Saturday, July 10, 2010

Welcome to Garage Salin'

Why "Garage Salin'"? Because "Garage Sales" and "Garage Saling" blogs were already taken.

And because I've wanted to create an album of my garage sale finds for the past several years.

My history with blogs has been less than stellar. I love to start them, but then I tend to lose interest or just can't find the time to do the things necessary to post (scan images, do research, etc.) I'll do my best (but make no guarantees!)

I've been garage salin' for 30 years. My interest started when I was about 13, going with my mom and sister on Wednesday mornings. I should mention, sales in St. Louis are on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with estate sales closing out Sundays.

The purpose of this blog with be to document some of my more interesting (and not so interesting except to me) finds.

Which brings the question, what do I look for? The hosts of garage sales always ask me, "What are you looking for?" I always answer, "Whatever catches my eye." Because that's really what I'm looking for. I can't say there's a theme to my searches. It's just things that I find interesting. I do sell some items on eBay, but I never buy anything I wouldn't mind getting stuck with (because I have been stuck with things I didn't want but thought I could sell and couldn't!)

If I had to make a list of my most popular searches, they would be (not in any particular order), vinyl albums and 45's, books (vintage and children's), vintage dishes, electronic games of the 70's and 80's, board games pre-1980, vintage media (photos, film, etc.), vintage media equipment (radios, televisison, record players, film projectors, slide projectors, etc.), ephemera (a fancy name for old magazines, catalogs, ads, post cards, etc.)

I mentioned eBay earlier. I have made a little money over the years selling things I've found, but as of late, it seems people have figured out the worth of most things, and eBay continues to make it less and less profitable to sell there. So these days, most of my finds end up on my shelves, in bins, or at my own next garage sale.

Let's take a moment to discuss the various types of sales I attend. I prefer the Garage Sale/Yard Sale over the Estate Sale. Usually, garage sales are privately run and you have a better chance of finding something the value of which the seller doesn't realize. I tend to shop older neighborhoods where I'm more likely to find those vintage items I crave. Newer neighborhoods tend to sell mostly baby items and clothes. I like to do a quick pass by in my car and can make a pretty good assessment of whether I'm going to find anything interesting. Estate Sales: I have a love hate relationship with them. While there tends to be much larger volume and wider array of items at estate sales, they are typically run by companies who have already cherry-picked the best items and have priced the rest accordingly. There's another rule I really dislike about estate sales: most don't open until 8:00 a.m. I'm on the road usually by 6:30. I can't tell you the number of times signs promising estate sales have lead me to a house where a line of people stand outside like 13-year-old girls camped out for Miley Cyrus concert tickets. But if it happens to be later in the morning and the parking isn't too bad, I will stop. Which leads me to the love portion of my estate sale affair. I love walking around in someone else's house. Not in the creepy way you might think, but just to see the decor. Typically, these houses are stuck in the 60's, 70's, or 80's. You come to expect certain things -- dark wall paneling, shag carpets, a bar in the basement, and all too often mold. I've been in some houses where the mold spores permeate the air so much, I have to leave.

I'm starting to ramble and get into more detail than an introductory blog should, so let's wrap this up. Future posts should begin to demonstrate what grabs my attention and will elaborate on my observations of second-hand sales.

This should give a good idea of what motivates me at garage sales, let's get on to the finds.

Happy Salin'!

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