There are a bajillion posts out there on tips for having and shopping at garage sale so I won't bore you with some of the same old same old. There are really just a few tips to keep in mind when you go and the ones I use religiously. The first thing you need to determine is your purpose. Are you furnishing a room for yourself? Someone else? Looking for period pieces and style? Hoping to pick up a few things for resale? Once you have a defined purpose, and for me it's all of the above, it makes your planning go a little smoother.
On Wednesday evening I go to the classified section of our local online newspaper and check the listings. I select one or two that seem to have the most promising items. These are the first places I hit. After that I may only go to one or two more. I'm not interested in children's toys or clothes so I steer clear of these sales. I look for moving sales, estate sales and downsizing sales. I will more likely find mid-century modern at these types of sales. The owners are usually in their mid to late 60's and are a little more willing to sell some of those items they've been hanging on to since they got married in the 60's.
The next step is to copy and paste each address to a word document in the order that I plan on going to. The next step is Google Maps. I then get driving directions and sometimes I take a screen shot of the map as well because of the location of the sale.
The last step is to get up EARLY and arrive at the sale 30 minutes before it opens. Sometimes the owner will go ahead and open up and the dealers count on that. If you get there on time and the dealers have gone through it, most of the really good stuff is gone before it even begins.
After the first 2 or 3 sales anything else you might come across will be dumb luck. I have had a few late day finds and it's always fun.
Most importantly have some fun and always ask about the item when you make your purchase. It's always nice to know the story behind a cool piece. Best of luck to all this season!!!!