Most people are way too smart and/or sane to try to have a sale in January, but there are usually some estate sales here and there. Since it had more than two months since Meghan and I had hit sales together, we figured we’d take what we could get.
The first one we hit had put about five listings up on Friday, each including the phrase “ALL MOST GO.” By Saturday morning, they had figured out that the word they were looking for was “must.” In any case, I suspect most of it didn’t go anywhere. There was a ton of stuff and it definitely tended toward the junky side. We got there right after it opened and Meghan snagged a psychedelic vintage bathing suit from a box in the living room, but all the other clothes seemed to be old lady styles from the ’80s. Both of us had the feeling there had to be some good vintage finds stashed elsewhere, especially because there were boxes and piles that seemed like no one had looked in them yet. We kept feeling like we were about to uncover something great, but finally had to accept that she had probably gotten rid of all that stuff long before.
I ventured downstairs to the basement where more piles awaited … all seeming like they might have undiscovered treasures, but mostly just turning out to have crap. I saw a 7″ record case out on top of a box, and flipped it open to check out the contents.
Notice that this is “Side 99.” There were also some Book of Mormon flexi-discs scattered nearby. Who knew?!
Most of the basement was just junk. A lot of it was taken up by the dreaded tool area, but the rest was a mixed bag. Ancient cleaning supplies, horrible craft stuff, Depends … it was grim. Though I did think these toilet seats were rather festive.
Meghan discovered this sign in what apparently had been the “computer area.”
I picked up a little round vintage lamp and carried it around for a while … putting it down at least twice, then deciding maybe I’d get it. Since nothing was priced, I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured it would probably be cheap enough that I should just go for it. Sure enough, the guy charged me $1 for the lamp and my only other purchase — a piece of Yogi Bear wrapping paper.
Our next stop was a moving sale. Walking in we were greeted by this inflatable monkey and a leg lamp (a la Christmas Story)! But they wanted $100, which is freakin’ ridiculous.
We walked on into the main room where things were laid out looking like an antique mall or something. The seller was sitting in a chair in the middle, just watching us make the rounds. Her prices were out of hand and we left quick.
We headed over to a moving sale that we couldn’t find, until we saw the seller putting up a sign on the corner and she pointed us toward the house. Inside was a guy strumming a guitar, and one of the lamest sale spreads I’ve ever seen. And you know that is saying a lot! There was a huge pile of old computer monitors and keyboards on one side of the room (stuff you’d have to pay to dispose of), and about four worthless items on the other side. “Is this it?” we asked the guy. He said there was also a lawn mower outside. Great! Then he said “Yeah, I was a little surprised when I came over to help out.” It was truly pathetic.
Our next moving sale was a little better. There were a ton of books there, mostly an odd mix of new-age-self-help and gun collectible guides. I didn’t think I’d find anything I wanted, but I ended up getting a copy of Charles Krafft’s Villa Delirium for $1. I also picked up a tiny little plastic refrigerator that I first thought was a kid’s toy. The seller pointed out that it was actually for your desk, with plastic food-shaped office supplies (push pins, tape, clips) inside. Odd, and cute — I bought it (for another dollar). Meghan got some kind of weird fur coat for $5.
Next was an estate sale in a pretty nice area. When we walked in they had some cool antique-y stuff, but their prices were crazy. Then in some of the other rooms stuff was really cheap. The people running the sale really seemed to be all over the map. Upstairs was pretty much “elderly people with refined taste.” Downstairs is where it got weird. Most of the walls were bare, but there were a few things left up that were sort of funny.
In one room were tons of CDs … almost all classical, but with the occasional recent techno or swing title thrown in. We also spotted these stickers.
Then there were a bunch of crazy goth/raver clothes that did not seem to fit with the rest of the stuff at all. Platform boots, fishnet tops … and these out-of-hand fuzzy blue pants.
The label on these is FunkyFit. How great is that?
We figured there had to be a grandkid responsible or something, especially after we saw these ads taped up.
I said something about the clothes to the lady running the register, and she claimed that they all belonged to the old man. I have my doubts … but if true, that’s kind of awesome. Meghan and I each bought a few books here. She also got a cool pair of vintage shoes; I got some ’80s red boots, and a crazy pair of purple/gold platform boots that I can’t really even describe (or explain why I was compelled to buy them).
Next was an estate sale at a ritzy condo, which turned out to be way more massive than we’d expected from the outside. Everything there was pretty high-end.
I will note however that this was the second sale of the day with packages of adult diapers. I’d like to propose that if you are an estate sale professional and come across any of these, you should forego the possible couple of bucks you might make if someone actually buys them (which seems really unlikely) and just donate them to a worthy cause.
I didn’t purchase anything here, but Meghan bought a few schmancy sweaters. She also found an ’80s magazine clipping while flipping through the cookbooks — it had a poached salmon recipe on one side, which was presumably why it was saved, but the other side has captioned photos of various punky youngsters. If the stars align correctly, you might just see it in a “book report” here soon.
After one more stop at a very crappy estate sale, it was time to call it a day. None of the sales were spectacular, but for January I think the haul was not bad!