Come on … Celebrities Holding Garage Sales?

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

What do Barb Tobias (The “Thrift Talk” Diva), Tori Spelling and Carol Burnett have in common?

We all have yard sales!  Yes, it is true.  Six degrees of separation be damned!  I’m in good stead.

I was stunned to learn, after reading numerous reports on People.com, Omg.com, and Thefrisky.com, that real celebrities were raising serious money through holding all types of sales; garage sales, tag sales, yard sales, porch sales, divorce sales, downsizing sales, moving sales…and are now moving into the corridors of high-rise apartment buildings where city dwellers are holding “lobby sales”.   And, here I thought that this Thrift Talking Diva had the corner on making good money at my fancy Diva Sales.

Yikes! Little did I know that I was going up against the likes of Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson. I’d been snookered and outclassed.  And, I would have to imagine that my stuff was probably pretty paltry in comparison to their stuff.

Sure, I’ve yakked for years about the benefits of holding tag sales and purging homes of unwanted and unloved things.  And, I’m still a strong advocate for the yearly cleanse (because it’s the only cleanse that’s capable of making a fast buck).  But, I was still having trouble wrapping my arms around celebrities hawking their junk … like the rest of us.

I kept asking myself, “Why would outrageously wealthy superstars hold yard sales?” So, I started doing a little celebrity snooping, and, voila, Diva Detective was born.  True, most stars hold sales through auction houses, but a few, such as Tori Spelling, Scott Baio, Teri Hatcher, and Pamela Anderson actually worked their own sales, albeit with professional and agent assistance. Many of them do it for charity; however, Tori actually pocketed the cash.

Star Willie Aames sold off his belongings at his suburban Kansas City home.  Apparently dozens showed up while Aames bargained with treasure-hunters and even signed autographs. Hundreds of people stood in line to snap up movie memorabilia, taxidermy, antiques, artwork, furniture, and even his piano. And, the shocker…his production crews were even there to film a television documentary.

A cable network recently shot a pilot for the project, titled “Celebrity Garage Sale,” staring actress Illeana Douglas.  Apparently the hook is that Douglas is on a mission to help her famous friends get rid of their unwanted junk by holding, you guessed it, a garage sale. They’ve brought in Tom Arnold to mix it up because his  garage sale is said to have raised $5,000 for Camp del Corazon, a summer camp for children with heart disease.

Scott Baio’s sale raised funds as well as awareness for mandatory newborn screening in all fifty states after his daughter tested positive for GA1, a metabolic disorder.  Fortunately, she is fine, after it was discovered that her results were a false positive.

Teri Hatcher raised $20,000 for her favorite charities through an invite-only, fifty-dollar entrance fee, yard sale and served Buttercream Cupcakes & Coffee to her customers!

And, Pamela Anderson was reported have sold one of her homes with all of the contents with the proceeds going to PETA.

Now here’s one that shook the fibers of my “divaness”. Supermodel Erin Wasson held a garage sale  selling off pieces from her personal wardrobe … the likes of  Balenciaga and YSL. Now, rumor has it that these rags sold for under $100.  Where was I when all this was happening?  According to Erin she was attempting to “edit down my wardrobe and be very Japanese, where you have one rolling rack…I love the idea of being super edited.” Awww…

So what’s the difference between their yard sales and mine?  So okay, the autograph signings are probably a draw. I’ll give them that.  And, maybe their furnishings are a tad more elegant.  And then there are the gowns, and posters and the jewels.  Hmmm…

77 Year Old Woman Makes a Difference by Holding Garage Sales

April 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

 Rochester Hills, Mich: Neighborhood gives back for 19th year

Here’s a tip: When visiting Joanne Marcil’s home, watch your stuff. Just ask her husband, Ray, who left a jacket lying around. Joanne grabbed it and sold it at her community’s Make A Difference Day flea market. When Ray later asked her about it, she just smiled.

The project began in 1992 as a garage sale, raising $150 to buy high chairs for a soup kitchen. Marcil, 77, had such a good time she enlisted family and friends to create bigger events every year. The two-day market is now tradition, requiring 150 volunteers and five families’ garages to store donated items.

In 2010, the sale raised $13,000 for women in crisis, the homeless, people with chronic diseases and others. In 19 years, the project has raised $71,000. It’s hard work but well worth it, Marcil says. “I’m doing something to help this world, not just wishing things were better.”

