/yard sale sign/


Got up around 8:10AM, ate breakfast at home for once, and made it out driving by 8:43AM, out yard saleing until 2:25PM.

There was a 20 minute Burger King break when our route took us right by it, so the total yard saleing time was 5 hours, 22 minutes!!!! Damn that’s a long time! 3hr 15min driving; 2hr 7min shopping.

Spent $59.20 plus ~$17.95 gas for 56.3 miles of driving (12.2 mpg @ $3.89/G), for a total cost of $77.15.

We bought 52 items – 99 if you count separate hooks/pillows/gift bags – for a total estimated value of $680.69, leading to a profit/savings of $603.54.

So in essence, we multiplied our $77.15 investment by 8.82X. (We have to earn $663 on the job to get $603 in cash!)

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $112.46/hr as a couple or $56.23/hrper person. That’s about as high as we can ever get on the “wage scale”!

20120519 - yardsale booty - 0 - all of our stuff - IMG_4177


What a weekend!

We pre-planned via CraigsList and DrivingRoutePlanner, with an extra Freecycle pickup stop thrown in (and that was probably the least profitable leg of the trip, as it was a mistake). The thing is, of the 9 pre-planned stops we had, several of them were FULL COMMUNITY sales that had their own maps.

Twice we had to get a community map, trace out a path, and visit ~10 sales just to get to the next item on our itinery. Plus there were at least 2-3 “bonus sales” not on our route, including one that turned out to be 5 houses having a sale at once.

This was a LONG LONG LONG expedition. Not the most miles we’ve driven at once — we’ve broken 70 — but close.

It was near the beginning that we felt this woman was hitting on me at her own yard sale in front of her husband and my wife. First she comments on my Misfits shirt. Second, I try to round $9.50 to $10 and she says pay $8 — why the random discount? Then she asks where we live. Then we commented on some tech thing, and she was like, “oh, i need a techie to come and show me all my stuff”… yea… i’ll show you all your stuff all right. ;) Then asks me/us to come back later. Plus she’s blonde, even tho she’s in her 50s {wink wink}. But more than all that was the vibe of actually experiencing it. Carolyn agrees. It was weird. We circled her address on the map haha. Very odd. Something similar happened once about 10 years ago, but the attention seemed to be on both of us then, not just me.

No cars broke down this week! Yay! First time in 3 expeditions that we haven’t had to get towed!

What sucked was that there were so many yard sales that we could not get to them all during prime time. In the morning, the selections are great, and the prices good. In the afternoon, the selections are way worse, but the prices are way better. We’ve even swung back to the same yard sale twice to re-make an offer that was accepted the 2nd time but refused the 1st time. By noon, a lot of people are just giving things away for free, becuase they are hot and want to go back inside, but don’t want to lug their stuff back in. This is great if you have use for things nobody else wants, but if you are picky, you really want to get there early.

Half the sales we went to, we could not even get to until 1PM. So we were denied some selection. But we were supplied some cheap prices – a lot of our stuff was FREE: The Best Price.


  • $10.00: digital picture frame, 8.25″ screen (6.5×5), 800×600, HP, serial#K01010055570, model#df840a1-16 (EV:$45 for recertified,but 70 if new, and this is brand new. The list price is 80, but I’ll count it as 70 since that’s what I could find it for. Some are trying to sell this for $100. Buyer beware!) – of course, we did have to buy a 16G USB drive to fit our 16,000+ pictures on (even after shrinking them all to 800×600, they were 5G). But i don’t count that in the cost for this item, becuase when the frame eventually brakes, we’ll still have a kickass 16G USB/thumbdrive – big enough to bring 8-gig movies to friends’ houses without having to spend 25 cents + 35 minutes burning a dvd-r :)

20120519 - yardsale booty - storage cube, digital picture frame - IMG_4216

  • $6.00: hooks (7), HIGH-END ceiling hooks, swivel, Dr. Iler, white (6@$1/ea+1 free), 122415 (EV:7*5.79/ea=$40.53) – I’ve totally spent $18-$24 buying 3-4 of these hooks in the past! I broke one, and it was such a mental blow to lose $6 over it. I even called their 1-800 number to get help with installing it. It’s a weird hook. But now that I have 7 of these for the price of 1, I think my hook needs will never be so worrysome again.

