Where have all the yard sales gone?


I remember my dad taking my siblings and me garage saling on Saturday mornings. It was like a treasure hunt where none of us knew what the treasure was - only that it was our mission to find it.

A Twister game for 50 cents.

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A record album or Hot Wheels car, 25 cents.

A 500-piece puzzle for a dime.  

And always the joy of the hunt and a fun day with Dad as we drove and searched and shopped.

Fast forward to Virden, 2018. Last weekend, I found two – just two - yard sales in Virden.

My sister and I got a kick out of examining and wondering about a multitude of oddball items ("What the heck is this??") until discovering treasure among the musty curtains and used flip flops.

Arranged on an old door set on saw horses were a dozen small china figurines, the kind once given away in boxes of Red Rose Tea and now considered quasi-collectors’ items. They drew us in like the Holy Grail.

After much consideration, we got The House That Jack Built, Puss 'n Boots, The Three Bears, and a few others.

Could we have gotten them more easily on eBay? Yep. Would we have? Nope. It wouldn’t have occurred to us.

New way to shop

eBay, Etsy and Facebook swap and shop sites are amazing. They've opened up a whole new way for people to find what they need in a laser-focused way.

And they’re thriving because these days nobody has time to organize a yard sale. It’s a lot of work for a few dollars in profit. So maybe the writing's on the wall.

But I hope garage sales never completely die out.

It’s just good, clean fun cruising around Virden on the hunt, haggling with sellers, meeting new people, and anticipating the next A-hah! moment when you find something you weren’t looking for and really don't need but suddenly have to have.

After all, how often can you say, "I bought a house today for a buck!"

Long live the yard sale!


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