Thursday, July 22, 2010

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I really think that’s truer for women than men, especially when it comes to garage sales. Not that men don’t enjoy hunting for a treasure, but for some reason the word SALE is highly motivating for women, no matter what the product is.

Garage sales, according to some sources, crept onto the scene in the ‘50s with increased affluence after the decade of depression and war. When people realized they had accumulated too much stuff, the garage sale was born.

Garage sales are also referred to as yard sales. I think that’s for people who either don’t have a garage, who are selling so much stuff it spills over into the yard, or whose garage is full of junk they aren’t ready to part with so they have to use the yard.

In the ‘70s garage sales flooded the want ads of local papers. A dozen or so could always be found in most neighborhoods every weekend. Treasure hunters would line up before daybreak to be the first to scour the goods. When my mom and dad decided to downsized in the mid ‘80s they set up a moving sale/garage sale.

Of course Dad thought it was a good idea to have it on a Friday while he was at work. When he went out the front door to go to the office, he was blocked in his own driveway. Because women sometimes get a little crazy bargain hunting, Jim acted as bouncer for Mom. He had to break up a couple of arguments and he finally declared one item no longer for sale when a tugging match broke out.

When the kids were little Jim found a ping pong table for $20.00 at a garage sale. We used it for years, for a lot of ping pong and for displaying merchandise for our own sales. We sold it 14 years later for $25.00. And I though ping pong tables depreciated. If only all returns on investment were that good.

You can still occasionally find a great garage sale. I think Ebay and Craig’s List have crowded the Saturday morning scavenger hunts a bit. I will admit, though, it’s fun to search for treasures at home in my pajamas.

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