Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Garage Sale!

Garage sale, yard sale, church sale, junk sale. There are 4 levels of direct secondhand shopping in Amanda and Kevin -land.

Level 4: Not at all interested, The PEGASH

If you are the type of person to likes to settle into a neighborhood for a while, you've likely encountered the PErpetual GArage Sale House or PEGASH. Yes I just made that acronym up. I'm sticking with it. Join me!

Let's assume that normal household will have a garage sale approximately once per year and often in early spring and summer. Logical reasons to have a garage sale are as follows:
  • I bought fun things at Christmas that replace older things I no longer need.
  • I just did my spring cleaning and found lots of clutter that no longer interests me.
  • I just cleaned my closet and I'm thinner/heavier and these clothes don't fit.
  • The weather is mild and comfortable and I don't mind sitting on a lawn chair for 5-10 hours today with the things I gathered in the previous three bullet-points.
The PEGASH doesn't follow this logic and will use the following semi-logical reasons instead.
  • I never work on Thursday, so that will be sale day from now until the end of time.
  • I made this garage sale sign last time and even though it's faded and can no longer be read, I want to get my money's worth.
  • None of this junky clutter sold at my last 7 garage sales, so I better try again.
  • I bought this off the clearance rack at Walmart and believe I can profit by reselling it at this garage sale.
  • There's no such thing as Goodwill or Salvation Army.
I can and do recognize the signs of my local PEGASHes and don't even bother a glance. I didn't want your baby food jars of rusted washers the last time or the time before, and I don't want them now. But at least I know you'll still be around when I do think up a good use for them.

Level 3: Slow Drive-by, The LOKI

I think the acronym for this type of garage sale is incredibly appropriate. Loki of course was the Norse God of mischief. I first heard that in the Jim Carrey movie "The Mask" and what do you know? It's true!

The signs for a LOKI sale will say:
1000s OF FINDS

I would be and am certainly curious! How many items will there be? Will I find a new paperback novel to adore? I hope they have a shelf that will fit above my toilet!

As the car makes its way slowly down Everytown Avenue, the warning lights go off one by one. The sign on the front lawn, unlike the one at the corner is decorated with streamers, glitter, and stickers. Five children of various ages are playing soccer in the front yard. The driveway is lined with large colorful plastic. Is that a stroller?

LOKI stands for "Lots Of Kids Items."
What makes this type of sale mischievous as the Norse God? The signs usually fail to include the word "kids." For a family, this is no issue of all. For a young couple with no children, we feel we've been duped. Curse you LOKI and your blanket marketing!! Why do you laugh in the face of TARGET marketing? Sorry, but I'm afraid we will drive slowly by.

Level 2: The Standard Garage Sale

This is the sale we've all come to expect, and we are happy to stop and take a look around. No witty acronym is needed. Your sign was straight forward, you've laid your items all out on a few card tables. Your prices are either reasonable or you're willing to haggle. You had a copy of both Sister Act and Sister Act 2 on VHS for a quarter each!

You realize that a garage sale is about clearing out the clutter and not about raking in the cash. Yes, the cash is a bonus, but you don't want those Hummel knock off figurines anymore. That rug was ugly when it was new. You never wore that sweater in the 80s and you wouldn't be caught dead in it now. When your sale is over, you're happy to cart the rest of it off to Goodwill.

Don't get me wrong! I have also seen some garage sales with a separate table for handmade goods such as candles, needlework, and soap! But a true garage salesman knows that if those handmade goods sell, it's a welcome bonus and not the rule. Garage sales are for bargain hunters and fun shoppers.

Level 1: JACKPOT

This is it. The Mother Load. This is the sale you have a 5 second fantasy about every time you see a garage sale sign. The fantasy in which you see something from your past that you've been searching for these past 9 years. The fantasy when you finally complete your Amber Fenton Glass in Lily of the Valley for a reasonable price! The fantasy in which you walk down a driveway and see a person of your exact dimensions and personal style with the clothing hanging on a convenient rack and in brands that you already know fit you well!

These heavenly sales do exist and if you happen to find one, the entire rest of your week will be seen through rose colored glasses. I can't give you advice on finding these sales, but if you're hosting a sale of your own, please visit this blog again! My next post will be about some of the clever garage sale tricks I've seen that made me stay and buy and search and maybe even squee a little bit.

See you next time!


  1. PEGASH! I love it.
    Garage sales don't really happen here in Ireland. We tend to have organised car boot sales, but even these are rare. We Irish like to hang on to our stuff :)

  2. I hear you, Sinead! Commercialism is rampant everywhere, but certain groups of people are more susceptible than others. I'm doing my best to be like you and keep what I have and make it work for me :)


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