/yard sale sign/


Got up around 8:07AM, made it out driving by 8:22AM (yes, we leave quick!), and went out until Noonish, for a total of about 3 hours, 40 minutes.

Spent $25.25 plus ~$8.07 gas for 24.9 miles of driving (~12 mpg @ $3.89/G), for a total cost of $33.32.

We bought 22 items – 27 if you count the ice trays/floodlights/scissors separately – for a total estimated value of $213.18, leading to a profit/savings of $179.86 (which is $197 before taxes, for us).

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $49.05/hr as a couple or $24.53/hr per person.


Met Rogelio again, after meeting him the first time during our yard sale double date with Matthew & Julie last year. We were waiting for a tow truck under a pavilion set up by these nice people throwing a yard sale. They fed us too. He was obsessing over this HUGE belt-buckle, like a wrestler belt. He went back at least twice wondering if he should buy it. One of these last times I noticed his comic-book-themed black t-shirt, and remembered: I’d seen this guy before. He was social then, too. We had talked to him and shown him some of our stuff last year when we met him, and he had a comic-book-themed black t-shirt then, too. He showed me this neat accordion-style-pump mechanical organ, which has a built-in wooden case that it folds back into. I showed him some of my stuff.  I actually got his email address… Why not be friendly to people with multiple similar interests? Got no response upon mailing it, though. Maybe I was too friendly?

As it turned out, the car wasn’t even broken. Disarming the alarm fixed it. I kinda want to disable my alarm at this point, it’s old and doesn’t protect any value and only causes nuisance. But using a key to get into your car is so ghetto ;) This is the car with remote start, so I definitely want the system (remote start/alarms/subwoofers all installed at the same time/together for $1200 in 1997) the keep working. At this point the system has cost less than $100/mo. Of course, all the remote start in the world doesn’t mean your car is actually dry in the winter, when you have a broken moisture seal. This car would best be owned by someone who lives in a desert, or who has a garage. Hmm.

But anyway… free towing, nothing to repair, all we really lost is time, and a bit of gas. I’ll count it in my yearly stats as a breakdown that cost $0.

We rode the tow truck up to Carolyn’s uncle’s shop in Takoma Park, MD (NationWide has $300 free towing), and then drove my Chrysler — which broke during last week’s yardsaleing — back to Virginia. So we had the weird process of moving yard sale booty from one car to another in a different state than the state we got the booty in. Last week, we did this in a shopping mall parking lot. Our yard sale experiences keep getting weirder and weirder!

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  • $5.00: floodlights (3), 65W (1 soft light/indoor) (EV:$$3.99) – been meaning to buy one at Home Depot for forever! Carolyn said these were $5 each so we thought it was a good deal, but no, they are $1.33/ea.

    one of ours was stupid-frosted like this, but the other 2 weren’t

  • $5.00: boots, leather, black, size 6.5, 17″ tall x 3.5″ heel, White Mountain (Brazil) (EV:the lady said they cost $75 when she got them, close to these $43.19 on ebay) – for Sexy Carolyn
  • $3.00: step stool, 12.5×15.5×9.25″, beige, Rubbermaid Roughneck, No.4200, (EV:$14.99) – for short Carolyn

    when your wife is 5’2″, you need about 4X as many of these as you think you would.

  • $1.00: tape recorder, voice-activated – WITH ‘REM’ jack (I NEED THAT!), Optimus CTR-115, cat#14-1121 (sadly, people just can’t sell these, not even for $5 … However, a brand-new voice-activated cassette player costs $10, so we will estimate a $10 value for this one) – Years ago I got a telephone-cord-to-minijack interface that allows you to record the audio of your phone calls to a cassette recorder. It was $15, and works with cassette recorders that have a “REM” jack – a slightly-smaller-than-headphone jack that is used exclusively for signaling when to record. So after years of occasionally recording my phone calls manually, they will now be automatically recorded. Only caveat: A red light is always on. This will wear the battery down. I will have to check The Graveyard Of Abandoned Power Supply Blocks (i.e. our crawlspace) to see if I haver a 3V DC 300MA tip-positive adapter. Then I could plug this recorder into DC power and never have to change the 2 AA batteries again. It’s also cool that this one uses ACTUAL cassettes (not micro-cassettes), because my decades-old microcassette tapes are kind of worn. I had the opportunity to break open a sealed, TDK 90 minute extra-expensive blank cassette. It suddenly felt like the 1980s again.

    finally, my phone calls now record themself automatically!

  • $1.00: cone, orange, 27.5″ tall, 14×14″base (EV:$9.98) – I always want more cones. They come in handy in the most surprising ways.

    for my broken-step walkway, to further discourage people from using it

  • $1.00: table, corner, plastic, white, 15x15x15″ (EV:$5, probably sells for more, but it’s REALLY cheap/lightweight) – A nice corner table with 90-degree angle on one side, semi-circle on the other.
  • $1.00: hair stick with leather sun decoration from Ecuador, green and brown (EV:$3.86) – for Carolyn. Same physical shape as this, but brightly-colored

    not black

  • $1.00: skull-trident-thing (plastic), cool-ass apocalyptic, like the one Clint found in Pritchard Hall in 1994, 17×8″ (EV:no fricking clue! it’s such a weird thing! I’ll say $5, randomly) – I NEVER thought I’d see one of these again. I didn’t even know it was a mass-produced thing. I need to re-unite the two of them together and take a picture.
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If i ever started a post-apocalyptic biker gang, this would be the required hood ornament .

