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15 Things You See At Every Garage Sale

From the lowballer to the '90s exercise device, these garage sale clichés will make you laugh.

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The Early Bird

At every garage sale, there seems to be the overly excited buyer who shows up while the sellers are still setting up. They begin picking up things that have just been put down, asking about prices that haven’t even been marked yet. When told by the sellers that the sale hasn’t quite begun yet, they seem unaffected, saying they’ll just keep looking (and getting in the way!). Here are 25 crazy attempts at keeping squirrels from bird feeders.

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Ugly Ceramics and Vases

From the bizarre ceramic girl figurine to the ’80s vase, there always seems to be a big table of cringe-worthy décor that no one is going to buy unless they are shopping for prank gifts. Think twice about buying these items at the thrift store, too.

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Gimmicky Exercise Equipment

They saw it on an infomercial that promised them rock hard abs and a perfect rear, but the seller lost interest quicker than it took for the gimmicky exercise equipment to ship to their home. From Thighmasters to Shake Weights, you’ll always find hilarious old fitness gear at garage sales.

If you have some old exercise equipment sitting around, here are some excellent tips for how to get rid of it.

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The Haggler

At every garage sale there’s always that person that thrives on haggling with the sellers. Despite the item already being ridiculously inexpensive, they can’t help asking if they can buy it for 25 cents instead of a dollar. C’mon, people! If you see any of these vintage kitchen items for sale, they might actually be worth grabbing!

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Encyclopedias and Textbooks

No one is looking for an old middle-school math book from 1997. And as for that untouched set of Encyclopedia Britannica, nobody wants it! The Internet long ago took its place and no matter what it cost when purchased, it isn’t worth anything now. You found an old bookshelf at a garage sale, but it needs a little TLC. Here’s a look at 12 awesome refurbished bookshelves to inspire you.

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The Miser

Unlike the haggler, the miser doesn’t show up to a garage sale to purchase anything. In fact, you may notice they never even touch anything! They’ll spend all morning staring at old stuff, but never stumble upon anything worth buying. If you have these antiques at home, you could be in for some cash!

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Old electronics, Phones and Computers

A first generation iPhone, or even an iPhone 4, isn’t going to get picked up at a garage sale. Nevertheless, sellers always seem to stock a table full of clunky computers from the early 2000s, old video games, flip phones, etc. Let it go! Here’s what you need to know about recycling old computers.

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Mugs and Cups

From personalized mugs that won’t make sense in anyone else’s home to plastic, warped drinking cups, it seems sellers have no shame when putting out a box of unsightly mugs and cups. Here are 13 things thrift and consignment shop owners aren’t telling you.

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The Free Box

Sellers may spend a lot of time organizing items at their garage sale for a user-friendly experience, but at some point they lose their will to price one more item and then the FREE box starts to fill up. The free box is usually filled with weird things like a scratched sauté pan, expired makeup, a slightly chewed dog toy and more that should probably end up in the trash. Here’s what to do with your old DVD collection.

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The Wild Family

When you see the mini van roll up, be prepared for chaos. Out come the parents on a mission to find bargains and the kids who’ve been told, “just have fun while mommy and daddy shop.” Next thing you know, the parents have completely lost track of their kids while they negotiate the price of an old lawn mower. Meanwhile, one kid is switching price tags, another has a dirty stuffed animal in their mouth and the other has made their way into the house!

Plus, here are 15 things you should think twice about donating.

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The Unprepared Sellers

So you’re at a yard sale and you don’t see a price tag anywhere. When you approach the sellers and ask for the price, an argument breaks out. “We’ll give you the lamp for $10,” one seller says. “What?! No way. It’s worth $50!” says the other seller. By the time they come to an agreement, you’re long gone. Take a look at these tips for getting your garage clean and organized.

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Used Baby Items

While like-new baby gear sells well at garage sales, no one comes to a garage sale to purchase an old baby bottle, a dirty stuffed animal or out-of-date items that can have safety issues or may have been recalled, like a crib and a car seat.

Here are 14 tips for a successful garage sale.

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Plug-In Holiday Decorations and Lights

Tangled strings of lights that may or may not work, along with dented plastic, illuminated snowmen or Santas, can be found in a corner at almost every garage sale. Here are 11 inflatable outdoor Christmas decoration your neighbors might not like.

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Old Puzzles and Games

You can bet you’ll find a box or table stacked with puzzles and board games at just about every garage sale you attend. The worst part is that you don’t know if there are any pieces missing. However, if you have a board game at home that is missing a few pieces, you might be able to find replacements for less than $1! Here’s why fall is the best time to have a garage sale.

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The Latecomer

Just as annoying as the early bird is the latecomer who shows up at the sale just as the sellers are closing it down. If the sellers have already brought their cash box into the house, the latecomer may be hoping that they will get some freebies, and since the sellers are tired, they probably will. Check out these 10 savvy tips for shopping estate sales.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: