As I wrote the other day, I am a sucker for garage sales. I love to stop and browse, thrilled by the possibility of all the cool things I might discover.
Admittedly it takes a lot of looking to find just one great item. And while it may be worth it in the end, the process of sifting through tons of junk to find that diamond in the rough can be annoying and even depressing.
As someone who has hosted a decent number of garage sales myself, I know first-hand the temptation to load the tables up with all the crap you might really be better off just tossing in the garbage. There’s always the chance that someone will want to pay you a couple dollars for it, right? You never know what people will want!
There have been many things I never expected to sell that flew off the table for inexplicable reasons. My best sells (or, in some cases, giveaways) were those things I am most thankful not to be storing anymore.
My Best Sells Include:
- My father-in-law’s old exercise bike. This was one of those old-fashioned models composed of cranks, levels, and bars designed to crush your fingers and fling you from the contraption at the first sign of exertion. We didn’t want to just toss this relic—it was a family item, after all, and rather big for the garbage can—but I had no confidence we’d find a buyer. Only an hour after we lifted the curtain on our garage sale, some old codger fell in love with it. Not only did he take it off our hands, he gave us $50 for it!
- The chiming cathedral alarm clock. This was a gift I got at one of those “white elephant exchanges” coworkers do at Christmastime. I somehow ended up with this massive, plastic alarm clock in the shape of a cathedral whose alarm is a distorted recording of bells ringing. Not only was this thing annoying to listen to, but it was an eyesore, and a large one. The buyer who snapped this treasure up practically swooned over it. We were so happy we tossed in some double-D batteries for free.
- Our dog. Now I’m sure some of you just gasped in horror, but a person has to be reasonable, and I had been suffering from allergies for nine months with no relief ever since we welcomed this infernal—I mean adorable—animal into our home. What better place to find a new owner than a garage sale? Of course he got a lot of interest, especially from the children and ultimately from a kind woman who adopted him right there on the spot. To our credit, we didn’t sell him; we just loaded the huge bag of dog food into her car and waved goodbye. My allergies cleared up within a week.
So as you can see, the range of things people buy and sell at garage sales is impressive. Don’t give up on the idea that your large, unwanted, and even hated possessions—along with the occasional animal—might well find a better home with a more suitable owner, right there in your driveway.
What have you managed to unload at a garage sale? What the wackiest thing you’ve ever sold?