Luck started the night before when I did some quick recon and figured out where all the sales would be. I was on the street shortly after 7 am. Yes, the signs said starting at 9, but people have to open the doors and bring out all that stuff. That takes time. First garage sale I politely stood in the yard and yelled. Well, maybe not so politely, but I could see they were up and the garage door was open. First person there and I scored this stunning 1920's display humidor for Tennyson cigars. Sold it 2 days later. Moral, get there early!
The cool railway signal light below was found the next day! It was't out for display, it was sitting in a shed a hundred yards away. How come I got it? Simple, I asked! "Do you have anything else that is not here that is old and you would consider selling"? Simple question that nobody else asked. This was after 10 minutes of wandering with the owner, talking up items, building a rapport with him, getting to know him. I quite simply told him I buy to sell. He had no problem with that at all.
You can find great items. These were found in a community of 700 people. Total spent? Less than $100. You just have to have a plan. And get up early.