Welcome to My Extreme Sport!

Yard Sale

I knew about yard sales. But, I didn’t know about yardsaling. At least, not until my friend explained the difference. You see, yard sales are places where folks sell their unwanted stuff. Yardsaling, on the other hand, is an extreme sport.

I’ve only ever gone “yardsaling” in NH, so I can’t speak for the rest of the country. Here in the Granite State, though, we’re hardcore. In the Monadnock Region (my yardsaling home turf) yardsalers prowl the streets early on summer Saturdays. They seek deals. Freebies. Finds. And, that elusive deluxe edition coffee grinder.

But, why? Why wake up early on a weekend just to drive from yard to yard? I used to ask this question, until I tried it for myself. You see, yardsaling is an adventure. It’s an excuse to drive around your city or town chasing poster-board signs and exploring hidden neighborhoods. It’s a chance to check out backyards, side streets, and your neighbor’s stuff. And, it’s a great way to meet people who live in your area. Even if you never find the coffee grinder, chances are you’ll still have fun.

I’ve only been a yardsaler for a few years now—I’m still a rookie. But, I roll with pros (my friend has been yardsaling since she was old enough to walk), and they’ve shown me the ropes. In case you ever want to try the sport out for yourself, here are some things that I’ve learned…

Start early.

Yardsaling takes discipline. If you want to find the real treasures, you have to get up early. The pros usually hit the streets around 7:30 a.m.

Bring a map.

The sign says “41 Blossom Street”, but Blossom Street is nowhere in sight. Welcome to the world of yard sale signage. Following a hodgepodge of dew-soaked cardboard signs adds to the thrill of this sport; however, the rush can die pretty quickly if you’re hopelessly lost without a sale in sight.

Embrace the drive-by.

I love my sport, but I’ll be the first to admit that some yard sales are downright scary. This is where the drive-by technique comes in. When you see a yard sale, park just after the sale (past the driveway or yard). This gives you the opportunity to scope the sale out as your passing it to determine whether it’s creepy or worth visiting. If you get scary vibes, just keep driving.

Do not pick it up!

You arrive at the sale, and there it is! The coffee grinder you always wanted—the deluxe edition. It’s everything you dreamed of—no it’s better than that. It’s not priced, but you’ll just grab it and go ask—no. The minute you pick up that coffee grinder, you show commitment. And, I know you’re committed to the grinder, but you don’t want the seller to know that. ‘Cause if they know that, they’re going to charge you a whole lot more. Unless another eager yardsaler is going in for the take, (Is the lady with the fanny pack eyeing it?) ask for the price before picking the item up.

Don’t be afraid to ask for less.

The seller can always say no! If you’re getting multiple items, asking for a deal is even more reasonable. Just remember to have exact change. If the hamper was $5 and you ask to buy it for $2, don’t hand the seller a $5 bill and ask for change. (This may seem obvious, but I’ve seen it happen.)

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