Looking for some summer bargains? Check out your local yard and garage sales. Not only might you find something worth the pittance that items usually go for, you'll probably be entertained.
Admit it. You're fascinated by the variety of junk that people buy. We all are. And not only do they buy those things, then they go put them out there for the whole world to see via a yard sale! Everything we own, of course, is a certified collectible. Or we're certifiable for buying it. I forget which!
But yard sales are not a time for self-consciousness, whether you're buying or selling. We all like to rummage. Just go and enjoy. It's OK. You're not alone. Chris, aka The Yard Sale Queen, offers confessions of a yard and garage sale, thrift store, bargain hunting addict at her blog.
She also maintains a separate site with tips on how to be a savvy sale shopper, as well as a list of junk to avoid. Yes, grossness is contained therein, so click (and shop) carefully … very carefully!
Hitting the bargain hunting highway: If you live along the Highway 127 corridor, check out the World's Longest Yard Sale. It covers 450 miles in three states: Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
The sale originated 19 years ago with a local Tennessee county executive whose goal was to get travelers off the Interstate and onto the less-traveled highways of the Volunteer State and neighboring Kentucky. It worked.
If you're lucky, you might even be able find enough bargains to justify
the cost of driving the whole 450-mile route. OK, you'd have to be
very, very lucky or a very, very good shopper, but … just a thought.
Can't make even a part of the Longest sale this weekend? Then mark your calendars for these other mega sales:
- U.S. Route 12 Heritage Sale from Detroit to New Buffalo, Mich., on Aug. 11 to 13.
- World's Largest Garage Sale in Warrensburg, N.Y. on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
- U.S. Route 80 Sale from Mesquite, Texas, to Vicksburg, Miss., from Oct. 20 to 22.
I'm fascinated by the highway theme here. Apparently the urge to buy kitsch is not dampened by the aforementioned high price of gasoline.
Automotive detour: The 374-mile East Texas to Mississippi sale is held in conjunction with Fall Auto Cruise. And the above Web site for the Michigan yard sale also links to, not surprisingly, automotive related events, such as Capri ’s Classic Car Poker Run coming up Aug. 17 in Coldwater and the Heritage Day Car Show in downtown Union City on Oct. 7.
A higher calling for used items: Some yard sales are designed for a more worthy purpose, like this one detailed by Mighty Bargain Hunter. The community-wide sale he and his family recently participated in benefited families involved in the costly process of adopting children from another country, in this specific case, Chinese children needing homes.
As MBH notes, the nobler the purpose, the better the sales. And you'll feel good about yourself for participating, too.
You also can get that warm and fuzzy feeling of doing nice things for people if, instead of holding a yard sale of your own, you decide to give your unwanted items to a charitable group. Bonus: If you itemize your taxes, you can claim a deduction for your goodwill. Get more information on the tax break here.
And if you want something new instead of used, then you're in luck, too. Several states are holding their annual sales tax holidays this weekend. Find details at Attention, tax-free shoppers.