A Thrifter’s Dream…

Today was the kind of day thrifters dream about…a city wide garage sale day with over 300 households participating. Beforehand, I had perused the list of garage sale addresses and the main categories of items each household was selling. Then, being old school, I printed out a Google map and marked all the places that sounded good (selling antiques and vintage stuff!) and created a route for my eldest daughter and I to follow. The first two places on my list were fabulous. It was a bit downhill from there.

The first sale we visited was run by a guy who normally sells vintage stuff at a flea market. He had bottles, artwork, ceramics, Hawaiian shirts, metalware…just tons of great stuff, but few things were marked and those that were were on the high side and I noticed that he wasn’t willing to negotiate much. He knew what he had and what he wanted to get for things.

His sale was hopping and it took a while to get his attention and ask for prices. I flinched on the price of the vintage Boy Scout shirt, but he threw in the vase I wanted for free so I went for it. This 1950s shirt is one of the best I’ve seen with all the bells and whistles.


My daughter bought one of his shirts too. He asked her if she was going to wear it or resell. She said wear it, which is true, and he knocked off $5. It’s a darn cool shirt…I may have to borrow it. Here’s the saucy back.


The next house on our list was equally good with lots of vintage items. The old hornback alligator purse has a bit of wear and is missing its handle, but is still cool and usable as a clutch.


In excellent condition, these purses command some $$$ as I discovered while doing some research.  Here’s one like mine. Not sure yet what I’ll price mine at considering it has some condition issues.


The sterling silver candy dish is a weighted piece (alas, alas), but was only $2. I can’t go wrong with that. And I don’t know what it is with me and pottery birds, but I thought this chicken planter? had a certain je ne sais quoi!

The little ’50s crocheted cotton gloves are from France. One still has it’s label.


Most items were priced, but even without me asking they gave me better prices! In retrospect I wish I would have stayed here longer. As I was paying for my items and we were getting ready to move on, the mom brought out more stuff. (We should have stayed longer!!!)


Some other houses had good stuff, but things were priced too high. For example one sale had a cute Austrian beaded coin purse marked at $29 and a vintage rhinestone brooch at $35. Gulp! I heard folks trying to negotiate prices with the owners and they didn’t seem to be budging much so we didn’t stay long.

At some point we had run through my “approved” list so we starting cruising around and stopping whenever we saw a yard-sale sign. Mostly, that was a bust. Too many sales with newer kids toys and generic ceramics and glassware or big things like lawn mowers and furniture. Though I did find two hanging wood display cases (originally for golfballs!) for $1 each that I’m going to use to house the smaller pieces of jewelry I’m selling in my Etsy store. I’ve already filled one up. This will make it so much easier finding sold jewelry.


So it was a good morning. We enjoyed ourselves, found some good stuff and met some nice folks. And now I’m enjoying the peace and quiet on our front stoop.

How about you…how’s your weekend going??


  1. Town wide neighborhood yard sales, and I had the day off! Steady rain and 50°, so I opted for an interesting estate sale with a good friend. Wood pile, BMW, firearms, pottery, chainsaws, historical artwork, books, and maps…very interesting! I came away with a Simon Pearce blown glass piece so I’m very happy!

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