  • $1.00: steel wool pads (16), Rhodes American, medium-coarse #2 (EV:$1.88) – Handy stuff. Recently put most of ours in the walls (mice hate it) and need more.

    if only i’d found this 3 months ago i could have saved myself from paying full price at Home Depot

  • $1.00: metal container, cylindrical, 10″Wx11.25″H, red (EV:no clue here; these are what holiday popcorn often comes in. Holiday popcorn is ridiculously expensive, and I’ve always thought a big part of that is the huge metal tin, so I’ll say $5 again) – for storing diatomaceous earth
  • $1.00: action figure, Juggernaut, X-Men Classics Light-Up Weapons Series, 1996 Toy Biz, 5.25″, removable helmet, bendable arms/legs/knees/head, accesories other than helmet lost (EV:$2 if you’re selling it at a comic store, but it’s gonna cost ya $at least 7to actually find this on Ebay and have it sent to your house, so I’ll call it $5) – I almost didn’t buy him because his helmet fell off. Some woman was like “I think I saw it at the top of the stairs”. This is a very non-descript 1-inch brown piece of plastic! We asked her how she possibly could have noticed such a thing, and apparently she has kids, so she’s used to having to check stairs for toys so as to not die and stuff.
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 2 - I'm The Juggarnaut, bitch - IMG_4139-diptych-IMG_4141

    we just got figure + helmet, not box/weapon/other stuff

  • $1.00: game, Cranium Zigity (2004), shrink-wrapped, 4-in-1 card game, A Starbucks Exclusive ($12.95) – I like Cranium. And I know they make special editions that can’t be bought after seeing a previous Cranium version we’d bought for $2 going for around $100 on Ebay. So of course I’ll get this for $1!
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 6 - Cranium Zigity - IMG_4129
  • $0.75: scissors (3), my personal favorite government issue ALL-METAL scissors that cannot be bought anymore — NO STUPID PLASTIC HANDLE, 2 9″ long, 1 10″ long (3 @ $0.25/ea) (EV:$5/ea) – In memory of the Voldo scissors.

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requiem for voldo scissors, RIP

  • $0.50: drum, toy, 8×6.5″, First Acts Discovery, blue argyle, very much like a real drum, but smaller & quieter (the whole set is $30, but we did not get a harmonica, or the drumsticks, so we will say: EV:$$23) – auxillary drum for my ghetto drum ‘kit’
    20120505 - yardsale booty - 4 - toy drum & psuedo drum - IMG_4142

    we only got the drum and tambourine

  • $0.50: tamborine, 6″, First Acts Discovery, white, round, 4 tines (EV:counted in the above item) – can never have enough tambourines
  • $0.50: kitty wipes, instant pet bath, Petkin, unscented, 15 jumbo size 8×10″ wipes (EV:$$4.82) – Carolyn said she may use this when Oranjello gets poop on his butt hair (which she now regularly shaves)
  • $0.50: Pez dispenser, Happy Valentine’s Day (EV:$1.58) – ate the pez, will gift the dispenser to someone who has a collection
  • $0.25: toy, My Little Pony, G1, Moondancer, 6×5″ (EV:$$5[knocked half off due to poor quality/fadedness]) – Thought it was Twilight… The markings reminded me of one of the ones my little sister used to have.

    Here’s one in better condition

    20120505 - yardsale booty - 5 - My Little Pony - Moonlight Dancer - IMG_4138

    the most hilarious purchase of the week, Carolyn is now going to get her other My Little Pony G1 from the attic

  • $0.25: socks, baby, Mickey Mouse running (EV:$2.95)

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  • $FREE: drum, toy (baby), 7.25″x6.5, plastic, like baby toy; not like a real drum at all (EV:10.99)

    20120505 - yardsale booty - 4 - toy drum & psuedo drum - IMG_4142

    (the one on the left)

  • $FREE: ice trays (2),green (EV:$2) – OMFG we really “got into” ice in the last 2 yrs, and these 2 new ice trays are possibly the best yet. We have about 7 pairs of diff kinds of ice trays. There is a definite hierarchy regarding which are better. We lucked out, the best ones we ever got we got in the first year of yardsaling in our new house in 1999. These are the first ones almost as good as those. Every other one has been worse. We’ll probably keep getting them, too. Eventually we can get rid of the ones we don’t like as much, and sort of have an ice-cube-tray-eugenics-program going

    couldn’t find a picture of a green one like that. i really thought it would be common enough to find on google images.

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings.

* EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person).

Music: Screeching Weasel – Making You Cry