Be a Better Thrifter / Educate Yourself / Personal Story

Best Places for Secondhand Finds: Part 2


Honestly, just looking at this photo gets me excited about the prospects.                       Photo By Flickr User John Beagle

Rummage Sales

Rummage Sales. Yard Sales. Garage Sales. Whatever you may call them. Rummage sales are not only a gold mine for unique items, they’re also a great place for unique experiences. You get the pleasure of entering someone’s property for the chance to look at the things they once paid money for out of desire. And you get to wonder why the heck anyone would buy _____ ? It’s kind of a rare occurrence for “today’s america” because people are literally sitting outside in their lawn chairs beckoning you to come snoop through their stuff.

I love rummage sales. I love that rummage salers are a serious breed of people who will drive by homes listed in the classifieds or on the listing for city wide rummage sale days, assess the number of tables, number of immediately spotted baby items, general layout of the sale, and carefully calculate if it’s worth the perusing. I love summer and I love this part of summer. I love waking up on a Saturday morning, early, making breakfast and coffee and heading off with no idea what I’ll find. I love the idea of looking through someone else’s things they’ve decided to get rid of and love the concept of being able to look at someone else’s things. I love that you have to dig through a lot of junk before you find a reward. You might have to visit six different houses to find one that brings you something interesting. I love that there’s absolutely no possible way to find out what there will be before you get there. You have to take many chances before you score. You cannot google anything beforehand in order to guarantee anything. how refreshing.

I guess I started going to rummage sales when I was young. It was where I got a lot of my toys and books at a young age. I got to have a few barbie play houses and lots of less-selling variations on the barbie doll like polly pockets and the ever-regrettable what;s-her-face dolls.


Doesn’t all this strange looking junk make you excited? You know you’ve been meaning to get back into roller skating.                                                                                                                    Photo by Flickr User Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose

As I grew into teenage years, Saturday’s when local cities would have their city-wide rummage sales would be the best Saturdays of the year. We went every year and we knew which houses were the good ones, which houses sold popcorn and treats, and what prices would be like where.

One of my favorite feelings is coming home from a warm, sunny day of rummage saleing with my mom and aunt with a full trunk, full backseat, and a few items on our lap. We are very capable of filling a small SUV.  I’m probably in the backseat reading one of the books I just bought. I love getting home and unpacking everything you accumulated throughout the day and admiring it a second time around.

Now I enjoy them as a way to spend time with my mom and find unique items for cheap. I enjoy that they are sustainable as well. People aren’t throwing things away. You’re supporting a neighbor, maybe even assisting with someone else’s college fund.

They can be great for finding old, antique, or vintage items. People pull all sorts of awesome thing from their basement that have been hibernating for years. Less awesome things also.

I guess I just love that rummage sales attract people who go, even while knowing that it could be absolute junk or treasure. People like guarantees a lot, and this isn’t one of those.



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