Introduction: How to Plan Your Garage Sale Route Using Google Earth (for EBay Sellers)

When you are hitting garage sales, time is of the essence. Any time you waste in the morning - whether it be getting cash at the ATM, filling up the gas tank, or driving an inefficient slow route full of back-tracks will cost you finds at garage sales. The aim of this instructable is to show you how to plan your garage sale route the night before. I want you to be faster, more efficient and make more money.

Step 1: Sources for Garage Sales.

Picture of Sources for Garage Sales.

First you will need to find garage sales to go to. I typically find my garage sales on Craigslist and at the website for our local newspaper. You can also find garage sales in Facebook garage sale and buy/sell groups. Pictured above is a list of garage sales from Craigslist.

Step 2: Write Down the Street Address, Town, Time and Any Other Notes

Picture of Write Down the Street Address, Town, Time and Any Other Notes

On a piece of paper, write down each garage sale you want to go to. The order of the addresses doesn't matter, we will straighten that out later. Write the street address, town name, start and end time, then any other notes. Leave some room in the left margin. Use the photo above as an example.

Step 3: Label the Addresses A-Z

Picture of Label the Addresses A-Z

After you have written all of your addresses - just put an alphabetic label next to each one, A-Z, then AA-ZZ if you need it. My photo shows exactly what this should look like.

Step 4: Find Each Address in Google Earth and Add a Thumbtack to Each One

Picture of Find Each Address in Google Earth and Add a Thumbtack to Each One

In Google Earth, use the search bar to find each address. Once you are looking at the location on the map, hit the thumbtack button and label the marker with the alphabet label that is listed on your paper. Do this for all garage sales on your list.

Step 5: Add Numbers to Your List and You're Done!

Picture of Add Numbers to Your List and You're Done!

Now that you have all of your thumbtacks in Google Earth - zoom in/out and position the map so that you can see all of them. Take into account locations, density of sales, start times, your notes to determine what order to go in. On your paper, number each sale as you decide which letters to go to. I find it is best to move in a circular motion so that you move away from home on the way out, then back towards your home on the way back. If possible.

Once you have finished numbering, you will have a route planned and ready for the morning. This takes a bit of work but to be a successful garage salers you will have to put in more work than the guy just stumbling around town looking for signs. See the attached photo for an example of what the finished list will look like.

Thanks for reading - if you have trouble following, just watch the video and it should clarify things for you.


joen (author)2016-05-30

I like your Idea. I was wondering if using an Excel spreadsheet would make the process a little easier. For example, copying and pasting addresses to your growing list, copying and pasting to Google Earth, and then sorting your final list from first to last. Unsorted like you have it I know I would miss one. I am going to try this. Thanks for the idea.

meanpc (author)joen2016-05-30

I have tried copy/pasting instead of writing and I just don't like it. A quirky thing for me. Using a spreadsheet is superior though. At the end of the week my paper goes in the trash. The information in digital form could be useful. Like if you see an address that looks familiar, you can search back and see if you've been there recently. If you are like me, you have "pro garage sellers" who have a garage sale once every couple of months selling utter junk. Glad you got a little something out of it though. Thanks for the feedback.

joen (author)meanpc2016-05-30

Obviously you and I have a different approach to things and I couldn't be happier for that. If paper and pencil works for you, Great! It is good that people can do things differently and come up with similar results.

joen made it! (author)joen2016-05-30

I just wanted to show you what I was talking about. I followed your suggestions only using Excel to set up the list. Here is the result. I can now follow the list in order from 1 to the end.

About This Instructable



Bio: Electronics are a newly re-found hobby for me. I'm not an engineer - I'm an ordinary guy who likes to tinker with electronics in ... More »
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