20120519 - yardsale booty - useful - ceiling hooks - IMG_4179

  • $5.00: VCR, Mitsubishi HS-U51 (hard to estimate a value for this. people are trying to sell BROKEN ones on Ebay for $52 for parts — good luck with that, it’s not going to work. New VCRs are more expensive than they should be. Used VCRs are posted for $20, but no clue if they’re selling for that. And that’s if they work. This isn’t tested as working. We’ll just call it worth what we paid for it: $5.) – Ever since the TV-out died on our downstairs computer, along with the X-Box harddrive — the downstairs 36″ tv doesn’t do much. Playstation, and that’s it. It sure would be nice to have SOMEthing hooked up to it that can play video. Like… a VCR.  Some of our old $5-yardsale VCRs and inherited VCRs finally broke. The only 2 that are still working well are the ones me & Carolyn bought full-price brand-new in the 1990s. So at this point, I get VCRs if they are $5. Automatically. Note to self: Lower to $4 for future purchases.

20120519 - yardsale booty - TV-related - action figures, toys, vhs tapes, vcr - TV-RELATED STUFF - IMG_4183

  • $5.00: chair, camping, DOUBLE, blue (EV:$33.52, but ours is without cupholders, so we’ll say $25) – a bit heavy for our usual camping spot, as it’s twice as heavy as a normal chair, and neither of us want to bear that burden. But for drive-car-up-to-site camping, this is the best camping chair we’ve ever owned.

20120519 - yardsale booty - camping double-chair, Lemonjello, Oranjello - IMG_4226

  • $5.00: shelves, modular, metal, black (EV:$32.98) – perfect. I’d cover every wall in the house with these, if I could afford it. We have ours in a horizontal tower to the ceiling, with one 2-square-high spot for our blacklight lamp. Good stuff.
20120526 - yard sale booty - z - last week's shelves, now assembled - IMG_4259

Here they are once they were assembled.

20120519 - yardsale booty - useful - metal modular shelves - IMG_4224

  • $4.00: pan, Thomas Rosenthal Group, M262S3 skillet with lid, new with manual, diameter 11″, deepness 3.5″ ($40) – Probably the best pan in the house now! Plus: Brand new! Oven safe, even.

20120519 - yardsale booty - useful - kitchen - frying pan, picnic basket - IMG_4221

  • $3.00: pillows, Pier 1 Imports, red w/gold ribbon (EV:$40 based on most of their fancy pillows being $20 each) – christmas present

20120519 - yardsale booty - pillows, Ozzy Osbourne book - IMG_4220

  • $3.00: game, Rummikub, new in shrink-wrap (EV:$14.95) – another present, since we already own this
  • $3.00: throw, electric, 59×51″, Sunbeam, E23623 (EV:$20.00) no such thing as too many electric blankets: We already have an electric throw AND a king-size 2-outlet-taking electric blanket. At $3/each, I’d buy 10 more if I could. Just because.
  • $2.00: table/shelf, white, cube, 16x16x16″ (EV:$24.99) – stuck this under our new cat tree! This reclaims some of the space the cat tree stole, PLUS the cats’ top-level perch is now high enough that they can touch the ceiling. Life tetris win.

20120519 - yardsale booty - storage cube, digital picture frame - IMG_4216

  • $2.00: power strip, 6 plugs, SnapIt2, 15A 125V (EV:$8) – can’t believe I finally used all of mine! I wasn’t sure if we needed this: The guy was selling like 10. But we bought it because his yard sale was SOOOO far off the beaten path that I didn’t want the gas to be a total waste.
  • $2.00: book, I Am Ozzy, 2009 ($26.99 Borders price) – I’d never pay $27 for this, and I’d probably never read it on a PDA either. But in the bathroom? Sure. I wonder how many poops will this take.

