7.25.2012

Yard Sales: The Reason I Pay Full Price For, Well, Mainly Nothing

25:1. That is the approximate ratio of new to secondhand things in our house. I came to this number by the highly scientific method of sitting here at the computer and thinking for .03 seconds. Like I said, scientific. But science isn’t always totally foolproof, right? Take Marie Curie for example.

Seriously, secondhand stuff makes up the majority of my house. I don’t pay full price for much of anything, and don’t buy much of anything brand new. Thrift stores are okay (the ones around here can have ridiculously high prices), but yard sales..they are the fudge to my brownies. The ice to my cream. They are, to me, what radium was to Marie Curie. Until it killed her.

Because really, where else can you get 10 clear (they really aren’t blue), cut glass plates for just $2 total?

why secondhand is better

Where else can you get all four of these lights for just $13 total?

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Where else can you get these two ornate picture frames for $6 total?

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Where else can you get 6 regular, non-ornate but still perfectly acceptable picture frames for $2 total? (Side note: I will not pay more than $.25 for a plain, wooden small picture frame and generally not more than $1 for a large one. Why? Because I know I can find them for that cheap somewhere else, if not at that particular yard sale. Thrift store frame prices are generally too high for me. I might be a dying breed.)

why secondhand is better5

Where else can you get a globe on a stick for $4?

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Where else can you get a brassy scale for $3?

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Where else can you get two fancy bathroom fixtures for $1.25 total (and from two separate yard sales, nonetheless)?

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Where else can you get a photo of a guy and his beloved fastened to a plastic plate and a wooden paddle?

why secondhand is better8You know you want to pin that.

If you enthusiastically chanted “Nowhere but a yard sale, of course!” because I tricked you with that whole repetitive question and answer thing, sorry. Not this time. Because that plate gem was free, from a trash can next to a yard sale. I can’t decide if it was tossed because the relationship ended badly or the concept of screwing a picture to a plastic plate and then a wooden paddle ended badly. But I have big plans for that wooden paddle. Big plans. Okay, just plans.

Do you buy mostly new, or mostly used? What are your price limits for typical yard sale fare like picture frames? Who is going to run out and plaster a photo of themselves on a plastic plate?

Don’t forget: the Pretty Prints digital print giveaway ends tonight at midnight! There will be two winners!

P.S. As you might have noticed, I just became part of the BlogHer publishing network. Rick just emailed me to say there was a floating ad on my blog when he loaded the page. I fiddled with some settings and hope it’s fixed, but if you see a floating ad yourself, please please please let me know—I opted out of those because they are, well, annoying. How can you see pictures of picture plate paddle art when there is an ad hanging out there?

25 comments :

  1. i can't wait to create a gallery wall of plastic plate frames on wooden paddles!

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  2. Preaching to the choir, lol! I LOVE yard sales. Just this morning, though, I dropped a sweet stone coaster I'd bought (for a buck-er-oo) and I was soooo sad because it was cool and turquoise and a sliver of the price of store-bought stone accessories. But I sucked it up because each one worked out to be a quarter. If I had bought the magazine-worthy sets I've seen pinned (for a shocking $30 or $40) I would have totally blown a gasket. Yet another perk: yard saling keeps me sane.

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  3. I love second hand stuff! I try to make sure that old stuff outnumbers the ikea stuff in our place (we only really buy new stuff at Ikea).
    That paddle... wow!

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  4. I feel like we don't have great yard sales around here. I find very few with things other than beat-up plastic baby toys and clothes. Those that do have things like furniture are either way overpriced or not really worth buying. I'll keep at it (becuase I have gotten a few steals) but I'd love to have mostly secondhand things in our house!

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    1. Neighborhood sales or street sales are my favorite, because then you can just walk and not feel like you're driving around to find overpriced stained stuff/baby clothes/nothing. We drove into several neighborhood sales when we went (two in developments) and you could tell that they were young communities because there was a TON of baby stuff for sale and just as many little kids milling around on bikes. :)

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  5. Jealous of your glass plates & brass scale (hey -- your pharmacist could use that...) & the fact that you can go yardsale-ing this time of year without roasting your brain.

    (♥ the brain-ish/brawn-ish/work.ish!)

