Gosh, last Friday seems like it was so long ago. Erin and I have been spending so much time prepping for this garage sale that I can’t even remember much about the day.
I do remember we started in Farmington Hills, where there was a sale with no pictures. Now, these are incredibly hit or miss. But sometimes they’re great because all it means is that there are some older people running the sale who have no idea about technology and they have a ton of treasures in their home. But the serious collectors don’t come, because if they can’t see pictures in advance, it’s not worth their while. I can remember a couple of sales that lacked pictures where I found some seriously cool stuff.
Unfortunately, this sale was not of that variety. Instead it was this little old lady and her daughter, selling a bunch of household items that were generic and cheap. The woman had clearly been moved into assisted living or was in the process of doing so. However, this sad tale is not without its highlight: When we were in the basement, Erin made a friend. This crazy woman was talking to us NONSTOP about whether we had been to any other sales that day, if we found anything good, etc. Then she picked up a pair of exfoliating gloves and proceeded to tell us about how she loves finding them at sales because she uses them to clean her body, and then throws them in the wash, and then uses them to clean her house—especially the bathtub. We escaped as quickly as possible.
I am racking my brain to try to remember where we went next…I have no idea. I have this picture as proof, though, so it wasn’t good:
Anyway, onto the more memorable moments: At some point, we ended up at a sale that was in a sort of bougie house that contained some cool items. There was a lot of modern/mid-century art, books, and records. But it was abundantly clear that the guy running the sale was a tool and a half. He was wheelin’ and dealin’ the whole time, and his phone kept going off and he would say things like, “This thing’s gonna sell no matter what, so it might as well be YOU who gets it.” Anyway, I found some Stevie Wonder albums, a Disney picture disc, and some books that looked interesting, but absolutely nothing in the home was priced except the artwork and furniture. Speaking of which, here are some pics:
For some reason I was really interested in that head statue but I think it was marked something crazy like $300. Ugh.
Anyway, I got to the front of the line after some waiting and had approximately 6 records and 5 books. While in line, Erin and I were guessing how much he was going to ask for all that crap. $30? $60? And we were also guessing what I’d actually agree to pay. Anyway, he looked at my stack of stuff and was sort of distracted because he was talking to a long lost chum that he ran into. So he said, “Fifteen bucks.” I said ok right away and then he started backpedaling, saying he didn’t see the records. He went on to tell me that the records were $5 a piece. I just looked at him and said, “But…they’re not worth that,” and he told me that people had been telling him that all day. HA! Anyway, he said $30 for all of it and I said no, but that I’d pay $20. He said $25 and I just kept saying no… so he finally agreed! Score! The worst part is that none of what I bought was worth anything, but I did get a couple of cool things that I’ll hang on to, including an illustrated copy of Jane Eyre. Which I’ve never read, and I was an English major. Whoops.
The next sale we hit up was run by the same company, and as soon as we walked in, we saw our favorite phone talker. Greeaaaaat. Just like the last sale run by this company, nothing was priced except big ticket items. Right away, I saw an adorable old teddy bear. I was shocked that Erin didn’t spot him right away. I also found some pretty cool stuff in the basement of this sale, including a few old children’s books that might be worth a few bucks (and had their Detroit Hudson’s price tags still attached—so frickin’ cool!) and some knee huggers!
When we were ready to check out, the woman did the same thing as last time: “What’s up?” Uhm isn’t it obvious that I want to buy these items? Anyway, first thing she looked at was the teddy bear. She scrutinized him and said, “40 dollars” because he might be “worth $300.” Uhm, that raggedy ass teddy is not worth $300. Trust me. I told her that was fine—I didn’t want him for that much. At some point she actually looked these bears up on her iPad, even though I was insisting that I was not buying him to resell. Eventually I made it out of there with all of my finds (including Mr. Tedders) for a total of $55, which seemed reasonable to me.
Once we got out of this sale, we were starving (shocker), so we looked for the closest place. Erin refused to eat fast food so we stopped at some place called McVee’s. It ended up being a typical bar/grill, filled with barflies in the middle of the day, and the menu sounded better than the food tasted. When I’m really hungry, I often can’t make up my mind, so I order everything I might possibly want. In this case it was waffle fries, a Chicago dog, and mac & cheese:
Oh, and a beer. Totally not excessive. Also, for the record, I only ate about 1/3 of this food. Worth noting: Erin was totally reasonable and got a beer and a BLT:
And now she’s blonde. Clearly trying to slowly become me.
We also indulged in a crappy dessert that looked excellent on the menu, and Erin wasted some money playing Keno. Actually, she may have made two dollars.
The last stop of the day was a sale in Detroit that looked like it was really packed. I’m not sure how they did not capture the fact that this was a true hoarder sale in the pictures, but they managed to fool us. The only thing I can say about this house is that it was insanely depressing and gross. It was obviously an older Russian or Czechoslovakian woman living there, and she liked to keep stuff. Lots of it:
This is actually the attic, which, because it was 95 degrees out on Friday, was about 110. I could only stand up there for about five seconds.
When I showed Erin this picture, she almost cried:
The basement was, by far, the worst:
I did find a little bin filled with vintage cards down there, so I purchased that. Another fun fact about this sale was that there was a full human poop floating in the toilet in the bathroom.
After this depressing and horrifying sale, we called it a day as far as sale-ing goes. We stopped at a nursery I needed to go to to pick up some hydrangeas, and then lost some money at the casino.
Update from Erin: There are so many things I love about Sarah’s description. First of all, I can’t believe she hasn’t read Jane Eyre. That is my favorite book of all time. Second, Sarah scoffs at paying $300 for original art and yet she will pay $15 for a Sesame Street cookie jar…BEST.
While phone lady was busy trying to charge Sarah $40 for a bear, I was busy paying a mere $8 total for some vintage Chanel No. 5 and a Tigers World Series newspaper from 1968.
Both are currently blowing up the ebays.
The hoarder sale was the worst. So heartbreaking. We breezed through it pretty quickly because it was actually sort of dangerous. I got hit on the head with a box while rummaging around in the basement. I did end up buying a gold Raymond Weil watch for $20 because I thought Zach might want it. It’s a little small for him, but it looks like we can sell it easily: