Turning Yard Sale Items Into Store Credit

This is a yard sale trick I have done a few times and am *almost* embarrased about, but clearly not enough because here I am, announcing it to the world. 😉 It’s surprisingly easy to pick up new items at yard sales and return them to the store they were bought from for store credit. Naturally, it needs to be an item (or items) that are still new.

For example, Nick and I bought a bag of unopened cabinet hardware from a yard sale for $5 once. It was definitely from Home Depot…it was even still in the plastic HD bag. There were also a few odds and ends in the bag that I thought might come in handy for a project we were doing, so the $5 seemed like an okay buy. When we got home, I took those few things out and took the rest to everything “back” to Home Depot. It turned out the hardware was worth $45 in store credit. I can’t believe the people at the yard sale didn’t take it back themselves, but I think there must be a lot of people who won’t return things, which boggles my mind (even if it pads my wallet). You’ll have to fess up to the returns desk that you don’t have a receipt and do not have the card it was bought with, but I find that if you just say someone else bought it (technically true) and answer any questions in one or two word grunts (like a guy would do, frankly), there’s not too much trouble.

If it’s a store I like and it’s an unopened item, it can be very tempting to pick up any old thing with its tags still on. However, I only buy this sort of thing if I would be okay with the store not accepting it back, naturally, because there’s always good odds that could happen (who knows how long stuff has been sitting around in somebody’s garage?) You can minimize risk, however, with a quick check on your smartphone to see if the store you think the item’s from still actually carries the item.

Keep in mind you are always going to get store credit, not actual cash, even in a best-case scenario, so ideally the store would be one where you would normally actually want to purchase something from.

Here are some other things I’ve done with yard sale purchases:

  • Exchanged brand new-but-unused yard sale yarn to a craft store for another yarn I prefer.
  • Returned a new-in-box kitchen faucet that we bought for $10 for another one we liked far more (the $10 faucet apparently cost $12o – but wasn’t our style so we pocketed the difference in store credit).

Does that make me a bad yard sale attendee? 

Give me some credit,

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  1. Have fun at the knitting class. Buy yarn that you like the color and feel of as that’ll keep you knitting longer. And don’t buy cotton. Your hands with not appreciate it. 🙂 Check out ravelry.com for lots of knitting patterns and forums and advice and stuff. Then let me know and we can be friends there. haha!

    1. Michelle, you might want to see how exactly bad I am before you agree to publicly be a friend of mine on a knitting site. 😉 Ha ha! I’ll check it out.

  2. No shame in getting store credit. I would be proud of myself. And the dragon costume is adorable. I’m sure Benji adores it.

  3. Wow, you are my new hero for returning yard sale items, I would have never thought of that! I am really bad about returning things to the store, especially if I don’t have a receipt.

    I totally suck at knitting. It is just about the least enjoyable craft thing I have ever attempted. It takes my full concentration, makes my fingers and eyes hurt, and I am really slow. Maybe I’m doing it wrong? I hope you enjoy your class, and make lots of cool fluffy scarves 🙂

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