There are actually two different kinds of yard sales. One is the private person who is moving, empty-nesting, spring-cleaning – whatever. You can find plenty of good stuff here, but it’s catch-as-catch-can. If you’re willing to wade through disorganized piles of worthless crap – which I am – you just might find that one great item. I just scored a silk tunic for fifty cents. It was reversible, so you could say I bought two tunics for a quarter each.
On Thursday I start checking the ads in the L.A. Times, Craig’s List, The Pennysaver, and our local neighborhood weekly. I can often tell from the ad if the sale is right for me. If they feature kids’ stuff or surfboards, I stay away. (But when my Danish sister-in-law visits, we check out these places and she finds tons of brand new toys for her grandchildren in Copenhagen.) By Saturday morning, I’ve compiled my list, put the first address into the GPS, and we’re off and running.
I’m happiest when a whole block or entire neighborhood does a group sale and I can just stroll from house to house, getting landscaping ideas as I examine the goodies.
Even urban areas are catching on to the garage sale phenomenon. There are no garages or front lawns, but people are inventive. I’ve been to “stoop sales” in Brooklyn – where people sell their stuff from the front steps of their apartment building while they enjoy their morning danish and The Sunday Times.