Friday, May 27, 2011

The Mod Mischief Guide to the Great Glebe Garage Sale

Looks like it’s going rain folks. Best be prepared.


Friends have been asking me about my GGGS strategy, so, inspired by Scrimshaw’s and Zoom’s rules, I figured I should share my advice on how to get the most out of your Great Glebe Garage Sale experience.

1. The GGGS officially starts at 9am.

There’s no point in waking up before 6am to be the first ones there. It doesn’t make sense to arrive before everything is set up and people are far less willing to negotiate with you if you are the first person to stop by their yard. I’m sure that many glebites dislike mornings as much as I do – let them finish their first coffee before you try to convince them to part with a precious family heirloom for $5. The belief that “all the good stuff will be gone” is silly since this is a garage sale and what you think is a great find might not be appealing to anyone else.

An acceptable exception would be if you’re looking for a bike (have you considered getting one from re-cycles instead?) or another highly sought after but hard to find item. But that brings me to my next point.

2. Don’t worry about your shopping list.

I think it’s helpful to have an idea of what you might like to find, so you can devote more time to certain yards that are selling the right sort of item, but if you are too focused on finding a specific thing, you’re likely to miss out on some incredible stuff. So think about what you should look for but don’t stress too much about actually finding it on Saturday.

Some of the items on my wish list this year:
-wooden frames for silk screening
-clocks for parts to use with my painted records
-red leather jacket or vest for a costume I’m working on

3. Bring your wagon.

My little red wagon is my all time favourite GGGS find. A little wagon is perfect for hauling your treasures through the crowded streets. If you don’t have a wagon or shopping cart you can try buying one there! Some people prefer a backpack, but you’re likely to wind up with a hot sweaty back and you can’t fit nearly as much in a pack as you can stack on a wagon. Don’t even think of bringing a car into the residential streets!

4. Pick up the big stuff on the way out.

If you find something great at the beginning of your hunt, pay the seller for it and ask them to hold it for you until you are heading home. I’ve done this every year and no one has ever refused to hold something for me. It helps to write down their address and the seller’s name, especially if you have more than one pick up to do on the way out.

5. Plan a circular route.

I usually start on the west side of Bank and weave my way through all the streets from north to south and then cross over and do the other side of Bank in the opposite direction. The trick is to cover as much ground as possible while avoiding doubling back down the same streets whenever you can. If you have to go down the same street twice, walk on the opposite side of the street the second time.

6. Wear an awesome outfit.

Tight tank top –so you can easily try on clothes without undressing
Shorts – to keep you cool
Utility belt – storage for your cash and camera; way better than carrying a purse
Sandals or comfy boots – based on the forecast, I think I’ll wear boots
Thin jacket – layers are key! You can toss it in the wagon once it starts to really get hot
Sunscreen

 Almost, but not quite, the look you want to go for

7. Bring lots of cash, change and your cheque book.

The best negotiating strategy I know is to pull out a bill as if it's all you have left and ask if they'll take it. This won't work if all you have with you is a stack of $20, so be sure to have smaller bills and loonies and twoonies in your pockets. If you talk someone down from a dollar to 25 cents for something, they're not going to want to give you change, so be prepared!

You can see some of the success I've had with these tips here and here.

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