A not-so-special day

Posted by Jenny in Sale Tales | 11 Comments

Last weekend’s sales were phenomenal. The crazy vintage sale, plus a pretty good haul for the rest of the day. We even got the weekend started early with Part 2 of the vintage sale — the seller posted another ad mid-week saying she’d uncovered another few boxes of items plus a bunch of vintage patterns and magazines, so Meghan and I showed up at the crack of 7:30 on Friday and each hauled away another boxful!

This Saturday though … it was bad. So bad, I really debated whether to even give you our usual runthrough and pathetic assortment of photos. I mean, how many times do you want to hear us ragging on someone’s bad free box? (Or in this case, free crusty shopping cart that has probably been stowed away in their garage since the ’80s?)

Free Stuff

Well, maybe you do want to hear about it. (You’re here, aren’t you?) At least this particular sale had a few interesting items. Meghan bought a handful of things here, although we left this gem behind (figuring the box had to the best part … and it was too large to be purchased purely on those grounds.)

Deluxe Hair Dryer

This sale was the first one we hit, and even though it wasn’t that great it was way better than most of the others. I mean, you think that free box up above was bad? Try this.


This was outside an estate sale that we hit purely because we needed to kill ten minutes before another estate sale. We could have just waited in the short line, but Annoying Jewelry Guy was there. We both felt that we would rather get there later and possibly miss out on the best stuff than have to spend ten minutes listening to that doofus. Unfortunately, the sale we ended up at was a total dud. The house was cool, but that was about it.

We headed back to the first estate sale, which was now open. They had some interesting clothes … for crazy prices. Crazy! Shoes were $10, dresses were $15, “vintage tank tops” (whatever the hell those are) were $8. No thank you.

Overpriced clothes

The basement had some odd items, like this creepy-ass calendar. The inside featured way-too-graphic drawings of craggly cartoon characters getting it on. Gross!

Mating Game 1978

While in the basement I heard a guy talking about how some item had been in his family for at least 25 years. (Not that calendar, although I suppose it actually must have been, too.) We had been wondering which estate sale company put it on and why their prices were so crazy. The fact that it was run by the family explained a lot. Meghan ended up pulling two vintage corsets out of a box that said everything was $2, and when she went to check out the woman said “$10 each.” Huh? When Meghan explained that the box said $2, the woman harrumphed. “Unless priced.” I guess they had tiny $10 price tags on them somewhere. Meghan somehow restrained herself from throwing them at the woman in disgust, but she didn’t hold back from announcing loudly that the sellers were on crack as we tromped out the door, extra-glad we hadn’t bothered to stake it out early.

That was probably the most annoying of the sales we hit, but it’s not like any of them were all that great. We went to one sale where they had chickens wandering around, which was a nice diversion. Meghan picked up a bunch of books from one woman who seemed to have every book ever written about understanding your dog, listening to your dog, talking to your dog, thinking like your dog, and so on. And we each got a few other things that I can’t even remember (because the day’s haul wasn’t even worth a trunk photo). However, as bad as it got, at least neither of us was even remotely tempted to pick up this crazy purse that looks like a Fender Stratocaster.


One of the more interesting sales we stopped at was at a senior center. Rather than being a big rummage sale, there were about six or seven tables set up, run by individual people, like a mini-fleamarket. I got the feeling maybe they did this on a regular basis and brought their stuff out over and over. Not that I had been there before, but it just had that vibe. They also had a barrage of very elaborate hand-lettered signs outside.

Senior Sale Sign

While we were perusing the goods one seller said something about Obama, and one of the other senior sellers said, “Don’t talk to me about Obama. I’m for McCain.” Oh boy, here we go, I thought. Then he added, “Yeah, I’m for more war!” and everyone laughed, relieved he wasn’t actually going to go into a pro-McCain tirade. He then started joking about how if McCain was in office it would be the Bore Wars. (Or it’s possible he was making some arcane reference to the Boer Wars, but if so, it went way over my head.) I was sad that there were no old-lady baked goods to be had, but Meghan and I picked up a book each: she got something by Timothy Leary and I bought The Vinyl Closet: Gays In The Music Industry. All in all, definitely not your run-of-the-mill senior center sale experience.

In between complaining about the lack of scores, we talked a lot about some of the folks we see out at sales. There are some regulars that we love, but lots of them just seem to be really unhappy folks. The super-competitive ones are the worst. There are a lot of people who seem to be way too hung up on who’s going to get to the good stuff first, stressing out over what they might be missing out on or what someone else got instead of them. I think anyone who goes to sales on a regular basis can get caught up in that mentality from time to time (I’m no exception!), but you have to get over it. There is plenty of good stuff out there, and there is no way you can be everywhere at once, so you just have to take your chances. “Let go and let god,” Meghan remarked … with uncharacteristical serenity, but she had a good point. “Or let go and let goddess,” she continued. “Or hey! Let go and let Garage Sale Goddess!”

We had been talking earlier about the Garage Sale Goddess. This is not actually a mystical deity that we pray to for good scores, but an actual woman we’ve seen a few times who goes to sales wearing a Garage Sale Goddess t-shirt. The last time I saw her she was asking a seller how much his toaster was. “$30,” he joked, and she shot back, “The Garage Sale Goddess says that’s too much!” He said she could have it for $2, and she bought it. As she was walking away the seller commented, “Enjoy the toaster. It makes special sparks when you use it.” She looked concerned for just a second, then strode off, happily chatting about herself in the third person to her friend all the way back to her car. She was definitely a goofball, but at least she seemed to be having fun, rather than treating yard sales like some kind of talent/endurance contest to see who can find the rarest, most underpriced item.

So, that was pretty much our day. I don’t know if it’s a sign that the true sale season is starting to wind down, or if we were just due for a strike-out day after the run of great weekends we’ve had lately. Maybe a little of both!

11 Responses to A not-so-special day

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