Ginny Magers

Why buy/sell at a yard sale? Random thoughts…

Posted on: March 21, 2010

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Why buy or sell at a yard sale? For me, it is in my DNA. Along with inheriting my mom’s hips, (thanks mom), love of big purses, and bad eyesite, I inherited her passion for bargain hunting. With a family of six, it was a great way for her to get out of the house, and shop while stretching her meager waitress wages and tips. Along with the bargains, such as a perfectly fine, wool Turkish rug for $5.00 (no, I did not talk seller down-that was the price marked and who am I to argue?), it is a study in humanity. I love to people watch and socialogy students and anthropology students could learn much about humans and their artifacts. As for the “stuff” you are pretty much going to run across these items: Sacks of Geographic magazines, Reader’s Digest books and magazines, copies of “You’re OK, I’m OK,” (probably now replaced with Dr. Phil books), yogurt makers ,(now being upseated by George Foreman grills or that Magic Bullet deal), or whatever seen-on-TV du jour gadget that is popular now. As for those attending, there are several characters that show up at my yard/garage sales without fail, or I spot them while making the rounds of sales. There is the guy in overalls who is out to strong arm elderly ladies out of their valuables, (usually gold jewelry, copper, etc.), the guy in plaid polyester pants looking for old watches and pocket knives, and the tool guy. Plus throw in the mix guys with trucks looking for scap metal to sell. Then there is the pack rat, whose car/van is packed already. The lady who buys it because it is a quarter and has no idea what she will do with it. The first guy is so invasive that whenever I start to look at a pile of jewelry, the owner will announce, “there’s no gold jewelry.” I assume most people by now are onto the gold is valuable train of thought, so there is no expectations there.Plus, the conversations are priceless.  One senior man, sitting among his garage sale “treasures” of rusty tools, commented to his younger male relative that young people today spend like the world is going to end tomorrow.  Younger man: “it could.”  Other reasons is, no sales tax, it is a way to buy “green” by reusing what is already there, brand new items from pricey mall stores sit in wait for me to take home for a song. Even those who once turned their noses up at the prospect are hooked now. My husband finds practical items for the house that would otherwise be a no-fun but necessary expense hit on the budget. One vacation we had a rental car and even stopped at a yard sale. I could only fit a picture frame into carry-0n but hey, fun to window shop.


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