Digger, picker, hoarder … bite me

Posted by Jenny in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 8 Comments

Last Saturday was the first time in ages that Meghan, Karl, and I all went to sales together! We were excited and even more so when our first stop was some crazy sale listed as “DJ and yard sale” promising a variety of DJ-riffic items including a LASER LIGHT SYSTEM! Of course, we were all fighting over who was gonna get dibs on that. It ended up being a total driveby — a woman sitting in a chair next to three or four boxes of what looked like total junk. Eek!

As we sped away from that, we randomly passed a sale where Meghan knew the seller. She had a ton of stuff, and was it wacky? You know it!

Wacky spread

Meghan bought a bunch of vintage sewing patterns here and I made one purchase — the “I Hate Brenda” paperback! For 50 cents, how could I resist?

I Hate Brenda!

Next up was a sale whose ad sounded great — it was listed as “part 2” but Meghan hadn’t hit it the previous weekend and they promised to have brand new stuff. Most of it was clothes. She had some great stuff, but the prices were on the high side.

Bounty of clothes

However, her CDs were a buck and she had good stuff — I think we all picked up a few. I looked through the books, but didn’t find anything, though I thought this “warning label” was pretty cute.

Warning label

Meghan did buy a few things here including a large letter “U” and a sweet pink Lomography Diana camera in its box.

I was excited to hit our next sale since it was listed as vintage — even showing a picture of a vintage house, which I assumed was where the sale was, but no! It was actually a sale we’d hit last year where the guy had tons of old posters and rock flyers. We recognized it right off the bat.

Poster display

Funny, looking at the last pic — the Gary Numan and Bogart posters were in the sale last year. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, I guess! He had new stuff out this year though, like a double-sided Tubes promo display that gave both Meghan and I flashbacks to the record stores of our youth.

Tubes promo - side 1

Here’s the back side, in case you needed to know what that looked like …

Tubes promo - side 2

He also had this box of vintage sunglasses.


Some of these were amazing and he said they were $10 each, which is higher than we would have liked … but we had to dig through. A couple pairs were sadly a bit too damaged, but a lot of them were really amazing. I grabbed one pair and he ended up charging me $5. I also bought some old iron-on t-shirt displays with ’80s skating and surfing logos for my skater-dude husband. Meghan splurged on about three pairs of sunglasses and I think a couple of other things — she was also tempted by this statuette, but it was just too chipped up.


We then hit a “two-block sale” which turned out to be one sale on each block. The first guy had some intriguingly oddball art books but the mood was sort of spoiled when he yammered on and on about how much stuff he had had earlier that already got bought. While he was talking to me about a vintage library-card cabinet (that would have been cooler if all of the pull knobs hadn’t been broken off) Meghan was taking a picture of this creepy portrait in his garage. (I don’t think it was part of the sale.)

Creeptastic painting

We got a snack and then debated whether to stay in Ballard, or head over to a “rock and roll sale” in the parking lot of the Rickshaw Restaurant and Lounge, a fairly bizarre and divey Chinese restaurant/karaoke bar that has been closed ever since they had a fire back in March. The potential for strangeness won out and we headed up there, only to find … nothing at all in the parking lot! Then we spotted a sale in front of the house next door. Close enough, I guess. We pulled up and were greeted by this masterpiece.

Art for sale

Both intrigued and scared, we got out and started to look around. Karl and Meghan beelined over to the records while I perused the other stuff. Books and zines were spread across the driveway and while it was an encouragingly odd mix, I didn’t find anything I needed to bring home.

Zines (and shoes)

Most of the cassettes were of the indie/weird variety, but there were a couple of cheesy looking motivational items as well.

Cassettes of many stripes

They also had a handful of t-shirts and other random items.


I think I was the only one to leave this sale empty-handed.

At this point we were sort of close to an estate sale that had been listed as “What a digger!” Honestly, I am not sure what the sellers think that “digger” means … everything was arranged fairly neatly, maybe there were a few boxes that needed to be unearthed in the basement but on the overall scales of estate sale this one was pretty sane and tidy. And expensive … they had a few items I was sort of drawn to, but not for what they were asking.

This was not one of them — I do not want this in my house for any price.

King of the court

One room had an odd assortment of toys and games. This pink elephant and mutant-looking dog seemed to belong together. I don’t know what is up with that “Jogger” thing in the background.

Pink elephant, mutant dog, and jogger

At one point Meghan called out, “I love Benji!” I thought it was a random proclamation, but no.

I Love Benji

As we drove away we decided that the three most overused words in sale ads at the moment are “digger,” “picker,” and “hoarder.” Sometimes your sale is just a sale. You don’t have to make it sound like whatever dumb show is on TV right now. If your sale isn’t potentially hazardous I don’t consider it a digger, and if you are selling your own items you are pretty much by definition not a hoarder. As for pickers, I think Meghan said it best earlier this year: “You don’t need to carry a fucking loupe and a flash light with you to yard sales. Yes, I get that you saw that on TV, but are you Frank Fritz? No. You aren’t.”

We stopped at one sale where they had this wacky outfit hanging up.

My new outfit

Karl bought a perfectly-sized-for-records wooden crate from them and found out they were moving to Berkeley, where I’m from — one of the sellers asked me if I had any advice and I couldn’t think of a thing. I should have told her not to take the brown acid — yes, that is Woodstock, not Berkeley, but hippies gonna … hip? The seller also told me a funny phrase she had heard to describe newer-style hippies, but sadly I have completely forgotten it now.

We then drove by this sign for a “Stupid Sale.”

Stupid sale

I remembered that Meghan had blogged about going to a “Stupid Sale” a few years back and I thought she’d said it had been bad, but now that I look at the post again I see that it turned out to be “so stupid that [she] couldn’t even find it.” We didn’t end up going to this one, but we did have a discussion about how if you are going to call your sale stupid, you might as well take it all the way and write “STOOPID.”

That turned out not to be the only stupid sign we saw. BARGANS, anyone?


And there was this — though technically not so much stupid as dyslexic.

Sale Yard

This other sign was cute — not stupid at all (unless you count the fact that it was lying on the ground in front of the sale, which I suppose isn’t really the best advertising method).

Artsy yard sale sign

We went to a few more sales, but honestly it’s a blur. All I can tell you is that we saw a family of dog statues …

Dog family

… and a $200 lobster painting.

$200 lobster painting

All in all, I was happy with the few purchases I made and it was a pretty fun day.

Junk In My Trunk 9-15-12

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