Becoming a Yard Sale Warrior

This has not been a particularly good summer for yard sales. My best theory relates to the heat and the reluctance of people to leave their air conditioners. But, I’m looking forward to the cooler days of the fall and especially Labor Day weekend. For the first time in years we’re not going to the beach during Fair Week so I’ll be able to take in the sales.

If you have similar plans here’s a couple of things you can do to aid you in the hunt for eBay treasures. First of all is a smartphone application called Yard Sale Treasure Map. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android this, or a similar app, is available and on Android it is free. Essentially people who are having sales post the details on this app and when you open the app on your smartphone the phone’s GPS will show you a map of your surroundings and all listed sales will appear as stickpins on the map. Click on any pin and a bubble will pop up showing the location of the sale and what is being offered. I first learned of this app when Ron Dudley used it to show the location of all those who participated in the Greenfield Community Yard Sale this summer.

The second source of sale information is a website called There may be an app for this but I’ve only used on my PC. With this you simply go to the site, type in the location you’re interested in, and like before, a map of stickpins will appear. Look at the sale details and if you see one that is of interest, add it to your “list.” When you’re finished you can click on a print button and you’ll receive a map of the area and along with a route map sorted in order of shortest distance between each sale.

The first time I used was a couple of summers ago. I was going to an evening party in Worthington and decided to spend the day yarding. I looked at all the listed sales in the Columbus area, picked the ones I was interested in, printed my route map, and hit the road. Armed with that map and my car’s GPS I was literally a yard sale machine and arrived back home with my fair share of bargains.

You can also use your smartphone to check prices before you buy. You probably know that eBay has a free app that will allow you to search their site as an aid to determine value. I recently found an a free Android app called What’s it Worth? but haven’t had much chance to use it yet. I’m sure a search of app stores will reveal others that may be of some value in the search for treasures.

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