Best bets for holiday weekend

It’s slim pickins’ this weekend. More people are planning cookouts than yard sales.  Makes sense.

But for those who will be out this weekend, here’s our best bets:

  • In Winterstown is a Friday and Saturday moving sale at 4414 Sycamore Lane off Route 24 south. This one has an autoharp, gun cabinet, old records (like there are any NEW records), a Crosby player and more.
  • A community yard sale Saturday only is on Christenson Road, off East Prospect Road. Baby items, toolbox for truck, kids and adult clothing.
  • Christ United Methodist Church in Jacobus is having a Thursday-Saturday sale with food. Eat in or carry out. The church is at 18 Water St.
  • A Saturday-Monday sale at 3022 Carlisle Road, Dover, has lots of stuff: ammo boxes, miniature bottles, dollhouse furniture and PA Game News 1938 to date. Neat.


This one screams York. A Friday-Saturday sale  at 3308 Overbrook Drive in East York has Pfaltzgraff, Harley gear, Longaberger baskets, kayaks, furniture, propane tank, camping gear.


Great weekend for picnics and yard sales, but keep the A/C on. We’re looking at the low 90s Saturday, Sunday and Monday.


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Lessons learned from latest yard sale

Every time you hold a yard sale,  you learn something new. Two of us held a joint yard sale last weekend and here’s what we (OK, maybe it was just me) learned:

  • It’s great to sit with a friend all day long to pass the long yard sale hours, but it’s a pain to pack up your stuff in your car to transport it to someone else’s home. Even worse when it’s AFTER the sale and your car is full of items from the Island of Misfit Toys.
  • The last weekend in June is a vacation weekend, not a yard sale weekend. Volume was way down for our sale, and several veteran yard-salers agreed this was a slow, slow weekend. Probably crowded at the beach, though, right?
  • It’s tough to sell women’s clothing. Period. Harder still when you fail to advertise the sizes.
  • People WILL ask to try on clothing in your bathroom.
  • It’s easy to sell any clothing from Aeropostale, American Eagle and Hollister as long as it’s in good condition.
  • Men like knives.  Every guy who passed my  Farberware butcher block knife set picked up the biggest knife in the set to stare at.
  • When going in on a joint yard sale, it’s best to coordinate pricing. Both myself and my Yard Sale Secret cohort had ladies clothing for sale, and so did her 28-year-old daughter. I found myself the highest in pricing — $2 and $3 for tops. They were both selling for $1 or 50 cents. I had to adjust accordingly and didn’t like it.
  • People will invariably wander into your garage and try to buy things you aren’t selling.
  • Nobody wants hard-cover Samsonite luggage.


Looks like a hot one for yard sales this weekend. Sun, mid-90s. Only for die-hards.


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Finding the holy grail

At the beginning of the yard sale season, certain members of the Yard Sale Secrets team were proud parents of a brand new baby. Since it was seven years since their first child, they had gotten rid of most of their baby items, and certain things were immediately missed: a Boppy, clothes for the various seasons that matched the little one’s age and baby bottles.

It didn’t take too long for us to get those, but still one thing remained to be found. For the last kid, they had a play gym they called a “Kick and Play.” Initially, they searched eBay and Toys R Us for a new Kick and Play, but couldn’t find a duplicate of their original toy.

So they decided: If there’s one thing we must get by the end of the yard sale season, it’s the kick and play.

Well, last weekend they found it.

“I pulled up my van and parked,” the team member said. “I was going to a sale on one side of the street and glanced up the road and there it was. I jumped out and ran to that sale first. It was the exact model I was looking for. I got it for $2 and told the lady how long I had been looking for this.”

So, yes, it’s official. We have found our Holy Grail. We no longer need to buy another thing at a yard sale this year. We can rededicate ourselves to gardening, keeping the house clean and taking the kids roller skating on Saturdays.

Yeah, right! There’s lots more to be found. We’ll be back at it in no time!

Aside from the much-celebrated Kick and Play, we picked up:

  • A half-dozen new-to-us CDs as people continue to shed there collection of bulky media items in favor of all digital formats. This week we managed albums by Liz Allen, Shawn Colvin, Michael Jackson, Metallica and  Megadeth and soundtracks from “Juno” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walks With Her.” …. Say what? Metallica and Megadeth? Hey, just because we do the “yard sale thing” doesn’t mean we don’t like to rock.
  • The team is still stocking up on baby clothes. Yes, more and more and more baby clothes. These babies could wear a new outfit every hour and not run out until August.
  • Babies don’t just wear clothes all day. They also like to play, and we picked up a few toys for them as well.
  • The action-figure collector on the staff snapped up a 1990 action figure case featuring the DC Superheroes.


Silly us, we totally forgot to mention the Book Nook Bonanza in last week’s Best Bets listing. Let’s face it, that’s essentially a gigantic yard sale dedicated to books.

We stopped in Friday night and (as usual) we were shocked by the crowds and pleased as punch with the deals.

There we managed to get all the books pictured below for just $17. 50.  We actually had $22.50 worth of books picked out, but we over-estimated the cash we had in our wallet.

We’ll come back and pick those up next year, Book Nook!



