Garage sales (also called yard sales, depending on which area of the country you live in) seem to be one of those things that people are either really excited about... or won't go near.
To those of us in the pro-garage sale category, the fact that you can sometimes find the deal of the century for a quarter more than makes up for the idea that it has been used. Toss the clothes in the washing machine, give the toys a bleach bath or scrub down outdoor furniture - once your finds are cleaned up and ready to go, you can sit back and revel in the amount of money that you've saved.
For those that aren't fans of garage sales, I've found that it might be possible to bring you over to the other side of the debate. My sister-in-law was very anti-used items until I talked her into coming along to a few sales to see some prices... as well as showed her the full playroom of toys that we were quickly accumulating for the tiniest fraction of what it would have cost new. A year later she was fully converted into a garage sale junkie.
Then there is the other side of the equation: do you host your own garage sales?
Having recently held one, I do admit that the hours and hours of moving, organizing and pricing really did add up to an awful lot of work. I then had to spend full days out there chatting with people about the possible benefits of one baby sling over another or how well an old set of bedroom furniture might fit in their house. I'm not sure if you need that set of kitchen bowls, do you have too many already? I don't know if your baby will love that certain set of blocks, do they enjoy that sort of thing?
Yes, there were hagglers, but not an exorbitant amount (I was most interested in clearing out the clutter so I had set my prices very reasonable in the first place). There were also some extremely nice people as well, particularly a few moms-to-be who made me wonder how I've already gotten to the point where all of my newborn and infant items were getting shooed out of the house. Where did my little babies go?
In the end, quite a few items were cleared out (including that bedroom furniture!) and I ended up with money in my pocket, so who am I to complain? In fact, we have already come across new piles of things that could have been sold and I've started planning next year's sale... so it looks like my status as a Garage Sale Fan is here to stay.
What about you? Do you run your own garage sales? Do you shop at them? If so, is there one great find or amazing deal that made your day?