Garage Sale Savvy

Saturdays I usually spend going to garage sales.


The community I live in is a “Planned Community” divided into sections. Each section is represented by a letter. The “P” section consists of streets beginning with the letter P : Perkins, Peking, Parkins, Penny. You get the idea!  We have the P section, the W section (rich and ritzy) the B section (older, poor, run down) the R section (a billion children) the S Section (south of town and in the boondocks) and the C Section (canals, inter coastal, boats, boats and more boaters). We are allowed a very limited amount of garage sales (2) per year that we can put on. We are required a permit ($5) for each of these sales and our signage is picked up and destroyed by noon on Saturday mornings.  It is not a conducive atmosphere for a Garage Sale Business from your home!


Some people have ignored all the rules, communicated with their neighbors about their needs and plans and actually make a fairly good living putting on the event on a monthly basis!  But when they get caught disobeying the rules, the town fathers basically tar and feather these people via the weekly newspaper (that no one reads because it is thrown in your driveway somewhere between Monday and Friday in the middle of the night during a violent thunder storm!) and of course, the internet.  Most people could care less and life goes on!


On Wednesday, before the Friday/Saturday Garage Sale rush, a listing of all sales comes out in our local shopping guide, The Pennysaver. People list their address, time and date of sale and a couple of “hook” items that will attract the throngs of super sale seekers. I faithfully pour over the Pennysaver dividing the sale addresses into sections and plot my Saturday journey!


I don’t go out to the sales until around 11am because most of these sales end by 1 or 2pm.  Therefore, by the time I get to the sale, the people are ready to sell off the last of their stuff for just about any price you give them.  Since I am NEVER looking for anything in particular… just real deals, I have purchased (without negotiation entire rooms of furniture, enormous collections of old china and enough fabric to sew clothes for a third world nation!) for around $5!!! I have a weekly budget of about $20 for garage sales and only once or twice have I ever gone over that amount!!!

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