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Best bets for weekend of June 24-25

Looks like a good weekend for yard sales. Lots of multi-family and community sales. (Including one sale in the Dover area held by two of your Yard Sale Secrets writers.)

Here are our top picks based on The York Dispatch classifieds. Want some tips on writing your own classified ad, check out this post.


  • In Manchester Township, Country Club Manor and Raintree developments combine for a Friday-Saturday sale starting at 8 both days.
  • Goldsboro Borough’s annual community sale is this weekend, starting at 7 a.m. both Friday and Saturday.
  • The 800 block of Tioga Street in York City is having a Friday-Saturday community yard sale.
  • West Manchester Township’s Westgate Manor is having a Saturday only community yard sale.


  • Thirteen-plus homes are participating in Dover’s Meadow View Estates sale Friday and Saturday.
  • Seven families are participating in the Thursday-Sunday sale at 2770 Cape Horn Road.
  • A three-family sale is on for 2020 Oakley Drive Friday and Saturday.
  • On the east end in Springettsbury Township, at 240 S. Harlan St. is a multi-family sale Friday and Saturday.


  • A sale at 70 W. Chestnut St. in Dallastown has lots of baby items, such as bassinet and rocking cradle.
  • A sale at 3321 W. Canal Road in Dover features, among other things, pet clothes. This sale is Saturday only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • A sale at 1841 Bannister St. in West Manchester Township is selling postcards and baseball cards.
  • The aforementioned Oakley Drive sale is selling the “contents of entire house, including furniture.”
  • The Dover sale by yours truly and her trusty cohort features primitive items, Possible Dreams santas, antiques, teen clothing and lots of size 6-8 ladies clothing.  Call it shameless self-promotion, but check out 4775 Bull Road Friday through Sunday.


Friday looks pretty cloudy, with a high of 85. This nasty humidity is supposed to break also, which, of course, leaves open the possibility of storms. Saturday and Sunday look lovely, with highs of 79 and sunshine.

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Write the perfect yard sale ad

No matter where you place your ad — either in the newspaper or on the internet — there are certain things you need to include in it to maximize the number of people who will stop by.

Here are some key points:

  • THE NO-DUH STUFF: Of course, you need to include the the times you are open and your address.
  • ABOUT YOUR ADDRESS: Give a specific address, town and ZIP code. A lot of shoppers now use GPS devices to guide them to yard sales. Including these helps them find you.
  • HOW BIG? If you are advertising a community or multi-family yard sale, mention that. Shoppers are more willing to drive out to your place if they’re guaranteed a big inventory to look over.
  • RAIN OR SHINE/RAIN DATE: If your sale can still be held if it’s raining, mention that — because some shoppers are willing to go out in a torrential downpour to get your junk. If you are willing to set a rain date, mention that too. Both will guarantee visitors at one point or another.
  • APPEAL TO BOTH GENDERS: Assuming your sale has something from every member of your family, mention items that will draw in men and women. A sale listing all power tools isn’t going to attract too many ladies. A sale espousing baby clothes and designer handbags won’t entice a guy to get out of the car.
  • GET SPECIFIC: Use the ad to tell people exactly what you’re selling. For example: Baby clothes should be “baby girl clothes.” Tools should be “power tools” and “antique farm tools.”  Speaking of which,  “antiques” should be “1960s table settings.” “Furniture” should be “oak furniture.”
  • APPEAL TO COLLECTORS: If you have a grouping of specific items that might intrigue collectors, mention it by name. Don’t just say “collectibles,” say Hummel figurines, Coca-Cola items or Marx trains.
  • MENTION YOUR BEST STUFF: If you have a few high-ticket items, you want to advertise them specifically. Selling that $75 cedar chest can make or break your yard sale. Why not let the world know you have it.
  • BRAND NAMES: Buyers will focus in on brand names. The more you list, the more visitors you can expect.
  • AGE: Some people want like-new items. Others are actually interested in buying a 1975 Kenmore refrigerator. Mention either to draw in customers.
  • SIZES: Mentioning sizes can limit the visitors to your yard sale, but at the same time those that do come specifically for a listed size are more likely to buy. You should go for the “buying” kind of customer every time.
  • EXPLAIN YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES: If you’re cleaning out your late grandma’s house, sending the kids off to college or “having your first sale in 25 years,” mention that because you might draw out additional buyers with a few well-chosen words. (As  buyers, we love going to ‘grandma’s house sales’ because of the sheer volume of stuff for sale.)


We are always amused by ads when they are horribly vague. Here are some terms to avoid:

  • “Something for everyone!” – Really? Somehow we doubt it.
  • “Too much to list” — Well, how about you list some of it rather than none of it?
  • “Household Items” – Isn’t everything in your house a household item?
  • “Collectibles” – Collectors don’t just buy collectibles. They buy specific items for their specific collections. You need to tell us what you have.
  • ” … and much more!” – You could have listed three more items rather than say that. We know you have more than you can advertise. Just list as much as you can.


Things are looking pretty dicey for yard sales this week. Thunderstorms are possible Thursday and Friday, which could spell trouble for anyone who’s setting up ahead of time. The good news is that Saturday should just be cloudy with a high in the mid 80s.

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