When it Comes to Garage Sales, Resistance is Futile

by Katy on July 3, 2010 · 6 comments

Today is one of the the first non-rainy Saturdays of the year, and Portlanders apparently spent the long rainy months getting ready for garage sales. Because there seemed to be temptation on each and every street corner.

Must. Not. Fill. House. Up. With Crap.

Have. Spent. Much. Of. Last. Year. Clearing. Crap. From. House.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

Or. . . maybe, just maybe go to the garage sales that are within walking distance of my house. Good Plan.

So the kids and I hit up a grand total of five garage sales within a six block radius of the house, and bought:

  • Antique ironstone platter, 50ยข.
  • Pillsbury Dough Boy figure, free. (I tried to talk my son out of this piece of junk, but was unsuccessful.)
  • Pair of striped stretchy gloves in perfect condition, free.
  • Small 5″ X 7″ stretched canvas, still in shrink wrap, free.
  • New in box sock monkey night light for my mother’s birthday, $1. (Shh . . . don’t tell her!)
  • Pretty metal and glass hummingbird feeder, $2. (I’ve been keeping an eye out for one.)
  • Small ethnic painted bird, $1. (My son bought this with his own money.)

I am fully aware that none of the stuff that I bought was a “need,” but I never claimed to be a minimalist. What can I say? I am completely without control during garage sale season. And if my flimsy excuses fail, I can always blame the sock monkey!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina July 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

SOCK MONKEY NIGHT LIGHT?! Why can’t I be your mother??


Linda July 3, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Same here. I bought Christmas wrapping paper because all 6 rolls were 50 cents. Then, I bought six boxes of Christmas cards for $1.25 total. This mad woman was walking around shoving things in my face, extolling their virtues and cheap price, mostly the cheap price! IN. A. VERY. LOUD. VOICE. I gave the two women a dozen eggs, and the mad woman wanted some more. I told her they would have to share. Really, she could have charged admission just to see her jumping around the yard, grabbing items, and hawking yard sale items at the end of their three-day sale! I paid $2 for a working printer (they said it worked), so I could get two cartridges worth $6 in recycling money. I made four dollars and will donate the printer. Fun day! My car kept pulling over at garage sales. Honest, it was all the car’s fault.


Christopher July 5, 2010 at 7:28 am

The garage sale wrinkle that I’ve seen lately (& like) are garage “sales” where all the items are “free” (ie, no price tag on them and no set price) and the sale organizer has a donation jar out (typically for the charity of their choice). One reason I like thrift stores better than garage sales (in general) is that folks at garage sales often have a very inflated sense of the value of thier stuff. The exception to this is when someone sees that you actually appreciate/get excited about whatever the item is, and are “just glad to see it go to a good home” (like my given-to-me-free good ol’ industrial pencil sharpener—-goodbye crappy non-functional plastic junk).


Slowish Food July 5, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I agree with Christopher to a point. I either find things significantly cheaper at a garage sale than I would find even at a thrift store, or way higher than they should be. We recently went to a couple yard sales, and they were selling kids Stride Rite shoes for $10 a pair. I *know* they’re $50 at the Stride Rite store, but $10 for toddler shoes at a yard sale is ridiculous. The next one had a pair of Stride Rites for $1 that were my daughter’s size and that she now won’t stop wearing. It all depends on whether the garage salers are looking to clear out junk, or looking to make a profit. I steer clear of the make-a-profit sales.


Kariann July 6, 2010 at 7:02 am

I also love love love to garage sale.

Thanks for the laugh ๐Ÿ™‚


Donna Freedman July 8, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I love the “free” box at the yard sale. That’s where I found my large cast-iron frying pan. A little steel wool for the rust and a bit of seasoning and now….well, I don’t know how I ever cooked without it.
And I’ve bought more than a few birthday and Christmas gifts at yard sales for a dollar or less. Some of them were still in the shrink-wrap. What’s really fun (and disturbing) is to compare what THEY paid with what you are now paying. Yowza.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: