I remember going to garage sales as a little girl. To me, it was a whole new world full of cool knick-knacks, furniture and toys...I was blown away by the toys; I was also between nine and 12-years-old and have only moved to the states not too long ago. Now 20 years later I thought garage sales have become obsolete. Not so much! They're still going strong; nothing has changed-nothing but me. A girlfriend of mine had a garage sale a few weeks back and told me to come get her lawn furniture. I came over and it was in full swing. Cars were pulling up and the sales were hot! She had desks, chairs, lawn furniture, art, so many goodies! I picked up a beautiful bench and a table from her at dirt cheap prices. These are like Havertys or Ethan Allen pieces in great condition. I decided I'm hitting up garage sales. I got on craigslist, all the local newspapers and garage sale sites and mapped out my adventure. I started in Plano, the ad promised a smorgasbord of treasures. I guess the famous saying goes both ways...in my case it was more like" one man's treasure is another man's trash." I pulled up to a house in a nice Plano neighborhood and saw a beautiful couch table that would look great in the living room. I asked the woman how much she wanted for it. "65 dollars" she tells me. I caught myself in time not to blurt out "holy shit, what?!" I thanked her and she asks "well, what's your offer?" I said "it's nowhere near THAT!" I'd give them $15 for it...and that was only b/c I was in a good mood and felt like buying something at a garage sale. The woman then brought-in the big guns...the husband-to tackle THE BIG negotiating. "Well it's a $245 table" he tells me. OK great...I'm sorry am I at Haverty's right now? He proceeds to explain that they were asking $120 for it the day before but have now slashed prices and I can have it for only $45. I thanked him and turned to walk away. He says "what, no counteroffer?" I said "no sir, I don't want to offend you," and so started my treasure hunt around town. I figured I'd head over to Highland Park where the folks have deeper pockets and nicer things to sell. HA the joke was on ME! There were things for sale I wouldn't put out by the trash during daytime. These folks have no shame. At one of the sales I overheard a girl trying to convince a woman to buy her True Religion tank top for $20. TWENTY DOLLARS for a tank top at a garage sale? That thing had seen better days and looked dingy. The seller's close was "this top retailed for AT LEAST $45 at Northpark! You know Northpark mall, right? The upscale mall?" I felt sorry for the Hispanic woman. I wanted to tell her I have a bag of clothes she can HAVE...they also came from that same upscale mall and are in much better shape! Moving right along to the heart of Highland Park. A moving sale on Mockingbird looked promising. They had furniture, lamps and other home stuff. I found a cute lamp...it was one of those 6" lamps that would be a perfect night-light in the bathroom or on the stairwell. I figured she'd want about $5 for it and I'd roll her to $2. Plan set...let's go! HA! talk about sticker shock. She wanted $10 for that thing. REALLY? Am I at Haverty's again? Is the recession affecting garage sales or is the Texas heat starting to screw up everyone's reality? I let her keep her priceless night-light and left. The highlight of my trip was a stop at a sale I saw along the way. I parked across from a house with a beautiful royal blue Rolls Royce and a man was getting out of it. WOW...what a beautiful car and a gorgeous house. There was also a powder blue Jaguar in the driveway. I though, someone I've heard of must live here. Sure enough, it was "The Strong Arm" himself...Mr. Brian Loncar.
In the end, I felt jipped. It was my fault though. I can't expect everyone to have the amazing stuff and prices like my friend did at her sale. Today was the beginning and the end of my garage sale extravaganza. In the end I was burned out, I used up about a quarter tank of gas and came home empty handed.