Cheaper than the cheapest yard sale

Posted by Jenny in Grab Bag | 2 Comments

As you may have guessed from the lack of posts this week, we basically took last weekend off. (Although I did manage to hit a couple of sales while out of town … more on that soon.) So while we don’t have one of our regular wacky sale recaps, I do have a couple of links to share instead.

I’m sure most readers are already aware of some of the other fine blogs that focus on yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and/or junking in general. But let’s take a step even further out on the retail food chain: the world of free items. In particular, free items where the value is so questionable that it’s not at all clear that “free” is even a good deal.

The Vintage Microwave blog covers “a selection of curiosities from the Free Stuff section on Craigslist.” Like this couch … described in the ad simply as having been “left out in the weather for some time.”


The amount of bad free stuff they find listed is staggering. Melted and rusted-out mopeds, ice chests of “unknown condition”, overhead transparencies with Christian music lyricsenema kits? I’m all for trying to find a good home for unwanted items, but the idea of anyone wanting this stuff defies all reason. The blog’s commentary is brutally dead-on, too.

And then there’s NeighborGoodies:

The apartment complex I live in is full of crazy people…and their apartments are full of crazy crap. Sometimes, said crap is purged…but instead of throwing it out or donating it to charity, the residents leave it in the laundry room, which doubles as an unofficial, unmonitored community trading post. This is a sampling of the items that pass through on a daily basis.

These items are dutifully photographed … and blogger Jeff goes to incredible lengths to speculate on the history of the stuff and the reason it’s being abandoned. One day six purses appear; Jeff concludes, “These six very different bags all seem to represent a woman in search for herself. We can follow her journey through life via these sacks of memories.” And then he takes us on that journey, whether we really wanted to go there or not. When a motley assortment of glass vases, bottles and bowls show up, he deduces that the owner clearly must have suffered from hyelophobia — the unnatural fear of glass. (Following this line of inquiry to its conclusion, this post somehow ends up with a dating-site photo of a shirtless man trying to look suave while wielding some weaponry.)

I have personally been sucked in by the lure of FREE STUFF so many times, only to often end up thinking “why the hell did I take this?” I try really hard to keep it in check, but there is just something exciting about the prospect of getting something for free. Even so, none of the stuff featured on these two blogs would make me want to do anything but run away from it. But it’s nice to see that all this unwanted crap has somehow led to the creation of something worthwhile, in the form of these two witty and focused blogs.

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