Friday, May 27, 2011

Yard Sale Listings

It's a Friday morning in May, and so every good miser-mom is checking the newspaper for the listing of yard sales.  Although some gung-ho sellers will start on Friday, the real action is Saturday morning.   But today I'll look over the listings to help me plan tomorrow's route.

Church basement yard sales tend to have a smaller selection of good things, although some will have a "fill a bag for $1" policies, and I've gotten shoes, fabric, an occasional dress, and kitchen equipment at these.  I've learned that there are streets that tend to have lots of kids (increasing the chance I'll find clothes and shoes to fit the boys), and other streets where people think they ought to be able to ask $5 for a dress (I avoid those high-priced places, of course).

My favorite yard sale listing by far is to find a "Neighborhood Yard Sale" in a development of vinyl-sided houses.  I see one of those, and it's party time -- I'll invite friends, pack up the car and head out for a morning of hunting.

One reason these particular sales are great  is that there's less driving (parking, getting out, looking, returning to the car, driving somewhere else . . . ).   Another is that, for almost every large neighborhood-based yard sale, there's a festival atmosphere: the sidewalks are full of other people like me, wandering around and looking; I get to see the neighbors themselves visiting with one another and comparing notes.   I bump into old friends; my kids see their friends; it's a great communal gathering.

But the thing that sets vinyl-sided developments apart from other neighborhoods is that many of the people in these places can't bear to own stuff that gets old.  I've bought name-brand, high quality shirts and pants for my kids for 25-to-50 cents an item.  I've gotten racing swimsuits (with the tag still on) for $2.  I can buy toys and presents and shoes and clothes, and still spend less than $20.

So today, I've got a newspaper on my lap, an area map nearby, and a yellow highlighter in my hand.  I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

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