$10,000 Make A Difference Day Award from Newman’s Own goes to The Baldwin Center, Pontiac, Mich.

This year’s judges:

Charles Gabrielson: President & Publisher, USA WEEKEND Magazine

Brian Gallagher: President and CEO, United Way Worldwide

Michael Havard: Vice President of Marketing, Newman’s Own Inc.

Kim Martin: President and General Manager, WE tv and Wedding Central

Michelle Nunn: CEO, Points of Light, Institute & Co-founder, HandsOn Network

Thrifty Holiday Decorating Tips

December 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Decorating

 

I am a hopeless thrift-aholic … saver of parts … collector of broken stuff … savior of discarded orphans.

I love to put together all the unloved pieces that people throw away to make creative masterpieces.  And, no season brings more opportunity than the Holiday Season.

I begin my Holiday decorating by purging and sorting.  First I pull out all my Christmas finds and begin the process.  One pile is a group of “orphaned” items that will be used to fashion holiday displays.

This year I made a splendid centerpiece from odds and ends collected throughout the year from various thrift venues…garage sales, flea markets and estate sales.  Earlier in the year I found a solidly built chrome stand that once held a globe … I presumed.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with the piece, however I loved the height and heft of it and snatched it up for a mere $2.00.  I was a little concerned that I might not find a lantern that would fit effectively within the ridged top, but felt it was worth a try. 

 

 

 

I’ve learned, from being a hopeless thrift-a-holic for over thirty years, that patience eventually pays off.  And, sure enough … four or five months later, I was delighted to find a cracked glass hurricane.  I placed my new acquisition on my miscellaneous shelf where it sat until this holiday season.

After I had sorted all my items I was anxious to see if the globe would fit into my tall, stately stand. As I slid the lantern into place it was the perfect fit!

Next I got busy creating my Christmas centerpiece.  I took two random greenery vines, twisted them about the base and placed a fresh pine-scented candle within the globe. Now I had a centerpiece worthy for the most festive table … for under $10.00!

 

 

 

Greenery and garlands, collected throughout the garage sale season, are draped over mirrors, mantels and bowls.  These festive ropes are often decorated with odd flowers, berries, balls and candles. 

 

And finally, I enjoy decorating with some holiday humor … adding a little spice and personality to my rooms. Often, décor pieces that adorn my home year ‘round, are decorated with a bit of holiday whimsy.

How to Hold a (Diva) Garage Sale

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

An excerpt from Tossed & Found by Barb Tobias, America’s ” Thrift Talk” Diva

It was a Diva of a Sale!

Part I

Selling used goods from driveways, yards, or inside a home has been referred to as garage salesyard sales or tag sales. People hold these weekend events to raise money or get rid of unwanted stuff. Although these sales are a lot of work, they are a great way to purge, turning unwanted items into profits.

The following schedule outlines how to chunk down tasks so that preparations are organized … and doable. With this parceled approach, the magnitude of a project does not have to be overwhelming.

A Diva of a Sale

Two Months Before the Garage Sale

I’ve learned to set the dates of my sales by considering the financial mindsets of my customers. They are typically scheduled for the 15th or 30th day of the month. Paydays! People are more likely to splurge after they’ve been paid versus the weeks they walked around with no money in their pocketbooks. After all, my goal is to attract buyers not window shoppers.

Two Weeks before the Sale

The transformation of my garage into my Diva Shoppe begins.

  • The entire garage is rearranged. All the things that are not being sold are moved to the back of the garage.
  • Areas that are off-limits are draped with sheets or tablecloths so that people won’t be tempted to examine items that are not for sale. I have learned that this ounce of preventions averts distractions, saving time once the garage sale is in full swing.
  • The garage is then cleaned from top to bottom.
  • Next, display tables are set in a u-shaped pattern, allowing for an easy traffic flow. People should be able to walk around and examine the merchandise without tripping over things. Sometimes a row of tables is placed right down the middle depending on the room I have.
  • Each table is topped with a  pretty tablecloth or piece of fabric.
  • Next I haul out my boxes and stack the labeled containers that hold similar contents next to each other.
  • I love to create scenes at my sales, so I place the same type of items, kitchen, family room, household, décor, clothing or toys in groupings so that I can pull the items out of the marked boxes and make my arrangements quickly.
  • My next project defines a labor of love. Tables are arranged attractively, with attention to every detail.  I go to great lengths to create eye-catching “tablescapes.” My reasoning is simple.  People like to shop in pleasant surroundings despite the fact that they are shopping at a garage sale.
  • Furniture is arranged in scenes or quasi rooms. In turn, each area is festooned with accessories, throw pillows, pictures and silk plants to create a warm inviting designer look.

