As many of you know, I love a good yard sale and often plan my fishing excursions so I can hit the sales on the way to and from some warm body of saltwater. As yard sales go I’m a relative newcomer, having only gotten involved in the past ten years. But, I think I’ve amassed some knowledge that others may find useful. Here, in no particular order, is my ever-expanding list of dos, don’ts, and whatevers:
- Rich people don’t have yard sales if for no other reason than they don’t want you driving around their neighborhoods. Hell, I’m not even sure rich people have neighborhoods, I think they live in enclaves.
- Younger people rarely own anything of real value. About all you’ll find at their sales are used children’s clothing, used sports equipment, and last year’s most popular toys.
- The new McMansion subdivisions are filled with people who own far more crap from Bed, Bath & Beyond than they could use in three lifetimes plus tons of imported Christmas decorations.
- The only thing that may equal the volume of clothing found at yard sales is glassware. If glass were food we could feed the world.
- Older people have the best junk and if you’re lucky you’ll pull into their driveway as they are downsizing for their move into assisted living.
- Don’t ever buy anything electronic from a guy with only one front tooth and wearing a John Deere cap.
- Never trust anyone who tells you a fishing reel is brand new but it is half-spooled with line and you can see the remains of half a dried up night crawler stuck to the level-wind gearing.
- If the seller says, “They’re selling all-day long on eBay for twice what I’m asking,” they’re NOT!
- Take a few bucks extra just in case you see something one of your grand kids would like. Just make sure that over a course of time you treat them equally!
- If it’s marked “firm” but is still a bargain, buy it.
- If it’s not marked “firm” never give the asking price, always negotiate. People go to retail stores to pay full-price, not yard sales!
- If it runs on electricity ask if you can plug it in!
- If there is something you actually need and you’re not in a hurry, sooner or later it will show up at a yard sale.
Finally, I wish there were a good verb to describe the act of attending yard sales. I keep wanting to say that I’m going yard saleing but saleing isn’t a word. I could say I’m going yard sailing but one sails on water, not grass. If I were going to a couple of Saturday morning auctions most people would understand if I said I was going auctioning. But, would they understand if I said, “I’m going yarding?”