One Man’s Trash

When looking for cheaply priced yet valuable and useful items, sometimes the best place to start is in your neighbor’s front yard. Interchangeably called garage sales, rummage sales or yard sales, the common thread of these sales is someone setting a bunch of stuff they had inside their home out in front of their home in the hopes to get rid of it. For a bargain hunter or for those on a budget, these sales are a treasure trove.

The only problems are trying to find a garage sale and actually finding anything of worth within the piles of DVD collections and airport books. Stumbling upon the odd sign taped to a pole or cardboard box declaring a yard sale and an arrow happens occasionally, but for those who don’t have the time to aimlessly wander around on a Saturday morning, Cedar City fortunately has some online places where locals can advertise their yard sales.

There is always Craigslist, but since that website has such a fantastic track record in society, it’s best to steer clear. Cedar City Blog Shop has a very active community and has a special section for yard sales. Cedar City News also has a page labeled ‘Garage Sales and such’ which is found after a little digging on their website. The Spectrum and Iron County Today both have classified sections, but nothing specifically for garage sales.

Once you decide to go digging through another person’s pile of junk, these are my top tips for hunting and buying:


  1. When free-roaming for sales, head out early on a Saturday morning with good weather. People won’t deal with the wind blowing everything around or rain ruining their stuff.
  2. Always carry a decent amount of cash when going to yard sales, and be ready to haggle. Many times people might not actually know the worth of what they’re selling. This will either lead them to low-ball a price because they want to get rid of it or make a price too high because of sentimental value they’ve placed on it. If there is no price, offer something that is fair but won’t drain your funds or offend the seller.  
  3. When looking for or collecting something specific, know the valuable brands and ways to identify counterfeits. A Lodge cast iron pan is not as valuable as a Griswold or Wagner, and vintage high-end clothing fakes are a dime a dozen.
  4. Think outside the box. Sure what you’re looking at might be a hunk of ugly paint and rust now, but could it be a new conversation piece in your home with some love? A battered old chair can become a new cozy reading spot and a broken guitar can be a bookshelf. Given the chance, anything can have a second life.
  5. Always thoroughly check  an item. A radio with no dials or a camera with a broken iris isn’t good for anything besides decoration. Check the cleanliness of the items as well. Even the nicest looking people can have bed bugs, and those suckers can fit into any space that a credit card can. Furniture is especially susceptible to this. Almost all items can be sprayed with Raid for safety, but if an item looks dodgy it’s not worth the risk.

With these tools in hand, finding valuable bits of treasure amongst the trash will not only be a breeze but an enjoyable pastime.


Story by
Haleigh Clemens