Garage sales, yard sales, rummage, estate and thrift sales. When the weather warms up, they pop up as fast as dandelions, it seems.
Undeniably, bargain hunters can find good deals at garage sales, but experts advise that buyers will need to visit a lot of sales to learn how to be a savvy shopper.
"I love to go to garage sales," said Helene Gordon of Hartford. "Right now I'm looking for DVDs for my college-age kids to take to school."
A shopper examines some merchandise recently at garage sale on McCleary Jacoby Road, where there were several sales being held. Bargain hunters said they often look for a streetwide sale.
Gordon says she sets a limit and won't pay more than $2.
Terry Gibbs, who writes an e-newsletter about buying at garage sales and re-selling on eBay for profit, recommends setting a limit on what you're willing to spend, although he admits that while he rarely regrets making purchases, he has regretted walking away from items.
Gordon and her husband, Don, enjoy going to sales together.
"We look through the newspaper and make our plans," Gordon said. "We pick places whose addresses look promising or whole street sales."
The Gordons like to shop for things with a local connection. Recently, they found a book filled with drawings of local buildings.
"It was actually an engineering book with drawings of Youngstown buildings. Many of them were familiar, especially to my mother," said Helene Gordon. "We got so much enjoyment from looking through it and reminiscing."
Community-wide sales, church sales and street-wide sales are favorites of many garage sale enthusiasts.
"Kinsman has been having a town-wide sale in conjunction with the Rotary chicken barbeque for more than 15 years," said Susan Kidd from Kinsman, who has helped coordinate the sale for years.
"People who want to participate sign up at Market Square, and we print up a map of all the sales," said Kidd. The event brings many people to the small town in the northeast corner of Trumbull County.
"The little side streets are packed," said Kidd. "I don't usually get around to the sales, I'm so busy helping downtown."
Technology has made even these humble events high-tech. Websites such as garagesalestracker.com and yardhopper.com offer people a way to advertise their garage sale and allow shoppers to search for garage sales near them. There's even an iPhone application that allows treasure hunters to find sales right in the palm of their hand.
"Generally, if I drive past, I don't turn around," said Kathy Platenak from Vernon. Platenak said she sometimes looks for garage sales in the Free Press, a weekly publication delivered to local residents through the mail.
"Right now I'm looking for kids' clothes for my grandkids," said Platenak. "They can be so much cheaper than buying at consignment stores - people just want to get rid of them."
Another thing Platenak said she might look for at garage sales are aprons. Recently she's given several presentations on vintage aprons to local clubs.
"It would be fun to watch for those," Platenak said.
"My best deal ever was a waffle iron I bought for $8. I used it for years, and when it broke, I could never find one as good," said Platenak. "I definitely got my money's worth out of that."
Platenak said she likes estate sales the best.
"My husband thinks we should have a garage sale this year," Platenak admits. But she's says that's not going to happen.
"When my daughter Amanda is with me, she's always looking for jewelry, and that's fun," said Gordon. "I buy classic toys, like Legos and Lincoln Logs that my kids loved and my grandchildren always get those out."
"My best buy ever was a whole bunch of PVC pipe that someone had used to build shelves," said Gordon. "There were all kinds of sizes and lengths. The kids would build stuff out in the yard, climb on it, take it down and make new designs."
Gordon said as they got older, her children would haul the pieces of pipe to friends' homes or Scout camp to use as goals for games of capture the flag. "It was creative and lightweight. We used it for years and couldn't have spent $10 on it."
"It's fun to see what other people have," said Platenak. "You never know when you might see something you've been looking for a long time."