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    1. I agree that my pharmacist could use it! I actually brought it home and that same pharmacist said “But I’m not a lawyer.” :P

      This is basically the only time of year that we can go yard sale-ing, because once it gets cold and snowy, it’s over! So I guess when you CAN yard sale, we can’t. :)

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  6. I'm with ya! Yard sales are where it's at! You found some really cool vintage stuff. Just last week we were sitting in the office and only one side table in there was purchased from Pier One, but on clearance of course. :)

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  7. I enjoy yard sales but we don't have very many good options by us (or thrift stores for that matter). I also have terrible luck when it comes to finding affordable picture frames :(

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  8. You are so funny. I just love that paddle plate thing, and maybe I will pin it!
    Would you believe I actually got almost that exact same globe at a thrift store for $2.99?! Yes, it actually didn't have a price on it (and it was missing a screw so it looked pretty messed up), so the teenie bopper cashier said "how about 2.99?" Sold.
    But, I love garage sales. I wish I didn't work on Fri and Sat so I could score some good deals. By the time Sunday rolls around nothing is left.

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  9. Wow- you certainly got a good haul at the yard sales!! That brass scale is a pretty awesome find! Cheap frames are also pretty awesome- love finding those!!

    We have a mix in our house... we need more second hand though- love finding deals! That wooden paddle/plate contraption is pretty amazing. lol. What were they thinking? And what are you thinking... definitely curious!!

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  10. You are a yard sale queen! I wish I could track down good deals like this!

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  11. Whoa! Awesome finds! I keep telling myself I'm going to go yard saling, but then I never do.

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  12. I love those brass lantern lights!
    We live in the sticks so yard sales aren't really popular around here. I usually have really bad luck and can never find anything good anyways!

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  13. Omg, that globe for four bucks?! (And Kelly found one for $3?!) Awesome. I hope your only plans for the paddle plate are to replace the picture and hang it proudly in your living room. It's a "conversation piece" for sure.

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  14. I am CONSISTENTLY jealous of your yard sale deals. 4 bucks for that globe?! Seriously. The people around here price yard sale stuff way too high. And I am also with you on the thrift store prices!!

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  15. I need to know what you do with this scale. I saw one and pondered it but passed.

    I don't have very good luck at garage sales around here. Sad.

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  16. I should pay more attention to yard sales. I was part of selling at large family yard sales 2 years in a row but promised myself never again. Maybe that's my problem. I've been on the wrong end of the dollar here. Hmm...

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  17. Hi Erin - I'm right there with you, girl. Yard sales and my new favorite - barn sales. As we live in a small town, a lot of the biggest yard sales are out in the country - barns filled with other people's junk - I'm in heaven.

    But the best is finding things on the side of the road - gotta love a table in a ditch!

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    1. ValenzMom9/26/2012

      You know it, Heather! Here in Austin folks leave stuff on the side of the road all the time. My hubby and I drive around on Sunday to pick up the garage sale leftovers (if they're any good). We scored a pair of beautiful lamps for free last weekend that a lady didn't sell in her garage sale. I love free!

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  18. I seriously need to get a job where I don't work on weekends just so that i can yard sale it up...i miss all the good ones!! I love, love those lamps. I am picturing that light tan one in a bright yellow or funky teal. Can't wait to see what you do with them!

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  19. I was reading along, viciously shaking my head along with everything. Those plates, $2, NO! Brass scale, $3, STOP! I am overly impressed and want to go yardsaling with you! I never have such luck (OK I don't remember the last time I actually went to a yard sale). I've actually had a recent revelation while shopping for appliances. They're expensive !, for starts. Then, whilst trying to find 'the best brand' everyone complains about EVERYTHING and the general internet consensus is that all the good ones are the old models. SO, I am now on the hunt for said used appliances. Wish me luck! And thanks for sharing your treasures, they made me smile!

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  20. Those are some darn fine finds you got yourself there. Especially the paddle picture frame thing (CANNOT wait to see what you do with that one). I still don't garage sale all that much. Usually, if I want something, I just ask D to make it for me. ;)

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  21. THANK you for opting out of the pop-up ads. Those are driving me INSANE. But I am going more insane wanting to know what the heck you're going to do with that paddle thing?!

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  22. Those vintage items are indeed very lovely! Yard sales are indeed worth going since a lot of wonderful stuff can be bought there. Those who are fond of these sales are surely awed with these items that you have showed. Thanks for sharing.

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