I love a great bargain! Department store clearance racks aside, nothing spells summer like a handmade YARD SALE sign! For the avowed bargain hunter, it's enough to cause salivation like Pavlov's dog! I would rather spend an hour in search of a relic than ten minutes choosing from a rack of properly priced and neatly arranged anything. Cataloged and pristine items have a place during the holiday rush or end-of-season sales, but there is a feeling of accomplishment from unearthing a hidden treasure at the back of a bin of purses or the bottom of a crate of books! "Junk stores" and road side shops are also intriguing, but a yard sale is the urbanites hunting ground! So, when we spot the sign, alert the car to make the u-turn, slam into park and attempt to amble nonchalantly amongst the goodies, here are a few tips to make our hunting ground a more enjoyable experience:
1. Assume everything you touch has a sentimental value. It was once a gift, belonged to a loved one, or is part of a treasured memory.
2. Resist the urge to ramble and scatter. If you spot something at the bottom, carefully move the items above without breakage or damage.
3. Prices are often thought about and pre-set prior to the sale. Mild haggling is permissible, but berating an items value or the seller's pricing preference is rude. Remember rule #1.
4. Be mindful of where you step. Space is often at a premium and items may be placed in a haphazard manner. Stepping on or over anything may obligate you to purchase the damaged item.
5. Stick to the sale area. Refrain from opening doors, wandering around back or helping yourself to items that are clearly not a part of the sale or requesting to use the facilities.
6. Respect the posted hours. A sale which begins at 7 A.M. is still really early and to show up or poke around at 6 A.M. is tantamount to entering a store with the employees!
7. Yard shoppers assume all risk after the sale! If you bought something which you thought had value which later proves to be a great replica, well, if it fooled you, then it obviously is good enough to use, display or place in your next yard sale!
8. When you finally reach the bottom of the barrel and still cannot find the matching item, accept that it may be missing or a mismatch and that is what renders it a yard sale item.
9. Be patient and be kind to other buyers. Don't push, snatch or shove to get to something first.
10. Mind the little hands and feet of children who accompany you. Also, remember that a toy or stuffed animal may not decrease in value, even if a tantrum is thrown by the adult or the child. Don't allow your child to bond with the item before you have successfully purchased the it. Pay first, smile longer.
I am Pamela Coopwood and I am "Speaking of Protocol".