Over time, it was obvious that my extra effort spent pulling together artful arrangements and furniture groupings resulted in heavier traffic and substantial sales.

Watch for the Diva Garage Sale – Part II

An Interview with the Diva of Thrift

January 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Press Room

Q.  Why do you refer to yourself as a Diva?

 A.  I struggled to come up with a title for myself . . . a name that would reflect my journey to the top of the proverbial pile so to speak.  When considering strong, self-actualizing words for women, the English language provides few choices. 

Was I going to call myself a Princess? Well, we’ve all pounded that word into the ground. And, I really didn’t want to defend my title against all the little, fluffy, cutesy dogs named Princess.  

Perhaps calling myself a master of my trade would work. Naw, that term was obviously reserved for men. 

Okay, so how about mistress of my trade?  Well, that one is sure to make the tabloids, and not an image I wanted to portray.  Plus, the word no longer carries (if it ever did) the element of accomplishment that typified someone who has walked the bumpy road to success.

A Queen?  Now, there is a moniker that negates the thought of achievement brought about by hard, creative work.  The term typically refers to a birthright not accomplishment.

Alas, there remained . . .  the Diva.  Strong, accomplished, talented.  That could work.  Of course, I knew that there would be those that would scoff at such a self-proclaiming title, but I would ask.  What word has this culture cultivated to capture the strength, the magic, of talented, smart, resilient women? 

Thus, another Diva was born . . . The Thrift Diva

 

 

Q.  What exactly is Thrift?

 A.  Thrift or thrifting, as it is often called, is the act of purchasing secondhand items at a fraction of their original cost.         

 

                                                                  

 Check out my FAB 99 cent 60’s swing coat . . . 

  

 

 Q.  Don’t most people regard the act of thrifting as a rather seedy, back-alley type of activity? 

A. They used to, but times are changing. With the downturn of the economy thrift has stepped out of the closet . . . so to speak.  Many people furnish their entire homes in fabulous but frugal secondhand finds.  I have.  I just talked to a fellow thriftier that furnished her 3,800 square foot home with used bargains . . . for $8,000 . . . and it looks fabulous.

Others build their wardrobes from posh designer fashions they rescue from thrift stores, garage sales and auctions.

Q.  I find the phrase Thrift Diva to be somewhat of an oxymoron.  Isn’t thrift the polar opposite of being a Diva? 

A.  That is actually one of the reasons I began calling myself The Thrift Talk Diva.  My mission is to take thrift out of the gutter. To show people how to decorate or dress using recycled products.  Think of it.  No packaging, no shipping costs, no advertising.  Not only is thrift socially responsible, but we can all live in wonderfully appointed environments at little to no cost.

 And . . . The Thrift Diva can show them how to do it.

 Q.  Why are you the expert on thrift?

A.    I have been shopping America’s thrifty by-ways and high-ways for 30 years, I have outfitted my home and myself in fashionable thrift bargains, and I have taught countless Divettes how to create fabulous interiors for little to no cost. 

Q.  Am I right to assume that thrift shopping is becoming more in vogue with the downturn of the economy?

 A.  Although the art of thrifting has been around for years, it is definitely in vogue . . . it is the new black. 

Q.  Why does it matter?

A.  There are several factors that make this frugal trend a hot topic:

  • The economy is in the dumper but people do not want to give up their lifestyles . . . and they don’t need to.  What they need to discover is a cheaper means to accomplish their goals, whether it is outfitting their families or decorating their homes.  
  • Women are hard-wired to nest, to create richly appointed, comfortable homes.  Fashioning a home is the primer creative outlet for most women. It started when hides, caves and timbers were crudely fashioned into habitats.  These abodes were adorned with drawings, beads, animal relics and other adornments.  
  • It is fun.  The thrill of the hunt is as alluring in the halls of thrift as it is in the fields of prey. 

