Monday, October 12, 2009

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure - Blog Swapping

Hi Connie's readers!  Surprise!  Connie and I have done a little switcheroo with our blogs today - just to spice things up a bit!  I'm Camille from Don't worry, she'll be back tomorrow in her regular routine, or you can head over to my blog and visit her over there.

My dad has always been an eloquent orator, known for his articulate and expressive way with words, describing any context perfectly.  Years ago, when I was a teenager, my family decided to rid the house of unwanted items (aka "junk") hoping to make a little money off of it.  So, we held a Yard Sale one Saturday for a few hours.  Throughout the advertised timeframe of our yard sale, people of all types would stop by, look around, maybe buy some things (or not), and take off to the next one.  Once traffic slowed down a bit, my dad stepped out of the house and voiced to all of us, "It's a special breed of people that come to these things."  No sooner did he make that announcement, he realized that not all the customers had left, and probably out of embarrassment, quickly returned back inside, leaving the rest of us to deal with the humiliation.  Of course we never let our dad live that day of embarrassment down.  And it still lives strong to this day as we decided to try and redeem ourselves with another yard sale over the weekend.

(not our sign) from Google images

Being more involved in the preparations this time around, especially in the actual selling of items, I began to realize that there was more truth to my dad's words than I realized.  What is it that draws people to a yard sale?  Why are they even awake (and dressed) before 7am on a Saturday morning?!  Is it the counteraction with the bargaining that drives them?  Or is it the actuality of getting something for practically nothing?  Vehicles raced to our street, taking no heed to parallel parking, or any form of orderly fashion. Drivers shuffled out, some leavig their doors ajar or kids screaming from their car seats.  These were the ones looking for something in particular.  The others listlessly browsed the sticker-priced items, haggling the prices, or pretending not to speak English (I foiled their plans when I responded in their language).  My favorite of the whole morning was the gentleman dressed from head to toe in black leather, with a 10" knife sheathed and strapped to his leg.  Even a concealed weapons' permit wouldn't apply since the weapon clearly was not concealed.  But my initial intimidation of this man was quickly abated once he turned around, displaying, under his arm, a yorkie adorned with a red ribbon. The man didn't buy anything, but seemed satisfied just discussing his family of yorkies, their behaviors, and future plans.  

Although our yard sale was somewhat successful (aka we made money off of items that would have otherwise gone to the D.I.), I still have a hard time displaying my "junk" and asking for money from people to take it off my hands.  I guess it's the circle of life.  There are instances where the Yard Sale setting is very beneficial.  We know of a woman who held a yard sale to fund their invetro fertilization process.  During the same time our yard sale was happening, a fellow blogger was holding a Bake Sale (after a yard sale the day prior) raising funds to finance a necessary and very expensive lung transplant for the little girl of a friend of hers.  It was sobering to see the pictures of this sweet baby connected to IVs and oxygen tubes and to learn of her plight with a birth disorder.  At the same time, we were uplifted by the strength of a community come together, providing homemade cookies, cupcakes, and Argentine empanadas (seriously sooo good!) all with one purpose in mind.

So, where do you stand with yard sales?  Are you the type that plan your route every Saturday morning, searching for a bargain? Or do you stay away from them as if they were the swine flu?


Yvonne said...

Yard sales are a big thing in Winnipeg. (Of course, we have a short "yard sale" season--May-September ; ) I am not a yard sale shopper. I have had one in the 14 years we've lived here. I don't like haggling--and would get irritated--so I guess IT'S JUST NOT FOR ME.

Although I love the idea of hosting a yard sale to help someone else.

Heffalump said...

My Dad was a big yard sale shopper when I was growing up. We never had a lot of money, and it was a way to get things we needed or wanted without having to spend as much.
I don't do garage sales much myself unless there is something I am looking for in particular, which isn't very often. I am more of a drive by slowly and look out the window shopper, and if something catches my eye, then I get out.
Some people are looking for collectibles and such, or things that the people having the sale might think aren't worth anything but are really valuable.
I don't generally have the patience for it. You have to look at a lot of crud to find something worthwhile. I do think that for people with not a lot of money, it is a way to clothe their kids and such.

Erin Ann said...

I'm not as gung-ho as some people (you wont be finding me showing up at any place before 7am on a Saturday unless I have to be at work), but I'm pretty snobby when it comes to them! I force Reid to come with me and we do the "drive-by" because we're too lazy to really get out unless something looks worth parking. We did find an AWESOME deal about 2 months ago - one of the neighbors is a shoe dealer for Asics and was getting rid of old inventory. So, my Asics running shoes that are regularly $135 were a mere $30...and they still had all the tags on em. That's when a garage sale (or yard sale) is completely worth it

Small House said...

I've probably gone to 3 yard sales this past summer. I don't know what it is, but's kind of fun. Glad you could make a little $$$$ off your stuff. FUNNY-FUNNY story about your dad.

Kimmie said...

My hubby and I are really into "Simplifying our life" and not bringing anything into our home unless it is an absolute necessity...even if it was a good deal and even if it was free.

I can relate to you that I would just much rather send something on to DI then deal with the hassle of doing a yard sale and Yes, I also feel the same way with your comment "have a hard time displaying my "junk" and asking for money for people to take it off your hands.

It's much easier for me to just send things to DI.

LOVE the photo of you and your mom and Valerie! You are beautiful people! Have a great Monday!

Kazzy said...

It is surely an even differenter (LOL) kind of breed that shows up hours before your starting time and camps out. Sheesh.

Glad you guys made some dough. :)

Rebecca is Thrilled by the Thought said...

I sympathize (empathize? I never know which one to use) with your dad. I stick my foot in my mouth on a daily basis.

I've always wanted to be a yard sale go-er, but I never get around to it. One of these days...

Valerie said...

I didn't go to a single yard sale this year, although I wish I could have reciprocated your kindness and gone to yours. But I do like going, just not going early or the pushy people who sometimes go and try to haggle the price to something crazy low. I haven't gone often, but have a few great finds that I consider treasures from the few I went to. There are many that you just walk up to and turn right back around to your car though since that person's trash must be someone else's treasure, but it isn't yours!

It was nice to meet both of you even though I cringed when I saw the photo on my computer after downloading it. I was in such a hurry that morning that I just pulled my hair back and it was not a pretty sight!

Ann Marie said...

Hi Camille!
Good job swapping for the day!
Loved the post.. :) I am a HUGE yard sale girl! I know how to have them successfully.. and where and when to stop at others. Utah ( well my area of living ) has GOOD ones.
Since my style is vintage and antiques.. I have to do yard sales and thrift stores.. or I would pay a fortune only shopping antique stores.

I also buy stuff for CHEAP and re-sell it at a fun consignment store.
My husband loves to hunt animals.. and I love the hunt for WAY good stuff!
I LOL at your dad though.. It's True! True! True! ~ And I would be what some call a "picker".. I pick it up to re-sell. I hate the name.. but I kinda am..

gigi said...

Great post Camille :)
I use to do yard sales with friends. I got a lot of great children's books and toys and some play clothes. Not so much any more. It's been years since I've gone to one. I did tell the sweetheart the other day that I thought I ought to start going again to see if I can find some un wanted canning jars. Who knows if I'll actually do it or not :)

Jenny said...

I did not yard sale shopping this last summer. Usally I go looking for pieces of funiture to make over and use in our home. I do love it when I find clothing that will fit my children. I love a bargin. But this year due to moving into our new home and unpacking all my "junk" I felt that I did not need to shop for any thing else.

Love your post.