Estate sale hell

Posted by Jenny in Sale Tales | 7 Comments

Knowing it was probably against better judgment, we made a plan to go to some sales last Saturday. There were two estate sales fairly close to each other, so we decided to hit those first. One had started on Friday, but I figured that not too many people would be making the Friday run this time of year, right? And Saturday was half-price day, so we figured that could be good. Regardless, we decided to hit the new one first. We drove over and found a line of about 40 people out front — forget that. We backtracked to the sale that had started the day before.

On the way Meghan told me how she had heard that a lot of estate sale companies aren’t listing addresses in their ads, but just directing customers to a nearby intersections where signs are posted — apparently due to a rash of burglaries at houses where sales are about to happen. Some ads are also noting that people are sleeping on the premises for just this reason. Personally, I can’t imagine that robbing estate sale houses would be all that fruitful … I guess a lot of them do have silver and jewelry, but so many of them seem to be filled with nothing but crap!

When we finally got to the house (slightly hampered by my undercaffeinated direction-giving ability) we noticed this unique sign display.

Interesting signage

Can we get a close-up?

Golf ball sale sign

Okay! Someone liked golf. I wondered if that would be the theme of the sale, and while there were a few golfing items it was really all over the map.

Barbie '80s Hell

’80s Barbie coloring book? How about a Fonzie record?

Fonzie Favorites

The Fonz is not actually singing, it’s just a bunch of ’50s songs. And this “impressionist track.”

Aaaaay, Cool, Nerd, Sit On It!

I carried it around for a while to show Meghan. She considered buying it, but ultimately decided that it (like almost everything in the house) was way too musty.

Then we went downstairs to what Meghan deemed the “tools and 8-track section.”

The tools and 8-track section

We laughed at this salted codfish box. Is “CSI: Nova Scotia” next in the series?

CSI: Nova Scotia

Meghan went upstairs and I noticed a sign saying “More Outside.” So I took a look.

"More Outside"


Back upstairs, Meghan was paying for her one item, a $5 leather jacket from the ’50s (or possibly ’40s) that would probably be fine once it aired out. Then she noticed the fireplace with sky-blue painted walls and an astroturf floor.

Astroturf fireplace

The sellers happily let us take a picture and told us that the former occupants used to set up a manger scene in there.

On to the other estate sale. By now it had been open for a half-hour, but there was still a line outside! We figured it couldn’t be too bad at that point, so I hopped out of the car to get in line while Meghan parked down the street. While I was waiting for her, I overheard a guy up ahead saying that he was writing a book about garage sales. “It’s called Killer Sales,” he said. Uh, okay. Then he continued. “Twenty-six reasons to kill someone at a sale.”

It was taking forever for people to trickle out, but everyone seemed to have purchased something. Meghan asked the guys ahead of us how long they’d already been in line and they said a half-hour. Yikes. We tried to look inside to see if it seemed worthy. Meghan asked someone if there was good stuff inside and she said yes, but everything in her box looked crappy. We waited some more, freezing our butts off and making jokes with fellow line-waiters about arm-wrestling them over the good stuff, or how someone coming out with a huge pile of dusty fake roses had already gotten what we wanted.

Finally, they let us in. And after 20-plus minutes of waiting, we were in and out of that place in less than two minutes. Let’s see if you can guess why.

  1. Dead reptile smell
  2. Pee smell
  3. Crazy prices
  4. Crappy stuff
  5. All of the above

Did you guess E? Correct! I’m even going to go out on a limb and say this was the stinkiest sale I have ever been to. And you know we have been to some stinky sales.

On the way out we commiserated with another sale-goer who was so annoyed by the sale that she said she wished she could leave it a bad rating somewhere. And then we decided to give up and get breakfast, which is probably the smartest thing we did all day.

7 Responses to Estate sale hell

  1. Mattie says:

    I bought that Fonzie album at a rummage sale last summer but I haven’t gotten up the nerve to play it yet. Did you notice that the back of the cover is hinged so you can stand it up like a framed photo? Guess the girls really swooned over Henry Winkler back in the ’70s.

  2. Grunge-Queen says:

    Wow, do you ever get depressed at these sales? I can see the humour, but some of the sad little details of peoples’ lives would bum me out – or make me very thankful for my life! Then again, would someone going through MY stuff in 50 or so years get totally depressed? Sobering thought!

  3. Jenny says:

    Grunge-Queen: Yes.
    Mattie: I did see that there was some weird cut-out action going on there. Bizarre!

  4. Melissa says:

    The first thing I thought when I saw that fireplace was: pet containment area. Can’t you just see a large piece of driftwood and a BIG SNAKE?!

  5. Silver says:

    Oh, man, I have Fonzie Favourites on cassette, I can see it on the shelf from here lol. Impressionist Track is wisely placed at the end, as having listened to it once you’ll do well to stop it before having to listen again, believe me. It’s an instrumental of the Happy Days theme if I recall rightly, with the phrases interspersed . . . I never realised that it was a Fonzie training product though (not much use to me as a girl I suppose). That reminds me that my Fonzie and Ralph Malph dolls are in a box in the shed at my Mum’s house too 🙂

  6. Wow, do you ever get depressed at these sales? I can see the humour, but some of the sad little details of peoples’ lives would bum me out – or make me very thankful for my life! Then again, would someone going through MY stuff in 50 or so years get totally depressed? Sobering thought!

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