Poo Pants and Santa
I was fully prepared to return to the Mega Porn Sale once I realized all those paperbacks could be worth a hot dollar. I also knew I could convince Erin to come because the person who lived there seemed to have a ton of sports-related paper memorabilia and Timmy has trained Erin in the art of spotting when it is or isn’t valuable.
We got a late start but finally returned. I advised Erin to start in the back yard where all of the papers were. I went back down to the basement and much to my dismay, a fellow porn-seeker had nabbed all of the paperbacks (except for the ones in super rough shape.) Still, I hung out in the room of porn and entertainment mags and ended up finding an issue of Life with Manson on the cover, and some old People and Time magazines about the Star Wars movies. I also found an issue of Hustler that seemed too weird to pass up. Erin snapped a picture of me sorting through the mess:
The first day of the sale, there was a person in the room at all times, making sure no kids entered. On the second day, this wasn’t the case. So at one point, I see two little boys walk in and think, “Oh man… what am I supposed to do here?” because I’ve heard horror stories from other people when they’ve tried to “parent” a stranger’s kids. After a solid minute or two of no parents in sight, I asked them if their mom was nearby and said that this room wasn’t for kids. They left, thankfully.
It took Erin forever to get inside the house, which seemed like a good sign, and it was. But I’ll let her inform you about her finds. A few minutes after she got into the porn room, an older guy came in and the two boys were back again! Apparently he was their grandpa and they were showing him some toy they found. He told them they had to leave the room and then shouted out to them, “…And don’t touch anything in this house!” Erin and I both started cracking up, as did the grandpa.
There were two other sales nearby that didn’t look that great, but why pass them up? At the first of these, I found two cool rag rugs and a holiday sweater that I will wear proudly and without irony. Here is one thing I did not buy…
…but only ‘cause it was empty!
I found an old Superman mug and a vintage pasta maker at the next sale, both to sell.
On the way to the last sale, we got a “snack” of Taco Bell cheesy gordita crunches (don’t judge (I got beans, not meat)) and after that tasty treat, Erin asked if I had a treat, which I often do. I gave her a Lindt truffle and as she was unwrapping it, it occurred to me that it was probably all melted from being in my bag all day. Bottom line: the truffle exploded onto Erin’s lap, so I kept making fun of her poo pants for the rest of the day because I’m a fantastic friend.
That was taken after she tried to clean it up with a taco bell napkin and water. Always a Girl Scout.
The chocolate explosion occurred right before we were going into the last sale of the day, which was the best by far in terms of interesting things to look at. It was packed with stuff, the prices were fair, and lots of the stuff was really neat. I found some cool vintage wrapping paper and a ton of vintage cards that were bundled into different groups, and priced really reasonably. My favorite lot was this lot of cards from a baby shower in the ’50s.
If these are something you’re interested in purchasing, you’re in luck!
I found a bunch of cool things at this sale, but this entry is getting long, so I’ll show you the best one:
That is indeed a hanger with a St. Bernard head. And only $3!
Right before we were leaving (they let us stay after closing time), I noticed this giant Santa that I had somehow not noticed for the 30 minutes I had been in the basement. It was super cool and old and wood, and marked $20, so I knew one of us had to take it home. I showed it to Erin and we admired it, and then she remembered that her dad really wanted some sort of old timey Santa for his house at Christmastime. We weren’t sure it was going to fit in the car because of its giganticness, but again, because we were both Girl Scouts, we made it work. Here is a picture of us with Santa inside Erin’s parents’ house:
Don’t ask what I’m wearing.
Update from Erin: As Sarah mentioned, I went straight for the newspaper stacks outside at the “porn sale.” It was 100 degrees out that day, and there were so many boxes stacked up to sort through. I am SO BAD in the heat. One time I threw up in the magical bushes at Disney World because I got heatstroke. (Fun fact—this was actually the first time I threw up in the magical bushes. Years later, I choked on a pill and threw up in said bushes again.)
So I am sweating like mad and moving all of these boxes around. At one point I was sure I was going to pass out. Lucky for me, this person was pretty organized in their newspaper hoarding, so eventually I figured out a good system to get through the boxes quicker. Each box was a different year, so I just scanned the top papers in each box until I saw 1968.
I sorted through this box and ended up with a giant stack of Detroit Tigers World Series papers and scorebooks. I was thrilled! Timmy went through the stack later that day and estimated that I could make about $200 once everything is sorted and sold. I paid $5 for all the papers.
That is just a small sampling of the papers I found. Those Michigan football programs in the stack were found inside the house. Again, this person was pretty organized. There was a stack of manila envelopes and a few were labeled “Michigan Ohio State.” I just grabbed all of those because I knew they would be most collectible. Inside these programs are ticket stubs from the games too!
At the second sale I found an item that I would previously have considered a “holy grail.” Zach and I are pretty obsessed with the Zodiac Killer, and both just finished reading a book about the case. The lead suspect in the case wore a Zodiac brand watch. I have never seen one of these in person, and we see TONS of watches at every sale. Lo and behold, I found one. It was pretty beat up, but it was still so cool to have as a collectible. It was $5.
After doing some research, Zach and I realized that these watches are pretty collectible! I listed it on ebay and it’s getting a lot of interest. The watch is rolled gold, and an automatic, which make it even more valuable. I hope to find another one of these in better condition one day, and keep it.