 Q.  Do you consider the Art of Thrifting to be a business or hobby?

A. My fascination with garage sales, flea markets, antique and consignments shops started out as a hobby.  I was a single mom on a tight budget and was thrilled at the thought of decorating my home at little to no cost. It wasn’t until years later and the change in perception that I actually turned my passion into a coaching and speaking business with the launch of my book Tossed and Found.

 Q.  Was thrift hunting an accepted activity 30 year ago?

 A.  Absolutely not.  As a matter of fact I write about going to garage sales, incognito.  I used to carry a pair of sunglasses and a scrunchy hat in my car to use whenever I stopped at a yard sale or thrift shop.  At the time I was a fashion model and I was doing a lot of radio and television appearances.  Back then my Divaness had not yet fully blossomed and I would have sooner died than been spotted with my head in a dumpster or in the back of some grubby barn searching for my holy grail. 

Q.  What is the best find you ever found?

A.  I will share my most cherished possession because I feel that worth is not measured by the actual price that is paid, but the value that it holds for the huntress.    

In the infancy of my thrifting addiction, I stopped by a fairly seedy sale hesitating as to whether to even go in. I did a quick scope of the interior of the garage and made the decision to leave when I spotted a dust covered picture propped behind some old boxes.  Its back was facing me and I could only see the old and tattered frame.  Turning it around and wiping the dust off the glass I was enchanted by the yellowed but fetching picture. 

A turn of the century Diva peered out through her mask at a costume ball.  I knew that I had to have her.  Hesitantly I asked the proprietress of this fine establishment how much she wanted.  Her tired reply asked for a mere $5.00.  I knew that day, as I walked my treasure to the car, that I was hooked.  I am a thrift-a-holic. 

Q.  When and why did you begin writing?

A.  I have actually written for years, but I never brought any of my projects to fruition.  It wasn’t until I lost my corporate position several years ago that I had the unfettered opportunity to follow my dreams.  One day in had a serious talk with myself and threw the question out to the universe, “What course should I follow now?”  The answer came back like a bolt of lightning…”Write a book about your passion.”  Hence, the birth of Tossed and Found.    

Q.  Is there a bigger message beneath the clutter (so to speak) of Tossed and Found?

A.    Definitely.  I want to reach women and deliver this message:  No matter how humble your dreams, no matter what your circumstances, you can reach that goal.  You are powerful…own it.  You are creative…embrace it.  You are a Diva.

Q.  Are experiences based on the events in your own life?

A.  Absolutely.  I talk about the experiences I have had on the road, on television and radio, on the runway and in business.  I relate some of the amazing adventures I have had like having a gun pulled on us during a garage sale, finding true treasures for pennies, and decorating my home in thrift . . . at no cost. 

 Q.  Can you share a little of your current work with us?

A.  Yes.  I am writing my second book entitled Tossed and Turned. Whereas Tossed and Found is about finding and buying secondhand treasures, Tossed and Turned is about decorating with frugal finds.  It shows, step by step how to turn a ‘noplace’ into a ‘showplace’ at little to no cost.

 

                                                                                    

 

Modeling Picture from the 80’s . . . Was I ever that skinny?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The emerging Diva

How to Find and Promote Your Garage Sales, Yard Sales, Tag Sales and Estate Sales

January 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales, Recycling

Most people get lured into the thrift craze by accident.  Maybe they got hooked by simply stopping by a sale that enticed them into their tattered halls with the promise of tempting treasures.  And some, like me, found a lifelong passion hidden in the dark reassesses of someone else’s garage. 

Whatever first drew us into that initial sale the memory has probably faded into the distant haze of thrift mania. The fact remains that once we have been bitten by the frugal bug, we join the ever-growing ranks of America’s thrift aficionados. 

And, as we take ownership of our parsimonious passion it makes sense to organize our forays as we approach our coveted weekends of bargains and haggling. 

 How To Locate Estate Sales

When I am deep in the throes of garage sale season I attend as many estate sales as possible and I always ask to be put on their mailing lists. That way I am always informed of their upcoming events. 

I also search the internet and find many great sales by logging on to www.EstateSales.net.  This site affords an easy way to find estate sales, tag sales, and auctions in local areas across the country. I click the desired state on the map of the United States and I am directed to estate sales in whatever part of the country I am in.  

