“Just give me 15 minutes!” my friend would toss back over her shoulder, jumping out of the car and running for the front door. I laughed and assured her she didn’t need to rush, as I would make good use of my time checking Facebook or filing my nails. We had great fun shopping and eating out, but my left eye twitched when she would point out the roadside estate sale sign. I would rather have a root canal than darken the doors of an estate sale. It was NOT my thing! Nevertheless, I was a good sport. I followed the arrow, and gave her the 15 minutes.
Then I began to watch while I waited. Out of the garage great stuff like a riding lawn mower made its way up a ramp onto a man‘s truck, or a young couple loaded up a beautiful patio set. I might see someone carrying out a big art easel, or a family scoring a set of bunk beds. By that time, my friend would jump back in the car and show me her treasures…a book she had wanted, but would have never paid store bought price, a curling iron still new in the box, copy paper for her printer, and a vintage dress perfect for a party.
Then, one day, perhaps, it was just too hot to stay in the car, or curiosity got the best of me. I went in. I saw. I was hooked. The girl who turned up her nose at anything not brand new flashing a bar code from a local department store got it. I discovered I had many misconceptions about estate sales. This is one of the best forms of stretching my family’s hard earned dollar, and purchasing lasting quality over buying overseas junk. Compare the quality of a mid-century bedroom suite to a particle board rendition from a big box store, and you will be blown away. When I bring home a set of Craftsmen tools, or a unique piece of jewelry and I know I found value and quality and still have money in my pocket, there is a sense of a job well done. Or maybe I found a dog house, or a bicycle….the possibilities are endless!
I have discovered shopping this way is a wonderful way to decorate my home. One of my favorite pieces is a one-of-a-kind heavy wrought-iron scroll work I discovered at a sale which cost me pennies on the dollar. The retail cost would have prevented me from buying it brand new if I could have found something similar. I have purchased exercise equipment, reliable appliances, and a copper fountain that is my pride and joy.
Estate Sales are a gold mine for those of us with an eye for quality, a love of the unique, a desire to make our family dollars go further, and who enjoy some good fun. I encourage you to get out of your car and go in. Tell Aunt Bee Jennifer sent you!
Jennifer M., Longview