Saturday, April 21, 2012

Garage Sales, Estate Sales and Taking the Easy Way Out

This morning while Jason was still away at his work seminars I found myself awake at 7:00am.  Rather than wasting the morning away lying in bed, I decided to take advantage of the only day of the week I can do a little garage sale shopping.  I found three that looked interesting in West Omaha, two garage sales and one estate sale.

Garage sales are tricky…mainly because no two are alike.  It’s hard to know what the seller is like, and the circumstances that have led to the sale of their items.  If you find a motivated seller that just wants to be rid of the excess items, it’s easy to bargain.  But if the seller is an elderly hoarder who won’t let go of their used croquette set for less than $20, then you are probably going to pay the price that is listed no matter how much wheeling and dealing you try to do.  Usually I can get a sense of the seller by listening to the other customers check out at the garage sale.

The first sale I went to was in a wealthier area of town…I thought I might run into some high-end or antique items on the cheap.  There was an old Kate Spade purse for $20, but it wasn’t my style.  I also spotted an antique dresser for $50, but the size was not big enough for what I am looking for.  I am still holding out for a long and low mid-century modern dresser for Jason’s side of the master bedroom.

After striking out at the first sale, I headed to one promising a lot of antiques and vintage items.  When I pulled up there was a couple browsing that absolutely oozed “hipster” so I knew this place must be legit.  And it delivered!  The only downside was no price labels.  When I come across this I think to myself in my mind “I would pay $__ for such an item”.  I then ask what the price is, and if it comes at or under my price it’s a deal!

There were a lot of cool wood frames, vinyl albums, crystal and glassware as well as this awesome typewriter.

I thought to myself…. “I would pay $10 for such a typewriter”.

“How much for the blue typewriter?”


“I’ll take it!”

It needs a little cleaning, but it appears to be functional still.  I know my mom is thinking, why did you buy a typewriter?  Because Mom…it’s aqua, it has a few red keys (love the aqua and red combo!), it’s not huge, and it was $5!  I don’t plan on doing much typing; it’s mainly for décor…kind of like our orange rotary phone.  Gotta love the fun, colorful, vintage statement pieces.

I also had my eye on a few empty wood frames, but the hipsters got to them first.  I still feel like I won with the aqua typewriter…take that hipsters!

The next stop was an estate sale of an elderly couple.  It was actually set up by a company that helps seniors with downsizing.  The company goes through the house with pricing guns and labels all of the items for sale.  They also have a cash register set up for check out.  I had never seen this set up before, but it was very neat and organized.  The only downside, you can’t bargain with them since they are not the owners of the items.

Old people’s houses are interesting.  It’s an adventure sorting through all of the junk to find the treasures hidden amongst them.  At this stop I came away with two staplers…one heavy duty staple gun for $4 that will come in handy for upholstery jobs, and one old Swingline stapler for $2.

I also found this adorable tea cup and saucer for $4.  I couldn’t pass up the Kelly green and gold combo.  It is my dream to someday collect cute vintage tea cups and saucers, so I’ve officially started my collection (if one item counts as a collection).  

For now this tea cup will be used for storing jewelry on my dresser.

My last stop of the day was at my favorite local store…TheHumble Home.  I would say shopping here is taking the easy way out when it comes to finding fun antique and vintage items.  Normally I am not very successful at garage sales, and The Humble Home offers a refuge of presorted and cleaned items to save you the hassle of trekking all across town for rare garage sale finds.  The greatest part is their prices; you won’t go into sticker shock here.  Today I came home with two items from The Humble Home.  A fabulous retro car mirror that stands on its own for $14.99…

And this amazing mid-century modern chair for only $49 ($54.99 – 10% off for posting previous buys on Facebook).

Recently I have loved the mid-century modern look mixed in with my modern-eclectic style.  This chair is a similar style to one that I had completely fallen for at an antique store downtown.

The price for four of the above chairs…$1900.  That’s hard to swallow.  Yes, they were leather, and a full set of four, and absolutely perfect (probably vintage Eames), but there was no way I was about to spend $475 per chair.

I am completely satisfied with our much cheaper alternative, which also happens to be quite comfortable!  This chair will help bring in the slightly vintage lounge vibe that I would like to have in our basement.   Another plus, Jason approves!  I usually shy away from buying furniture without his input, but the price was cheap enough that I was willing to take the chance.

So there you have it; the bounty of my morning out.  Total cost…$84.  Am I satisfied…yes!

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