If you've ever been on a hard-core bargain hunt, you'll be able to relate to the following story.
It was a crisp Saturday morning. Matthew and I had decided the day before that we would go estate and garage saling. (FYI definition of "Saling"- the act of floating from sale to sale at no particular speed but that which is desirable to you.)I had mapped out our route the afternoon before so we were all set to go. At least I thought so. 4 Frappes and 4 bagels later, we were on our way.
What were we looking for? Matthew and I like to do what we call "turn-around sales". It's where you find something of value at a garage sale or online auction for a great bargain, then turn around and sell it again to someone who is willing to pay what it's truly worth. We've done this numerous times with Craigslist, etc. It's really fun! It's more than a hobby than a necessity for us, but it's also a good lesson in the wonderful world of investing, but on a smaller scale. And of course, no hunt would be complete without a treasured item found along the way to keep! But more on that later. Anywho, back to the hunt!
Sale #1: garage sale. Ya know, garage sales are a funny thing. Here you are rummaging through other people's belongings for a quarter that they don't want anymore and all the while they are staring you down (at least at most sales) to see what unwanted item you are going to relieve them of. It's quite funny actually! And I must say, not for the prideful if you know what I mean. But in the end, the old saying stays true, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." So true! After finding a few of these "treasures" along the way, we were onto the serious sales: Estate sales.
Estate saling: here's where it gets good. Normally with an estate sale someone is downsizing, retiring, or has deceased. It's an open house where you walk through like a retail store and usually anything you see is for sale...and if you know what you're doing, you'll negotiate. This is the fun part in my opinion. For instance, you say, "I noticed you had this listed for $5, will you take $3? If they say yes (and they usually do), you just knocked off $2 bucks! Negotiation done. :) I like estate sales the best because it's the best place to find antiques or vintage items, which if you know me you're aware that I'm a fan. Today I found a beautiful vintage linen tablecloth + 8 matching napkins in great condition and at a real bargain! Possibly my favorite buy of the day! Another thing about estate sales: it's like a mad frenzy in these places! I have to laugh inside because it's literally people rushing here and there trying to seize up somebody's old stuff before someone else gets to it. And I'm right there in the midst! I can't say I'm a six o'clock die-hard hunter (we left at about 10:20), but I can't deny I like the rush just a tad. Come on folks! It's exciting!
In the end we did quite well. Matt got a few items and so did I and we made out without spending much- mission accomplished. But you know what? There's a bit about this whole experience that truly is the best of all, and that's the time we got to spend together- just us. There we were drinking frappes, eatin' bagels, comparing bargains, singing to Nickel Creek cranked sky high and having a ball the entire time. And did I mention the people we met along the way? You'd be surprised what conversations arise with other folks when you're there sifting through their grandmother's heirlooms or family's prized glassware collection. You get to be a part of hearing their history as it is transferred into your hands. No amount of money can buy that.
So after it's all said and done, it's not about the bargains or how much we saved not having bought it from a conventional store, it's about the people. Now isn't that what it's always about? I think so.
Favorite finds of the day:
Matty's find- a solid wood file cabinet
Set of 3 vintage jello molds & a tart pan
My favorite: set of red & white vintage table linens
Another Matthew find: set of 8 silver-plated goblets