No, it’s not a race we are talking about, unless you want to be that first car in the driveway of a yard sale. However, many jump out of the vehicle and hit the ground running for those one-of-a-kind finds. If that is you, you will certainly need good running shoes!
I remember, in my younger years, setting out for yard sale bargains with my girlfriends. Long before GPS and other navigation systems, we would wake up with the chickens, put on our weekend casuals and map our way around the community to seek and find treasures. We had our eye on “vintage clothing.” It was always a day of fun and laughter, especially if we left with an item (or two) in hand.
It’s hard to pinpoint just when and where these sales actually began taking place in history, but they are certainly an American mainstay! So much credit has been given to yard sales that you will actually find continuous-mile yard sales across the country, television shows that revolve around similar ventures, and entire songs devoted to them.
According to Wikipedia, “A garage sale (also known as a yard sale, tag sale, moving sale…) is an informal event for the sale of used goods by private individuals, in which sellers are not required to obtain business licenses or collect sales tax (though, in some jurisdictions, a permit may be required).”
Owensboro is full of yard sale enthusiasts that live for the thrill of the hunt.
I had the opportunity to speak with one who jokingly contemplated remaining nameless out of fear of competitive shoppers that might muscle their way into his shopping territory. However, being the equal opportunity yard sale Jedi that he is, Claude Bacon decided to reveal some of the reasons he “sales,” as well as some of his tips of the trade.
Bacon has been a treasure hunter, in one form or another, his entire life, but has been an active collector and buyer/seller for over 30 years. He comes from a proud lineage with parents who were antique collectors, buyers and sellers. As a kid, Bacon didn’t just attend school; he also grew up attending auctions, estate sales, garage sales, and flea markets. He was educated in the art of appreciating others’ treasures.
When asked for what kind of items does he look, Bacon humorously responded, “It may be easier to ask what I don’t look for, because everything is on the table. Some items are for my personal collections, some for resale, some to repurpose, and some to give to my friends.” He says there is not typically much bartering involved, but that there are several online sites that do offer items for barter (trade).
Bacon found it difficult to respond to questions about his best find. “That’s nearly impossible to answer because the list is so long! It’s not really about the items as much as it is the hunt. The best find? It’s the one I haven’t found yet. It’s the unknown that keeps you searching. Call it a childlike curiosity and sense of adventure about searching for the unknown. The best find is the history you’ll learn when researching items and the people you meet when you’re in the field. My favorite recent find? A stuffed moose head, but I don’t think my wife would agree.”
Bacon has some wise advice for others. “Beginners – It’s competitive! Get up early, do your research, be willing to negotiate, and smile. If you like it, buy it and don’t worry about its value. There’s a little bit of good in most things, sometimes it’s just hard to find.”
Owensboro is a great city to begin looking for your treasure, whether it’s in a local business, an auction, or as close as your neighbor’s front yard. The thrill of the hunt can keep you entertained and active for hours or even days on end. Are you on your mark and ready to set sale?
For more information about upcoming sales and to sign up for text alerts, please visit http://www.owensbororadio.com/yard_sales/.