Monday, May 24, 2010

Controversial Monday: Garage Sales

I have been to a few garage sales in the last couple weeks and have scored some great deals. Things like the free popcorn popper that was free because it was missing a part- a part that my old falling apart popper still has! Yeah! I can cross 'popcorn popper' off of my birthday list.

Little girl clothes are easy to find at garage sales and I think that Berean now has a fairly complete girly wardrobe. Mission accomplished.

Truthfully, however, I get a little nervous at garage sales. What if I don't like anything? What if the garage is creepy? What if the people are acting strange? What if everything is super overpriced? It is so awkward to park your car, go up to a sale and than quickly see that there is nothing there you have the slightest interest in. Do you look? Do you turn around and flee? Do you pretend to be interested in something and than dash?

I have one piece of advice. Don't make eye contact.

I feel bad if I just quickly turn and flee. Like I am basically saying, "your junk isn't even worth a second look. Nothing you have is even slightly interesting. I am too good for you and your overpriced giant inflatable santa claus."

Such a dilemma.

I also refuse to have a garage sale. I give all my stuff away to people who come to my door and take it, like the Lupus foundation. Or I bring the baby stuff up to the crisis pregnancy center. It seems easier and less stressful.

What do you think? Is having garage sales worth your time? Do you love them or hate them? Is there anyone out there like me that gets nervous about the whole situation? Do you go anyway?

Tell me!


Renae said...

I like when my mother-in-law has them and I add my stuff! I do agree about the - running up there just to quickly check it out and then - adios! I usually just look at a couple things and then say thanks - and leave. - and think in my head - what a bunch of junk! :)
I am usually trying to get rid of stuff at home - so it is hard for me to go to garage sales in the first place - I am pretty good at only buying a sweet find!

Elise said...

Garage sales are sort of a love/hate thing for me. What happens is I just stop somewhere because it happens to be on my way, I find a great deal, I'll be all pumped and think, "I should go to sales more often." But then it always seems like when I actually go out to go garage sale-ing, I can't find anything worth buying and it ends up being a huge waste of time.

If I take the time to drive up to a sale, I always stop and look over everything, because you never know where a deal may lurk. One time I followed signs way out into the middle of nowhere (wouldn't have gone that far if I'd realized the sale was located where it was) and then I got there and it was this old guy with rusty tractor parts and a couple of used vacuums sitting on his lawn. Still, I got out to look at his one table of housewares and ended up with a brand new with price tag sticker on Crate and Barrel vase and two cute red lanterns all for $5. My best sale finds ever! So... my motto is, always look.

Johanna said...

mmm, i like garage sales in theory, but i rarely have time to go to them. i think the best strategy for avoiding awkwardness when you immediately see you're not interested in anything is to have something you're looking for that will very rarely be found at a garage sale. Then you just casually ask the garage host "Do you happen to have a 15th century armoire from finland? I've been scouring the sales all morning and no one seems to have one." When they look at you strangely and mutter "not today", you politely thank them and walk off to your car.

I like the donating idea...and I agree, much easier and quicker way to get rid of your unwanted items. We've done garage sales as fundraisers at church and just ask everyone in church to donate their unwanted items so we have a huge garage sale. At the last one, i invented the last hour 'sale'--whenever a new customer arrived, we would say "has anyone told you about our sale? fill this bag with as much stuff as you want and we'll sell it to you for a dollar." we got rid of almost everything! which meant less stuff to take to the thrift store.

The Three 22nds said...

awesome. I think I am going to try to armoire from Finland thing, I think it would definitely eliminate some of the awkwardness :)