Friday, June 20, 2008

The Glory of Saturday Mornings

Tomorrow is Saturday, specifically, Saturday Morning. Why do I still get so excited about that prospect when I don't work a regular job and my husband is now home for the summer, when weekends and weekdays are almost indistinguishable, you may ask? Saturday morning cartoons? Sleeping in? (ha!) A peaceful cup of tea? It's none of these. "What is it?!" you impatiently exclaim, since I have piqued your curiosity to the max with my phenomenal lead-in.
You'll never guess. But try, hold something in your mind and tell me later.

Garage sales.

Yard sales.

Rummage sales.

These yard, garage, or driveway sales really excite me. I love the hunt. I love the endless possibilities. I love the price. Rummage sales are the one place that I can afford to buy just about anything they might be selling. There might be a brand new air-popper for $1, toddler toys for $.50 each, $5 for a bag full of maternity clothes, craft materials (picture frames, ribbon, yarn, paint, etc), and let's not forget furniture. Furniture, O the furniture. Our living room is almost entirely furnished by yard sale steals.

For those of you who are amateurs at this art, let me share a few tips. 1) There are two kinds of yard sales. Those who are trying to "recover lost cost" and those who simply want to rid themselves of clutter. The first type maybe have some nice items, but they are not usually a steal of a deal. These people have Gymboree and Ralph Lauren baby clothes and they are trying to charge $3 or $5 for a small article of children's clothing. These sales are usually to be avoided unless you are looking for something specific and willing to pay "premium" for it. The second type is pretty self-explanatory. They have finally realized that their stuff is overwhelming them, and God bless them, they getting rid of it at next-to-nothing prices. I must add here that this second category also has a subset. Junk sales and worthwhile sales. Usually you can ascertain this by a simple driveby. Junk sales have lots of tables of knick-knacky type things, broken looking furniture, and general "attic-type" items. Worthwhile sales may be disorganized and have things still in boxes, but they look relatively recent (<5 years) and you can see at least one item in a category you are looking for (where you see one, there is usually more is a rule of thumb that I go by). When a cheap sale has worthwhile items, you are in for a real HAUL. But don't just buy something because it's a good deal. Make sure you know where it will go or what exactly you will do with it, or you'll be having the next rummage sale. That is, unless you buy things at rummage sales and resell them on Ebay...I've often thought about this...

So, did I mention that I love this? Yes! tomorrow morning is Saturday morning. (Out here rummage sales are Saturdays and Sundays, not Fridays and Saturdays...) Yippee!

1 comment:

  1. What is the only thing better than a garage sale? SUBDIVISION garage sales! Block after block after block of affordable treasure! And in my experience, your rule of thumb can be applied on the macro scale here; one quality garage sale bodes well for the rest of the block.

    My favorite finds recently:
    thick wood block cutting board for $1. Set of handsome beer stein-style glasses for 30 cents each. much-needed napkin basket for 10 cents.

    Garage sales are also a good source of picture frames, candle fixtures, and other little decorator items that are way too overpriced in the stores, and that make a big difference between "place where i live" and "comfortable home"