Faded Bluebird

Garage Sale, The Best Show In Town

· The Unwritten Rules To Being A Garage Sale Shopper ·

September 2, 2014 1 Comments

You can keep the bright lights of Broadway because for my friends and I the best ticket in town is a good Garage Sale.  Nothing, and I do mean nothing beats it for its entertainment value.

A good sale has it all; drama, tragedy, action, comedy, triumph and on occasion, if you’re lucky, the participants may break out into a musical.

Garage Sale – Etiquette 101

For some reason, people tend to lose their minds here more than anywhere else. But that just adds to my anticipation as I get ready for my first 100-mile garage sale.  To show what a good sport I am, I’m going to share some tips for having a successful junkin adventure.  Observing these tips could greatly cut into my entertainment opportunities, but my better angels are winning today.

garage sale ettiquette

Be On Your Best Behavior

1.  BE NICE – or at least fake it for however long you intend to be there.  Be respectful of other people’s stuff especially at an Estate Sale.  Displaying good manners will benefit you in the long run.  I can’t tell you how often I’ve received excellent deals because I was nice.  I got a dresser once for practically nothing because I didn’t walk across his lawn.  So, if you want to endear yourself to the sellers treat their home better than your own. Here’s a hint….do not ring their doorbell at 6 a.m. for an 8 a.m. sale asking if you can just “take a peek.”

2.  KEEP YOUR COOL – Yes, a senior citizen might body check you to get to the linens first. Another buyer might try to take something out of your hands. The seller may never look up from his cell phone while her children climb all over your car, but keep it together. I like to remind myself that I am dressed for junkin, not starring on the 10 o’clock news wearing leg chains.

Be Prepared

3. CARRY A JUNKIN KIT – you should take; a tape measure, a list of items you are looking for with measurements needed, a small flashlight, a wad of small bills, water, your cell phone and 1 or 2 blankets.  I also like to have a box filled with newspaper just in case I stumble across an Italian electric wall sconce dripping in crystals.

I often regret that I don’t have a stun gun in my Junkin Kit, but that would just be too much temptation,  please refer to Tip #2.

garage sales

Source: Jennifer Allwood – The Magic Brush

These Shoes Are For Walking

4. EXERCISE SELF CONTROL – You may think this should fall under Tip #2 but it doesn’t, much….okay maybe a little bit.  Determine if the item is worth the asking price.  You know how much you have to spend, so don’t bring more with you than you can afford and stick to it!  If the asking price is more than you want to pay, politely inquire whether this is their lowest price.  You can always offer a reasonable amount as most garage sales expect to haggle, but don’t insult them. If you can’t come to a meeting of the minds, thank them and walk away!

Now Tip #2 comes back into play.  However tempted you are; don’t mumble under your breath, or say something like, ” I could get that same thing at Wal-Mart for $9.99″. All that will get you is the directions to the nearest Wal-Mart. Don’t hit the ground kicking and screaming.  Or demonstrate how well you can imitate a sulking toddler.  We as adults should practice maturity more often until it becomes a habit.  This tip is usually the area where I find my entertainment. I’ve got some great video of other buyers performing tragic scenes straight from Shakespear at garage sales, and I’m currently in negotiation with a major studio. Together with my footage from some junior soccer games, I’m expecting a runaway hit!

A Garage Sale Theme

5.  HAVE A “BIG SCORE” PLAN HANDY –  Admit it; you have a victory song.  A song that just wants to burst out of you when you triumph over the odds. “We Are The Champions” is a favorite in the Junkin world, and I encourage you to borrow it.

There is nothing more satisfying than scoring a big one at a garage sale, but you need a proper outlet.  You need to be able to crow about it to someone who gets it, someone who will wreath with jealousy. Because if you can’t rub someone’s nose in it, it looses a little of it’s awesomeness, and you’re more likely to burst a blood vessel. Have a junkin bud on speed dial or join a Junkin Facebook Group, either way make sure you have someone to help you wallow in your greatness.

I am pumped up and ready to cover 100 miles of garage sale treasures.  I hope that my tips were helpful for you and I want to leave you with this thought.  Junkin is meant to be fun; sometimes you win, sometimes you loose, it’s all about your sportsmanship.

But if you have a break down at a garage sale……well, I may just be there asking you to sign a release form so I can use the video later.  Come on! I can make you a star!

Happy Junkin

Pictures are courtesy of Pinterest. 

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