All Hail the Great American Garage Sale

I was going to add this to the RGB Pick Up megathread, but felt it deserved its own call-out. Today (and tomorrow), my town has an official “city-wide” garage sale event that is sponsored by our Chamber of Commerce. While you can have a garage sale any time you want, for a nominal fee the town will advertise your location in a map and post a short description of the items you are selling in a centralized brochure. Not sure if this is unique to Midwest USA or if other countries do anything similar.

Anyway, if you’re depressed by prices on eBay, or frustrated with the spam on Craigslist, the garage sale is the last beacon of hope when it comes to finding great deals on retro gaming items. Allow me to present exhibit A:

Diablo 3: $0.25
Warcraft Battlechest: $0.25
SimEarth: $2.00
Two GBCs (mint condition), Pokemon Yellow, Donkey Kong Country x2, and a Pokemon carry case: $5.00 (I shit you not)
Sony Trinitron 13" CRT TV: Free
Dreamcast + controller: $5.00
Sega Genesis: Free
Apple Mouse: $0.25

And off of this stuff works (minus the Genesis which looks like it needs some help with video output)

While Goodwill and Salvation Army may occasionally have something really great, more often these days they are just looking up eBay prices and calling it a day. Garage sales are where you can find the real deals because people just want this shit out of their homes. The trade-off is that this takes time and effort. My wife and I took the day off from work and after 6 hours being out we’re pretty exhausted. But we had some fantastic weather, spent quality time together, and scored some amazing deals. Totally worth it in my opinion. :smiley:

Anyone else taking advantage of other people’s spring cleaning?


I have never seen a good garage sale for at least 10+ years. They are always picked through before you get there because peopel who do swap meets come with an army and swarm any deal you could have. I like going to the E-Recycling days from the city because you can score tvs easy before they are recycled.

A nice little 13" TV is what I need. All the free or cheap CRTs on Kijiji (Canadian Craigslist) are all 27 - 30" beasts. I’d really like a small one to compliment my setup currently.

My Dad goes to every garage sale in our area and maybe once a year he will find a PS2 game for me.

When we had a garage sale we had people come like 3 days beforehand to try and lowball us for all the good stuff. It was so intrusive we ended up shutting our gate for the first time ever and putting a padlock on it, lol.

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I love that little Trinitron! Nice grabs, man.

Sorry the garage sales haven’t been kind to you. :frowning:

I’ve been thinking about visiting our recycling center to check on TVs/monitors - have they been pretty receptive to your “browsing”? I wasn’t sure what kind of policies are in place if too many people are picking through stuff. (Ours is a private company that takes most electronics for free but charges $35 for any kind of CRT.)

These are like the ones your city puts on and they put them in a spot. I saw a PVM once, I told the guy. Hey my wife tried to get rid of my tv. She told me she took it here, can I go find my tv?

They always let you look. You have to come look really upset. If I don’t find anything I like I say I can’t find it. Then I pick up my phone and pretend to call my wife and walk away.

Edit: PVM had a cracked screen.

$12.75 for all that? Nice job!! Our little town had garage sale days one weekend in September, but I’ve never seen a deal like that. That’s something you’d see in 2004.

In the UK we have weekly “car boot sales” but these days there are so many traders who go specifically for gaming stuff, you’ve got to get there before opening and run around the whole thing hoping stuff is easily spotted to stand a chance.

Garage sales like in the US are becoming more common in certain areas of the UK. When I lived in North a London there was one.

But if you get hauls like that then you’re doing very well indeed!

This is my experience from my area. There is just too many people who do this stuff as a living around where I live for it to be worthwhile for me to even try anymore. I mean the thing you are talking about, advertised preplanned setups, are hit the hardest by them. Like having any kind of advertisement about your yard sale is just priming it for the resellers to show up at dawn to ask to go through everything early.

Yes, I’m a little bitter. Yard/garage sales and flea markets were once one of my favorite things.

I still think there is room for optimism here. When there are 100+ sales going on during the same time, it’s impossible for the “professionals” to be everywhere at once. And out of all the listings on my official map yesterday, only 3 had any mention of video games. Yes, you need to start early in the day, but in my mind we’re all on the same playing field. It’s going to come down to luck and half the fun is the “thrill of the hunt” - when you do find something the satisfaction is real.

Compared to my eBay and CL experiences from the past several years, I’ve had a much better time exploring my neighborhood garage sales than anything else. At the very least it’s a way to meet/reconnect with neighbors and I always get a kick out of the crap people put up for sale. :smile:

Garage sales here have lineups starting before the sun even comes up and it’s all resellers

At this point, in Toronto, I prefer to just work a few hours of OT and buy whatever I want at full price then spend my weekends fighting with those guys.

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