Sunday, September 4, 2022

Yard sale

 Yesterday, we dressed up and headed to our favorite little restaurant. It was not open. It should have been based on the hours posted on the door. 

All was not lost. Across the road was a yard sale. There was a LOT of old furniture and tables of stuff. My spidey senses began to tingle.

We darted across the road. Settees. Tables. A chest. Several secretary style desks. Chairs. I mean, probably 50 pieces of furniture...and did I mention the tables of s.t.u.f.f? Dishes. Glassware. Assorted geegaws.

But not one thing was marked with a price. I HATE that. Especially for furniture. There are so many variables. How old is the piece? Condition? Has the piece been rehabbed? Is it a good job or a bad one? I saw a secretary desk.

It still had the key. Good.

It had been completely stripped. If it was really old, this was not good. It was probably a chemical stripper. Pieces had come unglued. The back was broke.

While I was doing my thinking, the man running the show came over and asked what I was looking at in a fussy British accent, which was a bit of a surprise.

I asked the price for the desk, and he began to tell me about how valuable the piece was without giving any numbers. Just that quickly, he began to go down the rows of furniture, telling me how valuable they were, and what they were...no prices given. 

Well, I decided that I was not interested in furniture. I did not need it anyways. I stepped over to a table and picked up a water pitcher. I turned it over and it was marked 'silver solder' which is, by definition, 65% silver with other metal (usually copper and zinc).

Behind me came that snippy British accent. "That is pure silver," he informed me. 

"Actually, it isn't," I began but he interrupted to snap "it IS!"

I put the pitcher on the table and headed for the car. 

The accent came from the porch and across the lawn and tried to chase me. "That is pure sterling silver!"

I shook my head. " it is absolutely not." A man standing near the table picked up the pitcher and carefully set it back down. He gave me a broad grin.




27 comments:

  1. Characters running garage sales are as interesting as the stuff. We always waited for the crazy lady to come. she would buy a whole bunch of stuff and leave half of it there.

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    1. I have had very few garage sales in my life. I either just put it for sale on the yard sale site online, or put it on a freecycle site to give it away. I like looking, but seldom buy much.

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    2. PS: I'm married to the crazy man. The last time he went to a garage sale, he bought $250 worth of oil cans, a titanium crow bar, a railroad sign and I couldn't tell you what all else. I was horrified. He'd spent about $500. I thought he was joking.

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  2. That would irritate me no end. It's a garage sale, not an antique store.

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    1. Most of the things were pretty banged up. They were old, sure, but a lot of them needed an awful lot of work. I was very interested in the settees, but they were very stained and tattered. They would have needed to be completely reupholstered, which is something I don't know how to do.

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  3. We have just cleared my father-in-law's house and my husband has started doing car boot sales to get rid of some of the stuff. He had one woman who asked him if any of the jewellery he was selling (for pennies) was silver. When he politely said no she replied, quite angrily, that the person opposite was selling silver, as if there was some official list of what everyone should sell. It gave us quite a giggle!

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    1. I would have said, "There's probably quite a price difference as well."

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  4. Eccentric English are all very well but he sounds like a right nutter.

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    1. He certainly wanted to argue. I mean the proof was right there as plain as the nose on his face.

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  5. Just may interest you to know the English call them car boot sales, which I have a vague memory that you went to one. We call them garage sales, as the for sale items are usually placed in house driveways in front of the garage. Often they aren't literally but the name sticks.

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    1. Yes. I went to a carboot sale, and loved it. 'Yard sale' and 'garage sale' are used interchangeably here.

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  6. I often get carboot sellers saying:"Well what will you give me?" after I have asked them what they want for something. I usually walk away. Can't stand pushy people.

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    1. "Well, what will you give me?" is always the first volley in a haggle. I don't haggle. It's either worth it or it's not.

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  7. I'm not a yard sale person, but boy this took me back--my mom absolutely loved 'em, I sometimes went with her. One time we went to one that sounded just like yours Debby. After a couple minutes Mom said "Let's go" and I said you barely looked at anything. She said "There's no price tags. Whatever you offer, they'll want more." We left!

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    1. I don't like to debate. But yard sales are a lot of fun. And thrift stores too.

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  8. I'm so glad you called him out on the silver content of that piece. It made me laugh.

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    1. He was very rude and curt. Being a curious person, I was much interested to know what brought him from where he was to a small town in North Western Pennsylvania, but some people are open to friendly talk, and some are not. He most definitely was not.

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  9. Garage sales don’t interest me. We have enough stuff. We have too match stuff.

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    1. Oh, AC! You're missing the point. You buy more so that you can give away the stuff you have!!!! PS: That is a joke. We are very mindful of what we buy. Furniture is a weakness for me. Always has been. But you can get furniture so cheaply at these sales. I would love to start a business. I'd gather up this furniture for pennies, redo it, and then resell it. I even have the name of the store: 'Begin Again'.

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  10. I held one garage sale, invited a couple of neighbors to participate, too. We advertised, "NO EARLY BIRDS". Even had a sign out saying the same. Was hectic for us inside as we were eating and feeding our kids breakfast, but darned if some woman didn't come to the door. She wouldn't take "Not now" for an answer from my husband and he ceased to be polite. She became miffed and stalked off to drive away with her husband. Other than that, everything went well. A sale we held in Arizona was okay except for the woman who owned our house at the time (we later bought it). My neighbor was selling some lovely dresses of her daughters that were clearly marked with a firm price. That woman harassed my neighbor the whole time to the point of utter rudeness insisting on wanting to buy them at a lower price she was offering. Her demands and efforts to humiliate my neighbor, were just disgusting. She just wouldn't accept that the marked prices were firm.

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    1. Once a friend had a pile of children's jeans out. The price was something ridiculous, like 5o cents. A woman began to fuss, wanting them for a lower price. She offered to buy all the pants in size x, if the price was lowered. Her offer was refused several times. Finally a friend said "I have shorts in size x. Would you like to see them?" The woman was very interested. The friend picked up a pair of scissors, lopped the legs off the jeans and handed them to her. " you can have all I got for 50 cents a pair."

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  11. Oh, Lord. There's nothing worse than someone overpricing their yard sale/flea market stuff because they think it's all Chippendale.

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  12. When our neighborhood holds its multifamily garage sale, we are almost always the family that sales the most dollar wise. It isn't that we sell a lot of stuff or price it high, we just price it so that it doesn't come back home with us and we almost always sell every single thing we bring. The other families always price their stuff pretty high and end up carting 75% of it back home after the sale.

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    1. Well, I am sure he had a lot of stuff to haul back inside. We were there at supper time, so I am pretty sure that his sale was winding down...and there was a LOT of stuff.

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  13. My husband groaned about your feral cat hobby too.. not even the money saving figures helped... but your last statement did the trick!!

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