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A Garage Sale Pessimist Turned Optimist

47a0db30b3127cce9854ab0822c000000045108EbNmLhuxbm[1]So how many people hate the idea of garage/rummage sales? And think that they are a place where junk is found or hoarders go?!

I absolutely USED to.  About 2 weeks ago, before I started my internship here at Quicken, I was visiting my thirty-one year old sister in St. Joseph, Michigan on the west side of the state. I went to visit her on my way home to my parent’s house in Farmington Hills.

After staying the night she decided to wake me up bright and early, for what I thought was a trip to drop off my four year old niece at preschool. Little did I know that we were going “garage sale-ing,” as she calls it, for three hours after we dropped off my niece.  At first, I was angry with my sister because I was out a little too late the night before and all I could think about was jumping in the guest room bed and taking a nap before my “diva-licious” niece came home and I was going to be asked to play all afternoon.

My sister then told me we were going to this rummage sale about a mile away from her school at a local church. As we arrived at the church she pulled out of her purse this gigantic mesh bag that looked like something you would find at a garage sale. I was horrified when I saw it and asked her what she wanted me to do with it. She then stated, that it was for me to put the stuff in that I found at the sale. I laughed in her face and told her that I would not be caught dead carrying this, but ended up using it just the same.

As much as I did not want to, I walked into this church with my sister and 11 month year old nephew. My sister headed for the children’s table as I just strolled around hating my life, embarrassed that I was even here. I saw this boutique room that I thought may be up my alley so I decided to go in. When I walked in something caught my eye… a Vera Bradley purse! I quickly ran over and grabbed it and saw it was only $1.00; suddenly my attitude changed completely! I quickly ran out of the boutique room to my sister who had two huge mesh bags pretty much filled. I told her what I found and saw polo’s, sweaters, dresses and pants with names on them like Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Gymboree, Carters and Juicy Couture in her bags. I was shocked when I saw how much stuff she had and asked her how much she was spending on all of that, thinking it was going to hundreds of dollars. She then started pulling the stuff out, starting with an adorable Ralph Lauren sweater still with Nordstrom’s tags on it for my nephew and told me it was $1.00, her bags, in total only cost around $20.00. She also found a gently used Barbie scooter (very jealous because I always wanted one when I was a kid!) and a t-ball set for the yard.

I figured out that same day that the reason my niece and nephew’s closets were packed with more clothes than I have and the reason they wore all designer outfits at the age of 4 and 11 months was that my sister did most of her shopping at fancy rummage and garage sales and found the best name brand items there. This may be the reason that my niece tends to act “diva-licious” at times because she is wearing all designer outfits and has a two huge toy bins that are overflowing in her house. But knowing that at least 80% of that stuff is from rummage or garage sales makes me feel a lot better; my sister and brother-in-law aren’t  spending thousands of dollars on clothing and toys that the kids are just going to grow out of in months.

During that day we went to about five other sales and I bought a lot of stuff including coasters that you can insert pictures in ($1), a brand new entrance table for my apartment ($25), a Vera Bradley purse ($1), a vintage necklace ($1), a Brita pitcher ($2), a silk scarf for a purse ($.50) and spent a grand total of $30.50!

I also walked away that day with a few secrets for intense “garage salers”, courtesy of my sister:

  1. Call the rummage/garage sale to see if they are having a private sale before their opening day.
  2. Become friends with a seller if they have good items, because you never know what things they will be looking to sell in the future. 
  3. Look for upper middle class areas to do garage/rummage sale-ing because they always have the better brand names items. 
  4. Look for neighborhood garage sales that fit what you are looking for. For example, a newer and younger person sub-division for children’s clothing.

I will definitely be doing a lot more “garage sale-ing” now that I got all of this stuff for such a cheap price, all of it brand new looking. The beginning of what I thought was going to be a horrible day, turned out to be a fun super savings shopping day for both my sister and I!

Pictured Above: Niece and nephew featured in garage sale pajamas.

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Today's Date:
Tuesday, March 28, 2017