Garage Sales -- interesting concept on two levels for retirees:
(1) You can HAVE a garage sale and begin to simplify life a bit. You'd also make a few extra dollars for yourself, and its fun!
(2) You can Go To Garage Sales to find bargains for your own home, as Jean (below) does. You can find high quality items, that the current owner no longer wants or needs, but fits your needs perfect (and for a great price too!)
By Jean Davidson, Oakland, ME
Just when we think we can't stand one more sub-zero day and cabin fever has us on the brink of insanity, the snow melts and spring arrives, stirring within our hearts the primal urge to indulge once again in a certain Saturday morning ritual.
We turn to the newspaper's classified section and scan the pages for a particular column. There it is--the first garage sale listing of the season. Not many, so early in the spring, but as the weeks go by more and more will be added to the list.
I grab a pen and begin circling the sales that appeal to us, tear out the page, grab a street map of the city, and head for the truck. Yes, we'd better take the truck in case we buy something large!
You see, my husband Jim and I are garage sale fanatics. We are not alone--there are others like us--many others. We see their vehicles parked up and down the street, often on both sides, nearly blocking traffic.
Whatever you call them--garage, lawn or yard sales--most of them offer a bounty of odds and ends at low prices. And don't forget rummage sales at various churches and organizations, where they often let their wares go for a dollar or two a bag on the last day of the sale.
You know what they say about one man's junk being another man's treasure. That is so true, but our house can only hold so many treasures, and after forty-odd years of marriage, it behooves us to practice strict self-control. Our rule is, if we don't really need it, don't buy it.
Suffice it to say, even though we come home empty handed on a few rare Saturday mornings, most sales yield at least one or two goodies. Sometime we hit a sale so fantastic we can hardly believe our luck, like the time we bought a picnic table for $5.00. Sure, it needed a minor repair, but my handyman husband took care of it in a jiffy.
We've found so many bargains it would take many pages to list them all, and I figure we've saved thousands of dollars on everything from clothes to furniture. We've also found brand new items and collectibles that eventually find their way under someone's Christmas tree.
Not all our purchases have been wise ones, but over the years we've learned from our mistakes. For example:
Now here's some advice for those who plan on holding a sale:
There is a network among garage sale attendees: they tell each other where the best sales are and the ones to stay away from.