TBT: Another Woman's Treasure

The world is drowning in extra stuff. And some of that stuff is really nice, if you go looking for it in wealthier neighborhoods. Estate sales and higher-end, coordinated garage sales are still great opportunities to replenish a home or wardrobe, especially when you need a lot of things all at once. When I first moved into my house in 2007, I found furniture, clothing, shoes, dishes, linens, and more in the front yards and garages of my wealthier neighbors at the annual spring garage sale.

Not every year since then has been quite as good for shoppers--you can see how the economy affects how much people spend on new things they don't even bother to use. If you need specific items, you may need to try a few different sales to hunt down all your treasures.

"Naked lady parties," or clothing swaps with friends, can be another fun way to try out new fashions (for free!) while cleaning out your own closet. To this day, most of my clothing is second-hand.

And I'm proud to say that a dozen years after buying a house, I still haven't ever purchased a new piece of furniture! Most of the time, if something has lasted through multiple owners, you can be reasonably sure it was made better than anything you could buy at H&M or Ikea.

Another Woman's Treasure

My thrift store shopping tips (Fast-Forward Fashion) also apply to garage sales, estate sales, and church rummage sales.

Watch the newspaper for these types of events. It's best to find large sales or whole-neighborhood coordinated garage sales to get the most out of your morning. It's fun walking from house to house. You don't want to spend your whole life digging through old junk. But once in awhile, you can make out like a bandit while your wealthier neighbors purge their houses.

At this weekend's River Ridge sale in Delta Township, I found a few nice things to buy with my pocket change. Lisa, however, did exceptionally well. For about $10 total she picked up many garments and housewares including an impact drill, a thick wool jacket, a pair of high-heeled booties, a pair of brand new white Gap jeans (for a dollar!) and a Givenchy Sport silk blend sweater (for 50 cents!!!)

If you have children or pets, you can find truckloads of nearly-new, outgrown clothing, toys, and pet carriers for next to nothing.

A few days after a big neighborhood sale ends, hit the local thrift shops, where the leftovers tend to end up.

Sometimes you can even find such good deals on stuff that you can re-sell your finds on eBay at a substantial profit. Just make sure the money you make is worth the time it takes to find and resell the items.

Happy shopping!


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