The Garage Sale Review

Documenting crap that people sell in their yards

The controversial plight of the early bird

Nick, a self-proclaimed early bird, has been chased out of a garage sale with a broom for showing up too early.

Nick, a self-proclaimed early bird, has been chased out of a garage sale with a broom for showing up too early.

Hola, crap crusaders! The Garage Sale Review is back after a brief hiatus, and since my last column put the yard sales of Southern Oregon in the secondhand spotlight, I figured it was only right to return to Crescent City — my first love when it comes to stumbling into strangers’ yards and printing demented ramblings in the newspaper about what I find there.

Sadly, there were only three garage sales listed in the classifieds on Saturday, so this week’s junk manifesto was a bit limited by a lack of cool stuff for sale. But I soldiered on, keeping in mind what Dad always said, “When life hands you a rusty barbecue grill, spraypaint it black and sell it to an unsuspecting sucker for double what you paid.”

Even though I didn’t come across many interesting items this week, and I’ve also totally forgot any life lessons my dad taught me that actually had any value, I did manage to dig into an important element of garage sale culture: early birds.  Read the rest of this entry »

Frog love and the classified ad piggyback

frogsWhat’s happening, you beautiful bargain bandits? This weekend I decided to turn the tables on everything you’ve come to expect from this garage sale column. “Did he finally stop blathering on about old junk?” you might ask.

No, faithful readers, I’m still blathering on about junk, and I always will be. But this weekend I’m blathering about the junk in Brookings. 

Not only are the garage sales in Brookings located in a completely different city than the sales in Crescent City, they’re also located in a completely different state. The people of Oregon typically follow very different rules (these are called laws) regarding society, culture and the pursuit of happiness than the rules that Californians follow, and this was made quite clear to me when I ran into a person who the State of Oregon had allowed to be absolutely obsessed with frogs. As this person’s license plate stated, she was “unfrogettable.” 

Let’s begin, shall we?

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Legend of the lunch meat-eating eels

bethesdaHow are you, my fellow crusaders of crap? I woke up on Saturday and I immediately knew that it was going to be a beautiful day for garage sales. And that proved to be so true when I found for sale a huge 50-gallon tank that used to contain several lunchmeat-eating eels at the second garage sale I went to. Let’s get started.

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The true value of a remote controlled deer head

quickcashcharlieHello you garage sale fiends! This weekend’s sales taught me a valuable lesson, and I’m going to share what I learned with you here because I think you might find it inspiring.

Lesson: It’s important to have patience, as well as to keep working toward your goal. And regardless of whether that goal is finding a good garage sale, or perhaps a less worthy objective like choosing to save your money and marriage by not filling your house with the rusted junk you buy in strangers’ yards, you need to remember to rise to the top, straight to the top, had the guts got the glory, went the distance, now I’m not going to stop, just a man and his will to survive.

Whoa, sorry, I blacked out and started typing the lyrics to “Eye of the Tiger.” Basically, what I’m trying to say is that since it’s still early in the year, there are some weekends, like this one, when there aren’t a lot of garage sales. And if you don’t persevere through tough times then you might miss out on a real diamond in the rough — like the last sale I went to this weekend, where I met Quick Cash Charlie and he told me the tale of his talking deer head. I’ll start at the beginning.

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The Wolf of Cherrywood Street

IMG_0800When I woke up on Saturday morning I clutched my skull. I regretted my life, my decisions and my drunken defiling of that sacred period of time called “Friday night.” Yep, you guessed it, gentle reader: hangover. I rocked back and forth in my bed as I massaged my throbbing cranium and thought something along the lines of Ouch. Should not have drank those drinks last night. And then I thought Of course! I know how to fix this hangover! I’ll go sift through the crap that people put out in their yards on Saturday mornings!

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The path to yard sale enlightenment

Is there room in your heart for a wind-up Elvis doll?

Is there room in your heart for a wind-up Elvis doll?

Ahoy thar, you junk junkies! Welcome to the newest edition of The Garage Sale Review – the blog that chronicles the deals Gillian Rhodes and myself, assisted by the navigationally-astute, bargain-sniffing wunderkind, Brendan Keifer, wrangle up as we cruise around Austin munching kolaches and digging through the crap that people put out in their yards to sell on Saturday morning.

It’s tough out there on the open road, faithful reader, being relentlessly trailed by bloodthirsty garage sale sharks who would ship their own mother down the river for a few dollars off that BBQ grill that’s for sale over there on 35th and Avenue H. But someone’s got to do it or the tale of that haggle-torn BBQ grill would never be told. So sit your ass down, don’t touch anything because we haven’t washed it off yet, and check out what we found this week.

Read the rest of this entry »

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