Garage Sale Finds - they're out there waiting for you
There are garage sale finds out there in your neighborhood, and within your community that could be a wonderful way to acquire something useful at very low cost. Only you can determine whether something is a good buy. Often that requires that you need or want it, and it's a reasonable price to begin with.
The "price" of something includes not only what you pay for it, but the cost of driving around to the various sales in your area. That's why I usually plan my route and include a good number of sales during each excursion. I also stop by sales that I encounter when I'm on my way to or from other things. Each of these techniques allows me to minimize unnecessary travel and still make use of neighborhood sales.
I'd like to highlight four garage sale finds that I think many will appreciate. Let me tell you about a knife, a welder, a bunch of blue jeans, and DVD player. Each shows a somewhat different aspect of buying things at garage sales. I think you'll find the story behind these items to be of interest.
First off, I purchased a J. A. Henckels chef knife for 25 cents at a church rummage sale. Generally a knife like this would cost $30 to $80 in a retail store. I was able to get it for a quarter because the price wasn't marked, and the person who sold it to me didn't know what it was and simply suggested a price that might induce me to buy it. I would have paid much more for it, but was happy to get it at a price of four for a dollar - only there was just one to be had.
This is an example of where I knew the value of an item, and the seller didn't. To the seller, this was just an unwanted kitchen knife that someone included in the rummage sale.
The next item I wish to share with you cost me $25, but still represents one of the best garage sale finds I've encountered in years. The item is an arc welder with cables and a stand on rollers. It's a 220 volt unit, so it doesn't operate from a standard outlet, but then a serious welder generally needs 220 volts anyway.
I was able to pick this up at a greatly reduced price because the seller didn't know whether the unit worked, he only knew that the family didn't make use of it anymore. So, I took a chance on it, and it works just fine. Compact 220 volt stick welders retail somewhere in the range of $400 to $500. So, I now have a stick welder in the shop and in my garage. It matches one of my criterion for great garage sale finds - something I can get good use out of.
This is an example of something in an unknown condition, and the price is greatly reduced because of it. Sometimes, sellers will even offer to take back the item and refund your money if it doesn't work.
My next purchase involved blue jeans - lots of them. I spotted a couple of totes filled with Levi brand 517 blue jeans that were too long for me, but perfect in the waist. Two hadn't even been worn. I asked how much for both boxes and the price came back as $7. The two totes were worth nearly that much, and either pair of the unworn jeans were worth far more than that. When I arrived home, I counted out the pairs of jeans. There were 36 pairs - that's a lifetime of blue jeans. Retail price is about $40 a pair, and some places are advertising that as a markdown price. Is this one of the great garage sale finds? You bet!
Clearly, these blue jeans would have sold for a dollar each, or perhaps more, but since I offered to buy them all, the seller was reluctant to price them out separately, or even count them. If the truth be known, this family probably has more money than they know what to do with, and that acted in my favor.
Last on my list of garage sale finds is a DVD player. It's a very basic unit with a remote control. I plugged it into an outlet at the garage sale to see that it worked. It behaved as one would expect, but I didn't have a chance to test it in terms of display capability. There was no cost associated with the unit since it was in the "free box." Sometimes garage sale finds are located in the free box, so be sure to look for it.
Free is always a good price if you can use what's being offered. DVD players can be had for about $20 retail, so this makes this garage sale item a great "buy."
As it turns out, the DVD player only displays in black and white, but it's still one of the great garage sale finds because I can use it for my old black and white movies, and what's wrong with watching an older movie in black and white anyway?
Done with Garage Sale Finds, back to Frugal Living Tips