Yard sale fever

Overview with one buyer

I don’t know if yard sales were invented by Americans, but I bet we have perfected them. The sales can be a person with one or two items to sale from the porch, garage, or yard, family and multi-family sales, block sales, street-long sales, and city wide sales in some small towns. The largest I know of is slated as the World’s Longest Yardsale. It is 675 mi. long (1086 kilometer) and spans several states from Michigan to Alabama. It is headquartered in Jamestown, Tenn. which is not too far from where I live.
Just about anything goes in the sales, including stuff people have bought at previous yard sales and at flea markets. Unwanted gifts, old clothing, new clothing, and just about anything one can find in a “normal” American household can be found at these sales. I’ve seen tiny earrings for babies on a table sitting next to a dump truck and all were for sale, including the table. Clothes are the most popular items, almost any size and any condition. Baby clothes and other toddler items are always in demand. Things that are the most difficult to sell are what-nots and frick-fracks; Carolyn and Chris have a table full of them.
Carolyn’s first customer came by at 7:30 this morning and there have been a steady stream every since. She will probably make only a few dollars this time, compared to the close to $400 she made two years ago.
Most cities have “regulated” these sales in one way or another, with some threatening to ban them because the municipality could not collect sales taxes. The promise of law suits soon ends such governmental abuse of power. I’ve never seen statistics on these sales, but my guess is that in the U.S., there are many millions and maybe even billions of dollars exchanging hands each year from the home enterprises. Most of the money goes right back into circulation as little of it is saved. Many people pay for their vacations through yard sale profits.
Have a frugal weekend, my friends.

Difficult to sell items

Published in: on June 18, 2011 at 9:39 am  Comments (5)  

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  1. I love such America! There are many texts about the U.S. in Polish newspapers but they are usually different economic or political analyses, and they are simply boring sometimes. As for me, I want to know how quite ordinary people live in America.
    Yard sale is fantastic invention, Ken. πŸ™‚ I love your blog and your photos. I didn’t suspect that Carolyn would prepare so many items! There are even two flags, and I think I can see here also empty aquarium. Dear God, what a pity that I can’t be Carolyn’s customer. It’s good idea to sell in such way our different cosmetics. We buy them but later many of them don’t suit us and we don’t use them despite the fact that they are almost new and still good.
    I only wonder – my friend – how your neighbours could know that it would be such sale at your house (yard). I’m sure yard sales should be in my city too. Maybe I should be first person who will make it in my district.
    Oh, please write us how many items your beautiful women managed to sale. πŸ™‚

  2. This was a very small yard sale compared to most. I will try to get some pics of others around town; there are a bunch of them every weekend in dry, decent weather. Carolyn made only $6 but spent more than $20 on food for the Ashley, Chris, Kevin, and herself. The sale was mainly for Chris and Ashley.
    In U.S. we have people we call ‘yard sale crawlers’ who get up early each weekend and drive around, hunting for sales. We take poster board and markers and make signs we tape to utility poles around our neighborhood with our address on them. There are a lot of people comes to the sales, some from out of town.
    The two flags are our camping chairs in their carry bags. America puts flag images on everything. The aquarium did not sell; it belongs to Chris.
    I hope you do have a sale; it will be interesting to see how it works out in Warsaw. The sales are much like mini-bazaars. Some people here also advertise the sales in newspapers classifieds; there is a special section for them.
    I will write more later on about the sales; at this moment I am about to become a g.grandpaw. πŸ™‚
    Thanks, Jola. πŸ™‚

  3. I came here again. Thanks for your clarification and the link World’s Longest Yardsale. I’ve just watched the videos. Jamestown and its yard-sales seem to be really wonderful.
    … g.grandpaw?! I’m sure you will be lovely g.grandpaw. My gentle kisses for you and Ashley. πŸ™‚

  4. Yard sales are the greatest thing. I usually hit a couple every Saturday morning. You find trash and treasure. Bargins and over priced junk. You can and do pick up some great deals if you go often enough. I made a decent amount of money on Ebay from things I bought at yard sales. Phooey on towns than ban yard sales.

    • I used to love yard sales and flea markets. I enjoy the people at yard sales; they are great entertainment.
      Thanks, Mark.

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