Heavy Lifting, Deer Bags and Thieving Grannies… It Must Be Garage Sale Time! [A Tall Glass Of Shame]
I have always loved garage sales. Picking through a stranger’s junk is always a bizarre experience, but knowing you might find some amazing treasure there you simply can’t live without is just too tempting. I think there is something in my blood I got from my mother that I not only enjoy the good deals, I love the potential of every item to become so much more with a little paint and some ingenuity. Some of my best creations and biggest interior design mistakes have been found amongst the clutter of garage sales.
Garage sales are hard work to throw and the payoff isn’t usually as good as one would hope but when your parents are downsizing before a big move, selling off some stuff is almost inevitable. My sister and I flew up for the weekend to help out with prepping and running the sale for my parents. I got to Seattle a few days early to go through everything in the house so we could know what was staying and what was going. It’s amazing how much stuff a family acquires over the years, especially when you see 6 potato peelers splayed out before you where only one should remain. Needless to say, we ended up with a very large amount of goods for our sale and with the weather predicted as the first sunny weekend in a while the sale would hopefully be a success.
If you ever have a garage sale and only take one tidbit of knowledge from me, follow this advice: Don’t just post your sale info on Craigslist, post it on the myriad of other sites devoted to the hardcore Garage Sale Attendees (some even print you out maps of your route to hit as many sales in one day as possible.) Also if you have a few big ticket items, or anything of special interest list them in the ad. I listed our sale on close to 12 websites and I have never seen so many people show up for a garage sale in my life.
Among the many attendees, my sister looked somewhat frightened by a strange man with a deer print sweatshirt and a few missing teeth when he came up to buy some sheets that hadn’t even been taken out of their original packaging. “I use ‘em to make deer bags,” he said. “Oh, then I see why you don’t want to pay top dollar!” I blurted out trying to mask my horror that i’m almost sure was written all over my face. Somehow my mother’s 800 thread count sheets smeared in blood holding up a deer carcass wasn’t exactly where I imagined they would end up, but I never say no to a paying customer.
We also had a strange family of Russians show up. The daughter kept trying to work my sister with the angle that she just loved the silk scarf but a dollar was just too much to part with. Unfortunately for the girl, batting her eyelashes and perking up her boobs would have no effect on either of us so she skulked off along with her mother who we soon realized walked off with a nice big Pyrex dish we quoted as a dollar. Oh well, if she wanted it that bad I hope it brings her some happiness, if not purchased it would just be saying hello to Goodwill the following evening anyhow.
When all was said and done, all the special pieces that seemed a little more difficult for my mom to part with found their way to good homes and we made over a thousand bucks on the sale. None of us ever thought we would be able to make so much on a 2 day garage sale. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing all the clutter and junk that once filled an entire garage now gone.
Since all the garage sale work is behind me, I haven’t really been able to stomach watching one of my new guilty pleasure shows: Storage Wars on A&E. Storage Wars has been around for quite a while but before I went up to Seattle my brother turned me on to this show about professional treasure hunters that buy up old storage units at auction and hope to double their money on some amazing find within. I am waiting for an episode to show the unit owner walking up and pitching a fit as people bid on their crap, that would make for some juicy television.
Here’s a quick sneak peak of the show:
I love this weird show and it makes me want to grab a wad of cash and head over to an auction! Who knows, you might just end up with a box of granny panties or an old antique radio worth it’s weight in gold. My personal favorite person on the show is Barry who is a quirky rich guy fondly known as “The Collector.” He is doing this more for personal fun than for profit he says. His attitude, antics, and sense of humor makes him the comic relief of the show. My least favorite on the show is Dave with his annoying call of “Yuuuuuup!” to bid in each auction. He is smarmy, underhanded and seems to be more consumed with screwing over the others at the auction than actually attempting to turn a profit himself. He is easily the mean girl at the party.
In a few weeks when my desire to hunt for treasures returns I’m sure I’ll be watching the show again and maybe I’ll even branch out and watch the new Storage Wars:Texas episodes, especially since that is my parents new stomping grounds after their move. I’ll have to give them some cash and see what they can bid on out there in the Lonestar State, maybe I’ll end up with something more interesting than some ugly furniture that looks like it is straight off the set of dynasty! Oooo a big cow skull or wagon wheel chandelier would be nice.
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featured image credit: The Shopping Sherpa