5th of July

Posted by Meghan in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 9 Comments

It was the 4th of July weekend (a.k.a. another reason that people aren’t having yard sales) so we didn’t necessarily expect much, but we headed out Saturday with a list of sales.

Jenny wanted to head to a sale in the Cascade area (a part of town that used to have old homes and character, but has slowly been turned into a condo and developers wet dream). The sale was listed as two guys passionate about antiques and vintage stuff who are finally moving in together and need to downsize. When we pulled up to the house I recognized it from a sale I went to about three years ago. I still regret not buying a ’50s metal bread sign at that sale … while I was hemming and hawing about it, a dealer grabbed it and bought it. Lesson learned — stake your claim if you want something.

Here is the odd thing: it was the same house, but different guys. The house was broken into two apartments and this was the other side of the house. To me this felt really strange. They had pretty good junk and mostly very decently priced. I mostly bought books — something that I had told my boyfriend that I wouldn’t do just that morning. Doh! Jenny found some Fashion Plates, something we both loved playing with as kids. I was a little jealous, but felt better when she said I could come over and play with them.

Jenny somehow channeled Karl buy purchasing a huge bin of CDs and DVD for $50. She later sent me this update …

OK, I’ve sorted through the big scary tub of THE WORST MUSIC EVER (with a small percentage of not-the-worst-music-ever). Here is what my $50 bought me … I think I will come out ahead for sure, but it definitely wasn’t as great as I was hoping:

  • 3 “gay interest” DVDs (not porn, but lots of shirtless guys on the covers)
  • 26 home-burned or otherwise useless CDs
  • 12 cases without CDs (this is the saddest part … a lot of the CDs that looked good and perked up my interest ended up not having their discs)
  • 35 CDs without cases
  • 5 CDs in their cases, but without booklets
  • 16 single/giveaway CDs in paper sleeves
  • 17 CD singles in jewelcases (some without their inserts)
  • 1 4-CD box set
  • 110 “normal” CDs (including a few double CDs)
  • 2 of those that I’m keeping (Beastie Boys “Licensed to Ill” and a Smithsonian Folkways CD of songs from the Caribbean. yeah … really amazing scores there)
  • 51 songs put into my iTunes from CDs I’m not keeping, including many of the caseless ones. Note that I will almost certainly delete some of these once the novelty wears off and/or I decide the songs aren’t that good … for example, I’m not really sure how many times I will actually need to listen to “Shiny Shiny” by Haysi Fantazee.
  • And of course: one large blue plastic storage tub.

The place was very small and super packed, so I only felt comfortable taking one photo, but I think you get the idea.


The guys told us we seemed like fun girls and should come back when they have another sale in a couple weeks.

We hit a few more sales with mixed results. We found signs pointing to an alley sale, and when we turned into the alley we were confronted with this.

Ivar says

There was nowhere to park without blocking the whole alley and the guys said we should just park on the street and walk back. After driving past their stuff we decided to just skip it, since it mostly looked like furniture and we didn’t see anything we had to have.

Alley sale

We hit one sale where we were really annoyed at how little they had. Six books, an air hockey table and some patio furniture isn’t really worthy of having a yard sale is it? Seems like a craigslist ad and a trip to Goodwill to drop off the books would have saved a huge chunk of time.

We hit a woman’s sale that I know we have been to about four times, but she seems to move around. When I asked her if she had a sale in Ballard a few weeks ago, she wouldn’t give me a straight answer. Jenny found some cute red flats and I picked up a complete set of 1940’s My Bookhouse books.

We hit a few more sales and while looking for one, encountered this scary assortment of free exercise equipment on someone’s lawn. EEK!

Free crap

We knocked off pretty early, since we had already hit every sale within a 15 mile radius. It was pretty much the complete opposite of the awesomeness of the weekend before, but at least we each found a few cool things.

Junk In My Trunk 7-5-08

9 Responses to 5th of July

  1. kristen says:

    Fashion plates, yay! I just got rid of some NKOTB fashion plates… why?, i don’t really know b/c they were awesome! Looks like there was some GREAT atomic fabric in the back of the trunk, too.
    Glad you found some treats on this LAME sailing weekend!

  2. Sarah says:

    Lately every single yard sale around here is similar to the why bother yard sale? One table of wierd stuff from the kitchen? SUre, lets have a yard sale! Kids outgrew all their size 0-3 month size clothing? Sure, lets have a yard sale!

    Really frustrating. Particularly with $4/gallon gas in my van.

  3. Sara says:

    Love your blog! So glad I stumbled upon it. Can’t wait to read more!

  4. OMG, I need that picture of Ivar!

  5. Caitlin says:

    I am a grad student and am doing a project on people who love garage sales, yard sales and all other kinds of shopping treasure hunts. I think it’s such a cool culture, especially with all the great stuff out there that has more life left in it.

    If you don’t mind, could you tell me if there are any names for this group of people (For instance, people who like to create their own content are called Gen C and people who only use items that are free are called Freegans.)?

    Thank you!

  6. Meghan says:

    hmm… I don’t really know about that. Most of the names I have known of (aside from yard salers) are usually those stupid t-shirts that say shit like I brake for yard sales or yard sale diva…

  7. Caitlin says:

    That’s fabulous. I’m looking for terms that describe the whole shopping mantra / experience. I heard Frugalista from someone else, and think it’s pretty catchy. For the most part though, there doesn’t seem to be a specific Term! I guess if I want one, I’ll have to invent it myself. Any suggestions? I’d love to have that great sense of treasure hunting and saving (if that makes sense), whether it be at a bazaar, a yard sale, a flea market, or even a discount store like Marshalls or Kmart. People who get a lot of enjoyment out of shopping – and hunting – smart.


  8. Jenny says:

    Frugalista is great for people who’s main motivation for yard saling (etc.) is being frugal … which describes some people who do this, but certainly not all. (It also implies you are the kind of person who takes pains to be frugal in other areas of life, which may or may not apply.)

    I think people go to yard sales for so many different reasons that any term trying to get at the motivation (or some kind of group cultural identity) is probably going to fall short. All I can think of are the not-particularly-exciting terms like yard saler (or “sailor” as some people write it), junker, thrifter …

  9. Sasha says:

    I know this is an old post, but I had to comment. I had Fashion plates when I was young and I loved them so much. I had completely forgotten about them until I read this. Thanks! ow I kind of wish I still had them, though…