Last Saturday was the first day in a while that there were some decent-sounding sales on a day when both Meghan and I could get out. Meghan pretty much summed up the rummage sale that kicked off the morning. I have just two things to add. First, 7:30 a.m. is waaaaaay too early to be listening to bouncy-disco-techno-pop. Second, I’m pretty sure these three shirts came from the same person.
After leaving the rummage sale we headed to our next stop, a moving sale not too far away. We decided to make a coffee and snack stop since the sale hadn’t started yet … and were thrilled to stumble upon this place. We each got a scone and were amazed by their deliciousness. You may not know that Meghan and I are pretty passionate about tasty breakfast treats, to the point where we could probably fill up another blog all about baked goods … but since this is not that blog, I will spare you any further discussion, other than to say the scones rocked and we’ll probably be back to sample more elaborate delicacies such as the Nutella Breakfast Panini (!).
It took us a while to figure out which house the sale was supposed to be at. We found the address, but there were no signs and it was completely quiet. Meghan was about to say screw it, but I boldly walked up the stairs to peek inside and saw things with price tags on them — yes! A guy walked over and let us in. It’s always exciting to be the very first people at a sale. They didn’t have that much stuff, but it was a pretty interesting mix, with a good selection of vintage stuff priced to move. I picked up a great mirror for $5, Meghan got a cool wooden chair and a box of various other items.
Our next stop was a sale that promised tons of women’s clothes from eight different people. They had great eye-catching hot pink signs, but the view from outside the house didn’t bode all that well …
The clothes were arranged very neatly in the two front rooms. There was some good stuff and it was all priced to move. While chatting with the woman running the sale, we learned that she was a professional clutter-clearing consultant. “Are these clothes from your de-cluttering clients?” I asked, and sure enough, that was the case. It was slightly disconcerting thinking that people had paid her to help them get this stuff out of their houses, and here we were about to give her money to bring it into ours. I had grabbed a bunch of stuff but ended up putting most of it back, just buying a pair of pumps for $2 and a heavy wool Dale of Norway sweater for $3.
After that we headed to a sale which said that everything would be free — I guess that doesn’t really make it a sale, does it? We were curious about it, but it was a little too early when we got there. The place looked like a dump and there was one guy waiting around in front. We decided not to join him, and headed to a different sale … that also wasn’t quite open yet. It was in an office building, and we could see through the windows that it was pretty much all furniture, so we decided to move on. We saw a guy we knew who was waiting there, and he told us that he had gone to the Friday night opening of the chorus sale. He said it was just okay, but they did give everyone a nice bottle of wine to take home, so that took some of the sting off the $25 admission donation.
Our next target was a “mansion sale” in a ritzy neighborhood. It took us forever to find it, but when we finally got there we saw it was an amazing-looking house — we figured if nothing else it would be cool just to walk around in it. Wrong! The sale was confined to the basement, and it was total crap. When we saw old lady shoes from the ’80s priced at $25, we knew it was time to bail. As we were walking out I heard the guy saying about some item “oh, I didn’t mean to put that out — that’s an antique!” Ugh.
It was too bad we bothered to waste all that time tracking down that worthless sale, because the next sale was probably really great a half-hour earlier. Walking in, signs announced that it was the “Townhouses Ate Our Ballard Neighborhood” sale. This made us laugh because it is so true. Ballard (our neighborhood) has seen an insane amount of new condos and townhouses built in the past few years, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. This home (probably built in the ’20s) had new townhouses on either side, one in the back, and new construction underway across the street. The owners had been there for 20+ years and I guess they couldn’t take it any more, especially after getting get nasty complaints from their new neighbors for being too noisy on their back porch … and they really didn’t look like the kind of people who’d be whooping it up loudly! It was a really cool house (that I hope doesn’t get torn down and replaced by 4 townhouses).
One thing that cracked us up here was this sign. The woman said that last time they had a sale, some “dealer” snatched up all the jewelry. Most people would not really think that was a problem, but I guess she felt that she needed to make the jewelry-purchasing more egalitarian.
I bought a few things, including ten cool old postcards. Note that I already have a probable lifetime supply of postcards considering I use maybe three per year. I was on the fence about whether to spend $3 on a shirt, then decided it was worth it after the woman said she bought it in Paris last summer. I’ll admit it: once I heard that, the shirt somehow seemed cooler. Meghan scored a vintage Stetson hat for $3 (that the guy ahead of her in line was drooling over) and some other cool stuff that I don’t even remember.
There was one more stop to make before we called it a day. We pulled up and saw the sale in a freestanding garage and I said, “Oh, no … is this that sale we went to before?” It was, and we almost just left, but I was curious if it had gotten any better; last time it was just full of new tools and crap from their now-closed “online store.” This time was definitely an improvement. I still didn’t buy anything, but at least I didn’t think they were completely high on crack.
All in all it was really not a bad day. It’s great that the season is starting to get rolling! We even managed to buy enough for a halfway decent trunk photo.