Whether you call it a yard sale, garage sale, rummage sale, etc., there is nothing like driving around for your next thrift find in the warm summer air. Southwest Michigan is filled with antique and second-hand stores, so there are sales to be found year-round. However, there is nothing like the adventure of chasing the next best sale; after all you never know what you might find. The secret to finding the best spots is knowing what local neighborhoods to go to, how timing leads to the best deals, and the overall intrigue thrifting brings to so many each year.
Must Know Yard Sale Tips:
Timing is everything when it comes to yard sales. Though the summer months keep a steady flow of these sales in your local area, depending on the month, day, and time you seek out these sales can determine whether your findings will be worth it.
Month: While states like Florida get the luxury of warm weather for these sales year-round, Michigan sets aside four solid months for this kind of thrifting. Due to the unexpected weather in Michigan, many people try to have yard sales as early as April, but these usually don’t do well because people aren’t shopping at this time. Rather, waiting for mid to late May, June, July, and late August to get the before school crowds. September is also good for sales, but people are back to their regular routines and are more likely to stumble on a sale rather than seek it out.
Time of Day: This might surprise some people, but depending on the time you go out for these sales, you might be missing a lot. Many yard sales start early around 9am, but go on until about 4pm. Starting early is a great idea, but around 1pm-3pm the traffic of buyers begins to dwindle as the heat of these summer months hits the daily high and people are ready to get back inside. While I personally seek out these sales at the later times as well as early (especially for the after-work crowd on Friday’s), I know many people are ready to get on to their next summer day activity. Having a sale from 9am-1pm is a decent enough length of time to make some money and still enjoy your summer day.
Day of the Week: This is one of the more obvious of tips: the weekend. Not the band, though I’m sure they could bring a crowd to your sale. The best days of the week to have a yard sale during the summer are Friday and Saturday. Sundays are great too, but these days are when you might want to go for a later sale because of the after-church crowds.
Time of Month: This might be the smartest tip of all. When choosing the date for your sale, it might be beneficial to choose the first two weekends of the month, rather than remaining open each weekend until things are gone. The reason you should focus on the first two weekends is actually quite obvious: the beginning of the month people have flex money, whereas the second or last check each month is usually saved for bills or additional savings. By choosing to have your sale only at the beginning of the month, you might just get a higher count of visitors. However, as an avid thrifter myself, I know that these types of sales can be a spontaneous choice for the weekend, so never discount the crowd any weekend can bring.
Remember: Yard/Garage sales are all about decluttering for a profit. So, even if a price is on an item, the whole point of this hunt is for the bargain price. You never know what you might find, and sometimes people don’t fully know what they have so any price is worth an ask. Though, you will find the occasional item or seller that the price is very firm, but that item is usually worth it in value or was seen as sentimental.
Thrifting in Southwest MI:
Paw Paw: Many people know for discounted items there are the indoor and outdoor flea markets within Paw Paw limits. Though, the suburbs off the main road typically have at least five sales on a given weekend, and this is where some of my favorite thrifted items have come from. Having lived in the U.P. and looking for snow shoes around the price of $50+ I was thrilled to find multiple pairs (some never used) for $10 a piece. Areas like these quaint suburbs typically make for a nice haul.
Kalamazoo: Kalamazoo is filled with discounted and second-hand stores, so stumbling on yard sales in the city might be a little harder to come across. Once again, check the suburbs. Whatever neighborhoods that are best known for Halloween candy, are probably going to be the best areas within Kalamazoo limits to have space for a sale.
Battle Creek: While I don’t know the streets of Battle Creek extremely well myself, when it comes to online sales, I see quite a few items coming from this area. After searching online, it appears the same for Kalamazoo can be said for Battle Creek. The heart of the city isn’t the best for these kinds of sales, but the further you go into the suburbs and small neighborhoods the more you will see these pop up.
Regardless of when you choose to go, or where, you are bound to stumble upon some nice sales in the Southwest Michigan area. Whether you are selling or buying, these summer sales are a nice and easy way to spend the day. Looking up yard sales and estate sales online is a great way to narrow down where you will hunt for your next bargain. Where are your favorite places to bargain shop in Southwest Michigan?