20120519 - yardsale booty - pillows, Ozzy Osbourne book - IMG_4220

  • $2.00: bags (gift bags), HUGE MY LITTLE PONY GIFT BAG full of other gift bags: 27 total various plus some misc gift card holders, wrapping paper, adhesive notes, gift box, tissue paper, magnets, bows, which brings total to 39 (most had prices:we calculated the average price of those that did, extrapolating out a total price of $124.02) – This last christmas in particular, relatives took presents home instead of opening them, so we didn’t get to reclaim as many gift bags. It’s always my goal to use gift bags instead of wrapping paper. We’re set for next christmas!

20120519 - yardsale booty - TV-related - My Little Pony gift bag - IMG_4229-4230-4227-4228

  • $1.00: towel, beach, sunset palm trees, Sherry Mfg. (EV:$8.50: cheapest beach towel of similar size on Amazon) – to replace Carolyn’s other beach towel that was washed into the ocean ;)
  • $1.00: game, Jumanji (EV:$16.99) – we JUST watched the movie this week! My first time! 5/5 stars for me! I did not know this exists, but what were the odds of running into it right after watching the movie?

20120519 - yardsale booty - games - IMG_4181

  • $1.00: game, Cranium Turbo Edition (EV:$12.00 used) – after finding out some versions of Cranium sell for $90 on Ebay, I always snatch cheap Cranium variants
  • $1.00: container, plastic, 3.4L/3.6qt, ClickClack 2030, pinchable-lid-sealing-device for extra freshness – now the largest sealable container in the house! JAR WIN! (EV:$15)

20120519 - yardsale booty - useful - jar - nice big plastic sealable jar - IMG_4215

  • $0.50: ball, Powerpuff Girls, MMondo, ~4″, barcode#81033051719 (EV:It’s a rubber ball! Can’t be that much! But it’s also licensed. So we’ll go with $3.) – can never get enough licensed cartoon junk ;)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - Powerpuff Girls ball - IMG_4197-diptych-IMG_4198

  • $0.50: basket, wicker, w/lid, 15x10x12″ picnic basket (EV:$30! WTF! I got to about here before I even got to wicker baskets with lids. Who is paying that for these?!?!?!? Even on Amazon… Same thing. Get up to baskets that have lids and we’re in $30 territory!) – was maybe going to use this for Carolyn’s shoes and such, tho lately it’s just been a mini-dirty-clothes-hamper / caddy for large objects between floors
  • $0.50: game, Cranium Cadoo For Kids (EV:$6.99)
  • $0.50: toy, plush, Mario Brothers, Wario, BD&A, 6″ (EV:$20, though ours has red coveralls and brown shoes) – It’s a you a-Wario!

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - doll - Wario - IMG_4188

  • $0.50: mask, skull, silver & black (EV:$6.90 similar to this one, but ours has 10 smaller horns) – too evil to pass up!

20120519 - yardsale booty - skull mask - IMG_4184

  • $0.10: action figure, G.I. Joe, Cobra, 4″, bendable (EV:really old, could be G1 even, but the joints are so loose it can’t stand up, so: $0.50)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - action figure - Cobra from G.I. Joe - IMG_4212

  • $0.10: action figure, X-Men, Wolverine, McDonald’s 2010, 4″, extendable claws, turnable head, worst Wolverine figure ever though (EV:$2 because $2.50 auctions are running out with no bidders.)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - action figure - worst Wolverine action figure ever - IMG_4206

  • $0.10: action figure, Batgirl, 3.5″, twistable waist, bendable arms, blue gloves/boots/cape (already have one of these) (EV:$1 cause I’ve found this twice so it can’t be that rare)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - action figure - Batgirl & Batman action figures - IMG_4210

  • $0.10: action figure, Batman, JLA edition, 4″, twistable waist, bendable arms (EV:$7 on Ebay, tho you can get it new in the box for $10 at Newegg?!?! WTF?)
  • $0.10: action figure, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow, 3.25″ (EV:$2 random estimate, there are so many PotC figures out there, and I can’t find this one)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - action figure - Pirates Of The Caribbean - IMG_4204

  • $0.10: action figure, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Appa, 6″x2.5″, mystery button probably means other parts missing – NOT the $30 Deluxe one (EV:$2 random estimate)

