” For some, it is all about the find. For me, it is the hunt” – Bucks County Blessings
Tag sale, yard sale, garage sale, porch sale, estate sale…whatever the name, the ultimate goal is the still the same. I truly believe in the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. I also believe in recycling home décor. I wanted to share my thoughts on how these sales, thrift stores and flea markets are changing and could potentially be a thing of the past very very soon.
THE GARAGE SALE
I have had many wonderful years of treasure hunting and memories made via the garage sale. In the past I would get the newspaper on Thursday, highlight my route of homes and start out early on Saturday mornings (but never too early for the dreaded early birds are the worst). I loved the thrill of the hunt. Early on, I never knew where the road would take me and used a paper map! Those were the best of days. I absolutely love to see how other people live, and you can pretty much figure it out by the items they are selling. I loved talking to the sellers and probably get that from my dad who loved to talk and meet people along the way no matter where he went. In the past it was primitive collecting for me, and some of the best garage sales were here in Bucks County, PA. I would end up at a huge stone home or farm, and it was wonderful to just walk up to the property and see it close up. My car was filled to the brim with country finds for a very small amount of money. I remember going out with $20 and coming home with a car full of antiques and treasures.
Up until a few years ago, sales around here were thriving, but I feel a big change when it comes to garage sales. People do not want to go to the trouble of pulling everything out to tag, would rather use their Saturday’s for family time, or would rather drop their treasures off to goodwill for ease and a bit of tax deduction. All of which is understandable but I miss the old sailing days. I miss the people.
THE ESTATE SALE
I went to my first estate sale last year. It was very different. Estate sales used to be mainly for selling off the estate remains of a deceased individual. That’s not the case all the time anymore. For example, this estate sale I went to was a divorce situation. People hire a company to tag, list, advertise and run the sale and take a portion of the profit. However this time the husband was home. He was just sitting in a chair talking with everyone. An older southern gentleman. I felt awkward walking thru his home. Clothes were still hanging beautifully in the closets and shoes neatly lined up (I need an estate sale manager just to get my closet to this point). I was fascinated. Even the cosmetics were out on display. I wondered how this couple got to this point in their lives. It was sad in a way. Estate sales usually run 2-3 days. Every day items are marked down, so the last day is the best prices, that is, if what you want is still there. The next estate sale was dramatically different. This time, it was a deceased individual’s possessions. Again, it felt sad. I don’t do the estate route much unless I see a picture posted of something I would love to have.
THE FLEA MARKET
Flea markets are changing too. How to describe? Well, most flea markets are filled with… garage sale leftovers. Just lots of stuff. Piles of stuff. Flea markets in the past generally stuck to the golden rule of collectibles and antiques (something older than 100 years). You could walk the market and see items you had never seen or even heard of before. It was a learning experience. Very cool. I still frequent the flea markets close by once in a while but I don’t see many people buying. Rather, I see vendors buying from each other. They have created a little world for themselves and I feel like an outsider watching their interactions.
THE THRIFT STORE
Oh how the thrift stores have changed. Once low low prices for everything under the sun, antiques and collectibles included but now, stores are branching off into “boutique shops”. All it takes is a wonderfully creative person to make “stuff” look more appealing, hence a higher price. With so many gift shops and stores closing in this era, this is where many people are shopping. I have a favorite boutique shop that I go to regularly because I love how things are displayed. Sometimes I find a treasure, but sometimes I walk out with an idea which to me is just as exciting. I really just hope boutique thrift stores don’t get too ahead of themselves and lose sight of the purpose of what they really are, a thrift store. I try to go to the ones that support a meaningful charity.
I have been fortunate enough to visit two nationally known shows, Round Top Antique Show in Round Top, Texas and the Bouckville Antique Show in Madison County, NY. Both with my sister and what a fun experience. A mass amount of vendors with beautifully displayed wares and miles and miles of just treasure hunting. Antiques, collectibles, food, music and a sister along for the ride make for a great day. These vendors stock pile their collections for the entire year in order to bring a variety of items to showcase. It’s hard work and I appreciate them keeping the thrill of the hunt alive.
A great find. The hanging pie rack to the right was from an old farm nearby that used to sell their pies made from the fruits in their orchards. Sadly the farm is no longer operational but the sweet old woman who farmed the land was happy to see it go to a good home. I told her I would cherish it forever.
Fall in Love with Bucks County, PA is coming up in my next blog. Hope you stop by!
Bucks County Blessings