Saturday, December 17, 2011

Is It a Party?

This is probably the last weekend of 2011 for sales, and there weren’t many – but I was there! Well, mostly. There’s an estate sale going on today that I wasn’t able to find. When I got home I rechecked the address , and it turned out that they spelled the street name wrong in their Craigslist ad. Gertrude, my GPS, is an awful stickler for spelling, and as far as she was concerned, the street I was trying to find did not exist. And it’s too far and too cold to go back over there. But whattheheck, I managed to spend three bucks this weekend so I’m good!

Found one sale yesterday billed as an estate sale. Maybe. That description is used rather loosely at times. The folks were friendly, the stuff was clean, and the prices were absolutely silly. Ten bucks for a small electric heater – that was broken. A small bottle, very like ones I’ve dug up in backyards where I’ve lived, was $35. I thought a little friction car was ten cents…but looked again and saw that the decimal was somewhere else. As in $10. One of those sales where you smile, and say thanks as you head empty handed out the door.

Today I found an estate sale (seemed like a real one this time) not too far from home. Got there about ten minutes before the advertised time. There were a number of cars, so I parked a little way off, by a short cul de sac that had a huge trampoline set up at the end of it. (Evidently people here worry less about liability!) Four little boys were riding their bikes in the cul de sac, and as I headed for the sale one of them called to me, “Is it a party?” No, just an estate sale. He nodded wisely, seeming to know what I meant. “But some of us think it’s a party,” I told him.

As I walked up to the house, two ladies were talking on the driveway, and I heard one of them say, “And she wanted $20 for a milk bottle that wasn’t even old!” So I knew they’d been at the same sale I went to on Friday.

This sale was being run by a local company that I’ve encountered before. There was a sign up list on the porch, and I was rather chagrined to see I was number 30! I asked some of the others waiting how many they usually let in at a time, which no one could answer but it started a conversation about sales we’d all been to and the ones who let in 5 at a time vs. the guy who crowds everything into one room and then lets in 30 people at a time. (Hmmm, I think I’ve encountered those sales too.) Got lucky though; when the sale opened and she started calling out names, about half the people had disappeared, so I got in right away.

As I stood on the porch chatting and listening, I realized I was surrounded by dealers. Not little penny-ante dealers like me, who resell a few things on eBay or Craigslist from time to time. These were Dealers. Sure enough, when we got inside, one old boy headed straight for a box of jewelry, which he was still inspecting when I left. Another scooped up a rather nice MCM dining set, which at $250 was way out of my league, and I don’t need any more dining furniture anyway. They weren’t pushy or obnoxious (this is Salem, Oregon after all; we pretty much don’t do pushy and obnoxious up here) but they were quite focused. Especially the guy wearing a pair of glasses shoved up on his head with lenses like jeweler’s loupes!

I keep hoping for that last pair of twin beds I need, but nope. I left the dealers to their dealing and picked up some hand soaps, a shoe brush (we can’t find our shoe polishing kit since we moved, so I’m slowly replacing it), a box of tiny tapers, and some insoles. It’s a pretty slow day when your items aren’t worth photographing! Well, except for one little bird ornament. Plenty of room for one more on that tall tree in our living room!



I expect we’ll be entering into a very lean season for sales, especially the next couple of weeks. But I’ll be doing my year-end retrospective, looking back at what I found in 2011. I feel quite excited about it. Is it a sign of age to get a little giddy over a spreadsheet?

Meanwhile, we’re looking forward to holiday activities with family, a lot of great food, and cozy fires in our fireplace. Hope your holidays will be just as good!


  1. The sales have been few and far between this year for some reason. There wasn't much to brag about or even buy for that matter. Here's hoping next year is a better year!

  2. I rarely go out of my way to find estate sales around here as they have almost always proved to be disappointing.

    Recently my husband told me about on FB. If you haven't checked them out, you might want to. You can receive emails with a listing of estate sales within a designated mileage range.

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday, as well!

  3. I am looking forward to your year end review of your buying adventures. Happy Holidays! Thanks for sharing all that you do!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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