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - action figure - Avatar- The Last Airbender - Appa - IMG_4190-4196-4191-4193 (quadtych)

  • $0.10: action figure/toy, screaming ghost with purple troll hair and light-up eyes, 4.5″ (EV:$3) – this thing is horrifying, like a troll doll and a horrible scream wrapped up together

20120519 - yardsale booty - toy - terrifying screaming troll doll - IMG_4201

  • $FREE: scanner, Acer, model#6687-01A, manufactured 4/1998 with external parallel port card for newer computers (EV:$2 – i used to count old scanners as $5, but after buying 2 or 3 and having them not work, I’m downgrading the value of old scanners to $2!)
  • $FREE: monitor, viewable area 16″, KDS [Freecycle item that we drove almost 10 extra miles for, only to find out 19″ was the monitor dimension, not the viewable area dimension! DOH!] (EV:CRT monitors are scarecely being manufactured nowadays, but when they were, they were all over $100. But I have paid $10 for a monitor SOOOO many times at yard sales, that I will just call this $10)
  • $FREE: movies: VHS: The Breakfast Club, Poltergeist, Gremlins (EV:$1.50 + $1.25 $0.25 = $3.00)

20120519 - yardsale booty - TV-related - action figures, toys, vhs tapes, vcr - TV-RELATED STUFF - IMG_4183

  • $FREE: Kaz inhalant steam medication (for bedroom vapomist vaporizer that Carolyn uses, which is a $30-40 vaporizer/humidifier we got for $2 at another sale years ago), 6oz, with 1tsp Kaiser-Permanente plastic dropper (EV:$5.61) – Carolyn has made her own vapor solution using camphor oil and such, but it’s nice to get some pre-made for FREE
  • $FREE: planets & stars, glow-in-the-dark, Zany Brainy 7955500092 (EV:$2) – for our blacklights/ceilings!
  • $FREE: lighter, pipe, Nimrod Pipeliter (EV:$9.99) – no fluid, unfortunately
  • $FREE: bucket, 22lb, Brill White Drizzle Icing (EV:$2) – can never have too many buckets, I’ve been discovering
  • $FREE: book, Toy Story: The Essential Guide ($14.95 cover price) – future Sagan gift?
  • $FREE: duster, Static Charged Poly Duster, yellow (EV:$4.98) – free cat toy is what we we’re thinking
  • $FREE: lanyard, lionambassadors.com (EV:$0.59) – free camera-strap is what we’re thinking
  • $FREE: containers (2), plastic, rectangular, 5.375×4.625×3.875″, white, used to hold cheese says one of the lables (EV:$0.10)  – ALL THESE FREE CONTAINERS were JUST what we’re looking for after ordering 50 lbs of diatomaceous earth and not realizing it was A WHOLE CRATE FULL. I filled up every one of these containers, every one of our spaghetti jars from the last 1.5 yrs of cooking spaghetti, a popcorn tin (metal cylinder) from a previous yardsale … and STILL haven’t managed to package all my diatomaceous earth! But at least we have a good start.
  • $FREE: container, plastic, circular, Ziploc, Twist ‘N’ Loc 32oz, ~3.875×6″, clear (EV:$2.13 because that is a pack of 2)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, rectangular, 7×4.875×7″, house-themed, roof-shaped protruding lid ($4.00 store price tag)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, rectangular, 3.5×3.5×2.75″, blue (EV:$0.50)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 9.8×1.9″, Christmas poinsetta/candle-themed (store price tag ruined, but probably $3.00 judging by others from this lot)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 7.125×3.375″, Rainforest Crunch Chocolate Chip & Brazil Nut Cookies ($2.50 store price tag)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 7×2.65″, African Elephant-themed ($2.50 store price tag)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 6.5×3.125″, fleur-de-lis-ish-themed (EV:$1)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 5.25×1.875″ ($0.50 store price tag)
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 8.5×1.5″, red top, white-red stripes sides, Swiss Colony Nut Shop ($1.20 price tag, EV:$0, because it was bent and unusable)

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).

Mood: full Music: Ramones – Chatterbox (by The New York Dolls)