Guest Blog: Never, Ever Underestimate a Good Rummage Sale
THE CONTESSA WRITES:
Pop Quiz……What do Limoges, Gucci, Carpodiamonte, Lenox and Wedgewood all have in common? The answer is twofold….1) They are top notch brands of luxury items and 2) They are all items that I have bought at rummage sales!
Rummage sales as they are known in the USA (jumble sales in the UK) are usually held by churches or civic organizations to raise money for a particular project. The members of the group donate all sorts of items that are then laid out for sale, usually in a church hall. Now, here’s the ticket….a lot of people who do not know the value of things or who are elderly and wanting to downsize donate marvelous goods. You can find incredible items for a song! Most of the time the sale is just a one day affair and at the end of the day, the people running the sale just want the stuff gone. This is a great time to make trip number 2 of the day to the sale.
Let me explain. Always, always go to a rummage sale when they first open and scope out the entire sale (I usually skip clothing but you can pick up some designer duds if you are a popular size). If you find something that catches your eye, pick it up and carry it around with you. There is nothing worse than coming back for an item you were considering only to find it gone. If you change your mind you can always put it back. I always first head for the jewelry. A few years ago, I got a beautiful sterling silver brooch with semi-precious stones handmade in Israel for $2. I still to this day have it and I love to tell the tale of where I got it. I then check out all the house wares and miscellaneous goods. That is where I have found the most treasures. Recently I picked up a Limoges tea pot for $3, a sterling silver candy dish for ten cents and a Gucci tote bag for $2. I finish up with purses and books. I rarely come out empty handed and on more occasions than not, have found something really special.
Now about the second return to the sale – a lot of times they will have a bag sale. That’s where you buy a bag for a dollar and everything you can stuff in that bag is yours. One church recently had a sale where if you bought two bags, they gave you a third. Luckily, I was the first one there that morning and completely wiped out the jewelry section in one bag. I love taking it all home and then going through it piece by piece to determine which goes in my jewelry box, which goes in the trash and which can be re-sold at one of my sales. Another bag held about 6 pieces of luster ware, not something to my taste but very collectible none-the-less and there is
a market for it. Bag sales rock!
And while we’re on the subject of rummage sales, don’t over look thrift stores either! Here in upstate New York where I’m from, we have several really good ones. One of my favorites has a half price sale every Wednesday. Everything in the store is half of what it’s marked. Yes, there are days that turn up nothing but it’s fun to look none-the-less. The Goodwill stores here in upstate NY have a dollar sale every Sunday. Clothing that has been there more than a week is tagged with a special tag and it’s only $1. I’m an odd size so I don’t make out good on this one but I know one man who walked out with a Giorgio Armani suit for $1. Bargains like that cannot and should not be passed up! I find the fun is in the searching and then discovering a treasure.
But enough of that for now….. I have to go and clean the Wedgewood I just brought home that I paid a dollar for!
– In Salt Lake City…..Deseret Industries
– In Lancaster Co, PA. …..Jubilee (run by the Mennonites)
– In Troy, NY……The Salvation Army
– In Bennington, VT…..The Goodwill Center
– In Cape Cod….during the tourist season, you are likely to find a yard sale on every street!
* Many of the photos in today’s blog come from Bowling Trophy – a blog devoted to answering the question “Trash or Treasure?” Check out: bowlingtrophy.wordpress.com.