The last sale had the best items by far. I bought an old metal Coleco hockey game to sell, some Seiko watches to sell, and this adorable little guy:
Now that I know how collectible old rubber face toys are, I look for them everywhere. In fact, I found this amazing blog all about these guys. You can check it out here if you’re a fan of these toys too.
P.S. My dad got home really late the night that Sarah and I dropped off Santa at his house. He said that when he came inside he started screaming and running because he thought that Santa was an intruder. BEST.
Last Friday, Sarah and I got off to a really rough start of our estate sale day. George the otterhound got neutered earlier in the week, and since then had had reoccurring problems and like 26 trips to the vet. This morning he had messed with his stitches again and things “down there” were looking pretty awful. Like a good friend, Sarah agreed to postpone our treasure hunting and go with me to the vet.
After peeing in the vet’s lobby, trying to bite the vet (to be fair, he touched George’s incision), and about 2.5 hours of elapsed time, we took George back home and our estate sale day finally commenced.
The first sale was in Dearborn Heights and I didn’t buy anything. I remember thinking, “look at all this stuff.” It was just that—stuff. In fact, all the sales this day would turn out to be mostly “stuff.” This photo was from the second sale, which I believe was in Livonia.
At this second sale, my mom and sister met up with us. They had just come from a sale in Farmington that was selling a bunch of penguin stuff. My sister is the penguin keeper at the Detroit Zoo, so she was pretty excited. My mom was excited because she bought some Chico’s shirts at the sale.
Anyway, at this sale I only bought a huge stack of padded mailing envelopes. Again, a letdown. Here’s Sarah rummaging through more of the “stuff”:
I did find a stack of photos that I was quickly obsessed with. How cute is this dog?! You can tell he was so loved!! The pics made me think of Georgie back home, and how I should forgive him for almost biting the vet.
The last sale was in Northville and was advertised as having “bling watches.” When we got there, the two guys running the sale were young hipsters. I asked them about the bling watches and they said that each watch originally retailed for $1,100. It is true that “1100.00” was written in pencil on the inside of the box, but I told the hipsters that this had to be in pesos.
They had two of these watches for sale, each around $100, which they admitted was absurd. The watches were stainless steel, made in China, and in some hilariously janky “JustBling” boxes. They were also crazy huge. Oh, and for the record, WTF is up with those bands in the box?!?! Yes, let me put a pink fake leather band on my bling watch.
I mean, who knows really, maybe those are real diamonds. Maybe we missed out on the best purchase of the year.
At this sale, I did make two good finds. The first is a Wagner Ware ice cream or candy scoop, which seem to be pretty rare. It was priced $2.
I also found this old cast iron dog hidden in the basement. Those hipsters charged me $1 for him, which is a steal. I didn’t know much about this guy at the time, but it turns out that Boston Terrier cast iron doorstops and banks are very collectible. I put him up on ebay and he instantly had over 10 watchers and 4 bids.
There are apparently TONS of fakes and new reproductions of this type of cast iron terrier. I’m hoping that the interest my little guy has generated so far means that he is in fact real. I put up a million pictures of him in the listing, and described him in detail, so I’m sure someone will let me know if he is fake. Right now he is at $15.
The last thing I will mention about this sale is that I loudly referred to a terrarium as a TERRANIUM, which everyone in the immediate area found quite hilarious. Idk what a terranium is, but my guess is some kind of dinosaur.
P.S. Shout-out to mom Joan for taking all of us out to eat after the sales. We went to some Irish pub place and I ordered fish and chips. This was the first time I have ordered fish and chips since I was like 5, so it is therefore notable. Also notable is that it gave me a crazy stomachache and I forbid Sarah from saying the words “fish” and “tartar sauce” for the rest of the day.
Update from Sarah: Erin’s got herself all screwed up here. The dog photos she posted were from the first sale. Now, let me just say—this sale looked like it was probably good the first day. I really wanted to go to it because there were a lot of black and white photographs in the pictures of the sale. But George had to go and screw up my plans to get there early. Regardless, I still came out with a box full of interesting treasures for $10. Here’s a picture of one of the treasures:
I didn’t even know this treasure was in the box of stuff, which is pictured here:
I had found a really large box of papers and old travel brochures, and basically just threw anything that seemed remotely interesting into a smaller shoebox. I ended up finding a bunch of greeting cards in the envelopes they were sent in, so that was pretty cool—I can add them to the big lot of used cards I’m going to list on eBay. I also found lots and lots of travel ephemera and TONS of letters. It was really interesting to go through, but also very sad.
The second sale was full of a bunch of stuff, but nothing too incredible. I got a Knickerbocker bear whose music box doesn’t work, some old children’s books, and a bunch of vintage napkins and plates. Look how cute:
The last sale was sad, but I did find a Soul Hits of 1967 CD, and I can’t stop listening to this song in my car. One of the best ever. The CD also contains many other great Motown hits. The other thing I got was this weird milk glass mug for fifty cents:
I can’t think of anything else that happened that we’re leaving out. Sales have been pretty dud-y lately! Hope that changes this coming weekend!
Hoarders. No, like REAL ones.
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: