Over our many years of going to sales we have noticed some indicators that more than likely, the sale is going to be a waste of time. Of course, none of these are 100% accurate and even the worst-looking sale can turn out to have some gems (as Meghan can tell you, once she pulled a pair of big-E Levi’s out of a bin at a sale which seemed to have nothing but junky toys). However, with so many sales out there, sometimes you want to maximize your chances of finding the best sales by skipping the probably-lame ones.
Here’s our list of things that make our suck-detectors go off:
- The sale is excessively hard to get to. It always seems unfair that it’s not the other way around. If you have to work really hard to find a sale, it seems only fair that the payoff should be great. Right? Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Most of the times when we’ve been led down a circuitous route to a hard-to-find sale, via bad or missing signs or a confusing address, it turns out to be the worst sale of the day. I don’t know why.
- The signs are drawn by kids.
- Balloons are present.
- They only have about six things out for sale. The odds that they are going to be the six things you are looking for are really, really small.
- The sale just looks bad when you drive past it.
- It’s in a part of town with no sidewalks. This might be specific to Seattle, but we have found that the no-sidewalk-land sales tend to be skippable.
Again: there are exceptions. So don’t start getting all smug because you went to some sale with hand-drawn signs and balloons that was out in the furthest reaches of the no-sidewalk part of town and it was the BEST. SALE. EVAR. We’ve been to good sales that fit each one of these guidelines. But as general rules to help figure out which sales aren’t worth our time, we think they are fairly reliable.