How to Find a Consignment Shop

Locally owned and run consignment shops can be found scattered throughout the towns and burgs across America. There are several online sites that list consignment shops by state:

 www.ConsignmentShops.com

www.ConsignmentPal.com

www.HowToConsign.com

 

 

Craigslist

Craigslist is one of my favorite sites. Not only do I scour it regularly to find sales but I post my own garage and yard sales as well as my famous Living Estate Sales.

The list was started in 1995 by Craig Newmark in the San Francisco Bay area. By 2007, Craigslist had established itself in approximately 450 cities in 50 countries. Here’s the kicker…its sole source of revenue is the sale of their job ads. This site gets a whopping nine billion page views a month. The good news for us thrift seekers is that the garage sale, estate sale, and yard sale ad portion is free!

 

EBay

I have never sold much on EBay, specifically because I have focused and enjoyed the hands-on, belly-to-belly repartee that garage sales, flea markets and estate sales offer. However, that doesn’t mean that a tidy profit can’t be had. The key to making money, I would venture to say, lies in what an item is purchased for versus what it is sold for. A good guide for buying the right things to sell on EBay is The eBay Seller’s Guide to Finding Profitable Hidden Bargains at Garage Sales.  http://www.auctionebook.com/?hop=dscoombes

  • http://www.yardsalers.net/ – This site offers some great tips on garage sales and estate sales. And it leans toward reselling things on eBay. 

Auctions

Auctionszip.com is a great resource for those who want to explore the auction world. Go to the site and enter a zip code, select the distance that you desire to travel, and a calendar with all of the auctions will appear. Voila!

  •  www.auctionszip.com
    •    http://www.AuctionBytes.com – This site is several things; an independent trade publication for about ecommerce and the online auction industry, and a do-it-yourself place to make your own Garage Sale signs that are large and colorful.  There is a charge, but if you enter the coupon code “queen”, you get a $1 off.

 

Locating and Mapping on the Internet

This site is hands down my favorite place for locating and mapping garage sales, yard sales, and estate sales throughout the country.

Although this is a great resource for finding local thrift stores and links to other thrift-related sites, it also contains thrifting tips and frugal shopping maneuvers.          

Simply enter the city, then the venue (thrift stores, antique or consignment shops)and presto, the establishments in the area line up.

This website lets a shopper or seller find a sale, post a sale, blog, print coupons, find consignment shops and flea markets, and get tips under their FAQs section.

This location offers the opportunity to advertise yard or garage sales, sell online, and search to find garage sales, estate sales, or yard sales in a variety of states. There are also thrift tips and a guide for online buying and selling.

  • http://www.yardsaleAD.com – You will find this fairly easy to use. List your yard and tag sales, map them out, and even save your finds in their portfolio section.  Also search using; Categories, Dates, Times, Description, and Radius from your home.
  • http://www.garagesaletime.com/ – Look for a garage sale near you, or post your FREE garage sale copy. 
  • http://www.WeekendTreasure.com – this site is free for those looking to find sales, but charges a fee for posting you own sale. 

 

I Love Bargain Hunting at Thrift Stores and Garage Sales

January 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Blogs, Decorating, Fashion, Garage Sales, Recycling

Below is an email that I received from a very excited client. We are working to transform her somewhat worn home into a chic and stylish habitat.

Just last garage sale season, Jo learned how to shop using a newly frugal but creative eye. She quickly learned to spot the potential treasures beneath the tarnish. Prepare Jo Garage Sale

After holding a garage sale of her own, we spent a few fun and productive weekends looking for bargain furnishings to replace the items we literally hauled out of her house and sold on the spot.   Remember the old addage; One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure? (Okay, so it is close enough.)

Jo was very hesitant at the beginning of our project.  She was skeptical of finding quality items at local thrift venues.  Now, she is an ardent believer and often ventures out on her own to find her bargains. She has learned that imagination and resourcefulness are key factors in finding the right deals.

Hi Barb,

I just made the best buy of the day… a love seat – FREE, courtesy of Aurora Library. I was actually looking at all their $1 books because the library is closing for good.

I found a free bookcase and had just taken it to my car when I walked back in to find that they had just pull a love seat from the back room and pushed it onto the sale floor.

I was the first to look at it, then another lady started pushing it around and inspecting it.  Since I had already made my decision to buy it, the sales person let me have it. Can you believe that?

I felt like  I just gave myself a big ole’ Christmas present. I can’t even tell you how great my family room feels to me – it’s beginning to feel more like home every time I add something.

