On a somewhat ill-advised whim I recently decided it would be fun to go garage sale-ing the truly old fashioned way, through the use of garage sale signs I happen to pass by in the neighborhood or randomly in my travels. I thought it would be an amusing adventure. It actually turned out to be about as fun as having a hole drilled into your skull without the benefit of anesthetic.
The whole experiment lasted well over a month. I was not using the benefit of online forums, community posts or even newspaper ads to help me find sales, only signs posted so I was severely limited in the amount of sales I could find. Being the stubborn thing that I am, I vowed not to stop until I found something worth buying.
The signs I encountered were not always accurate. Some were posted featuring sales that had happened the week or previous weeks before, and weren’t dated and some had arrows on them that were supposed to point to the sale but ended up sending me on a wild goose chase to nowhere. Here are a couple of examples of particularly bad signs I encountered on my journey:
As you can see this first one is kind of thrown together looking and doesn’t have a date or day on it. It just says sale today and an address and time.
This next one was put up by the same people and now features Saturday and Sunday which clarifies things a bit, too bad the sale was held the previous weekend and I wasted a bit of gas finding out this useful little fact. Please be an awesome person and take down your signs when your sale is over, it’ll save your neighbours, the environment, and those of us looking for active garage sales, a lot of grief.
This sign rather hilariously did not survive a brief summer shower, I had to get out of my car and straighten it out a bit to see where it was pointing me to. I did eventually make it to this sale but alas, I was unable to find anything I was interested in.
I found this fourth sign while I was walking my dog in my own neighborhood. The sign was more visible but I noticed they had a bit of trouble deciding which way the arrow should point and the lack of an address did not help matters. Once again, there was no date on the sign. I did find the sale and walked by a couple of times trying to get Miette to settle down and go potty. All the while, craning my neck to see if there was anything interesting in sight like a loony, before finally going over to check it out. Once again, finding nothing of interest.
Sign issues aside, after much time and effort I was finally rewarded for my nearly endless toil in the form of this:
A Nook Colour in practically unused condition with two chargers and a case.
I purchased it for $30.00; a sum I’m still unsure about as far as myself getting the better end of the deal. (I think I should probably re-read my piece on haggling.) Still, the long awaited treasure at the end of the hunt was all the sweeter for the ridiculous amount of time and effort I put into finding it. All’s well that ends well I suppose.
To summarize: I learned the importance of accuracy in garage sale signage and how much grief it causes people when vendors don’t take down their signs after their sale. I also learned to better appreciate Glickin for the amazingly helpful little app that it is. Garage sale-ing the old fashioned way may be a sort of adventure, but it’s time consuming, gas consuming and often disappointing. The next time I feel like torturing myself I’ll go get a root canal instead. In the meantime, as far as garage sales go, I’m stickin’ with my Glickin.