted by family and friends!

This week I promise you that Sarah from The Sugar Apron will thrill you with her Chocolate Cream Pie.

With hundreds of thousands of recipe shares and photos that make you drool I can see why it’s so popular.

I am certainly going to make a low-carb version of this pie for the wife and I.

First I need to experiment a bit more with a chocolate crust but I think I’ve already done that with a previous recipe we made for chocolate peanut butter biscotti (recipe coming to the blog soon). Easy to crumble and make into a crust for a pie such as this. Stay tuned.

You never know what I’m blowing up in our kitchen.


DIY Weekly


fairy garden DIY

The moment I saw this DIY Fairy house and Fairy Garden  at The Creative Spark I thought it was a great idea for the family to get a bit creative in our back garden. The photos are great and the instructions are simple to follow. Best of all this is an inexpensive project for the family that will enhance any back garden. Certainly a bit of a show-piece to be proud of.


Search term giggles


Always begin and end your day with a SMILE!- Mr.CBB

Every week I get tens of thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Most times funny, Sometimes serious.

  • Can you steal from the grocery store if you’re poor? : If you have to ask that….
  • Can you freeze VH sauces: When your stockpile is overflowing freeze it all. ha.
  • How to be Mortgage OFF in 5 years: Sounds a bit kinky if you ask me.
  • When to use Dollarama pregnancy test: Umm, when you miss your .
  • How to remove the back of a Motorola cell phone: You step on it.

That’s all the fun for this week, thanks for dropping by and we’ll see you all again next Saturday.


Don’t forget to Follow me on Social Media and Subscribe to the blog.

Hey…if you see any mistakes let me know. I’m not an editor just a guy who likes to write and yes I make mistakes.







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One Comment

  1. I’m not that typically stop at garage sales but once per year, the village that I grew up in has a Victoria Day (Monday) garage sales. The sales used last all day but now it’s basically done by noon. Those types of sales makes it worth while since you cover small real estate of sales. Since the village is aware of the once per year event, the residents will have time to gather from friends and family outside to add to the stock pile. The only thing that I don’t like from the seller perspective is if the sales are not to start until 7 am, you have people coming thru at 6:30 while you still trying set up. Those people are losing out on potential purchases. There is a website that has started listing 2017 town garage sales.

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