Oh, and I picked up a fabulous lamp Goodwill for $24 with my Senior Citizen’s discount!  Ha, ha! My family room is so cozy and the lighting is great now. I love it.

I can’t believe that I’m so looking forward to next garage sale season!  I would have never thought I would be such an ardent convert!  This is fun and it is not costing me any more money because I am using the funds that I made when we held my garage sale.

Thank you so much . . . and, Happy New Year!
To your success,
Jo Guerra

www.YourMarketingGal.com
Denver Entrepreneurs LinkedIn Group

Using the Internet to Find and Post Yard Sales, Estate Sales and Auctions

December 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs, Garage Sales

Flea market display  003Most people get lured into the garage sale craze by stopping by a sale that enticed them into their tattered halls with the promise of forgotten treasures.  And some, like me, found a lifelong passion hidden in the dark reassesses of someone else’s garage, or scattered in wonton display across their lawns.

Whatever first lured us into that introductory sale is probably lost on us as that event fades into the distant haze of thrift mania. The fact remains that once we have been bitten by the frugal bug, we join the ever-growing ranks of America’s thrift aficionados.

And, as we take ownership of our parsimonious passion it makes sense to organize our forays as we approach another weekend of bargains and haggling.

The Internet has become a great resource for finding and posting sales.  Below are some of my favorite resources.

http://www.gsalr.com/ – Hands down, this site is my favorite.  I can map out a whole morning of sales or post my own sale with the click of a button.

http://www.yardsaleAD.com – You will find this fairly easy to use. List your yard and tag sales, map them out, and even save your finds in their portfolio section.  Also search using; Categories, Dates, Times, Description, and Radius from your home.

http://www.garagesaletime.com/ – Look for a garage sale near you, or post your FREE garage sale copy.

http://www.yardsalers.net/ – This site offers some great tips on garage sales and estate sales. And it leans toward reselling things on eBay.

http://www.WeekendTreasure.com – this site is free for those looking to find sales, but charges a fee for posting you own sale.

http://www.GarageSaleTracker.com – Post, sell and find yard sales on this online at this site.

http://www.AuctionBytes.com  – This site is several things; an independent trade publication for about ecommerce and the online auction industry, and a do-it-yourself place to make your own Garage Sale signs that are large and colorful.  There is a charge, but if you enter the coupon code “queen”, you get a $1 off.

Eight Divalicious Tips That Will Turn You Into a Garage Sale Maniac

November 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs, Decorating, Fashion, Garage Sales, Recycling

I never attended a garage sale until I began my secondary career as a thrift diva. But once I got started, I realized that they are one of the best ways to find bargain pricing on just about anything you need – as long as you aren’t in a hurry to find it!

That’s right.  No other source, not even Goodwill, the Salvation Army or your favorite  flea market sells stuff as cheap as people who are purging, cleaning out closets,  moving or settling an estate. Which is why garage sales are always on my “hot list.”

Granted, if you’re shopping for a specific item, you may not find it on any given day no matter how many garage sales you hit. But, then again, even if you don’t find what you came for, chances are you’ll find something else you can use at a price that’s negligible – sometimes even free!

Beyond that, garage sales are a blessing for those with babies and small children. Why?  You can stop the constant “baby needs it” cash outflow by letting other people’s kids be a steady supply of new-to-your kids toys and clothing.

Here are eight of my best tips and tricks for garage sale success:

1. Timing Matters.

  • Most garage sales occur on the weekend starting on Friday, as early as 8:00 a.m., and run through Saturday or Sunday.  (Although not as many are held on Sundays.)
  • Early birds have been known to show up an hour and a half early (yes, at 6:30) so if your heart is set on an advertised item, plan to arrive early. However, be courteous. If the sale is not open, wait in your car.  Don’t knock on the door at 6:00 in the morning.  (The sellers may have been up until 3:00 a.m.)
  • When shopping garage sales go on the first day.  The good things will go first and prices can still be suprisingly low.  
  • Estate sales are often houses full of items.  Since the merchandise is usually better quality, it will also be more expensive.  You will find better bargains if you wait until the end of the last day.

2. Shop late and bargain to save money.

  • Most of the time, the better deals are found at the end of the sale when sellers are faced with the prospect of hauling their stuff back inside or to the thrift store drop-off center. 
  • Bargain harder at the end of the day when there is less opportunity for the seller to get asking price.   
  • Basically prices are always negotiable at garage sales. You may not get it, but it never hurts to ask.
  • Buy multiple items to get a “bulk” rate. 
  • Early in my thrifting “career”  I snagged a sterling silver butter dish for $5. Strangely enough,  many sellers do not price items, seem indifferent to how much money they make, and will essentially let you name your price even early on in the sale — so aim low.

3. Plan your route to save time and gasoline.

  • Pick one promising sale to visit first, and plan the rest of your stops to flow out from your first stop.
  • Shop at Subdivision Sales.  Homeowners band together to offer house-to-house sales all on the same day. What a boon!
  • Look up sales online in advance, but be aware that many people only advertise garage sales via signs posted around the neighborhood and on major streets the morning of the sale. So anticipate that whatever the route you’ve planned – you’ll likely end up with a lot of small detours.
  • In the height of the garage sale season, plan to visit only one general area each week. Driving ten miles out of your way for one sale that may or may not be any good isn’t a productive use of your time or gas money.

4. Choose your neighborhoods wisely.

  • For the discerning shopper, patronize the upscale neighborhoods.  Yes, they might be a little pricy, but that is where the nicer things are found.
  • A good rule of thumb is to haunt the middle class neighborhoods. They typically offer the best ratio of good stuff to good prices.

5. Choose your sales wisely.

  • Moving Sales are the best places to get deals because people are limited by time deadline and how much they can move.
  • Estate sales are best for higher end items, but you’ll pay higher prices as well.
  • Ordinary garage sales are a crapshoot.
    • Cruise the Internet and pick out the best ones by reading the ads on Craigslist, although I’ve found that you never know until you get there and take a look. 
    • To save time, simply cruise by uninteresting looking sales.  You might miss some good things hidden in boxes, but at the height of the season, there are so many sales and limited time. 
    • If you’re looking for a specific item, like an antique dresser, you can try emailing and calling all the people who have actually posted ads in advance and seeing if anyone is selling that item. If so, they might be willing to set it aside for you until a certain time (say, 8:30 for a garage sale that starts at 8:00).

6. Plan ahead so that you don’t waste your money.

  • Set a budget before you head out the door.
  • Avoid buying things just because they are a great deal.
  • Be honest with your time and talents. For example, unless you love to refinish furniture, you’re unlikely to suddenly take up the hobby and that shabby chic chair will be collecting dust in your garage for quite a while. 
  • For sales with unpriced items, make sure to ask about prices before you let yourself get attached to things. 

7. Shop with a friend.

  • Be careful not to compete with them for every thing you find . . . you just may loose a friend.  Rather, consider someone with strengths you lack.
  • If you aren’t good at bartering . . . bring someone who is.
  • Bring someone who knows more about an area (furniture, glassware, jewelry) than you do. 
  • If you drive a small car, enlist a friend that drives a pickup truck!

8. Loose the great expectations mentality

  • There will be days when you don’t find anything you like or can afford.
  • You are under no obligation to stay any length of time at a sale.  There are too many out there to waste time at a sale that has nothing to offer you.

And now, let the garage sale fun begin!!

Motivation, Leadership and Inspiration

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Blogs

I have sought inspiration in varying level at various times and have found that there is a rich tapestry of the inspired and those that inspire. They come in many different forms; a song we hear in the background, a headline or even a book title. Maybe the Universe is trying to give us a nudge or some divine spirit is vying for our attention.  Regardless of the venue or purpose of these seeming innocuous whisperings, we know at a core level that we have connected with resonances of a higher power.

The following sites not only inspire but allow women to connect with other women from all walks of life. Businesses can be promoted, information shared, and a blog or forum started. Here are some of my personal favs.
 

MyInstantWidget_Error:Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `logged_in` char(1) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `subscribed` char(1) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_cats` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_posts` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `blog_id` bigint(20) default '0'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `Scope` char(1) default 'p'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `php_widget` char(1) default '0'Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `include_cats` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `post_authors` int(11) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `include_authors` varchar(250) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `start_date` datetime NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `end_date` datetime NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `exclude_authors` varchar(250) NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_roles` textAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_membership` varchar(250) default NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `allowed_users` text NOT NULLAccess denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) Q:alter table `wp_MyInstantWidget` add column `url_text` varchar(200) NOT NULL