Friday Finds and Parisienne Farmgirl’s GARAGE SALE ETIQUETTE!!!!

Jun 20, 2009 | Simply Ang, Tag Sales and Junk Finds | 19 comments

Oh man did we hit the jackpot this morning!  Joel was home (that sounds good but it’s really not) and he chaufered us around for two hours in the stormy, rainy, tornado watch ridden weather.  The family would stay in the car while I would jump out and make my purchases in between lightening bolts!!!  What a riot!

You haven’t been garage “saleing” til you have been with my son, he sit’s in the car and yells loud enough for everyone to hear, “Is it junk Mom or is it a good one?”  If I get back in the car empty handed and say, “It was junk baby” he say’s “Why people got junky stuff?”

Being so sick the last few weeks I have not posted about some other goodies a couple Friday’s ago so I am going to try to catch up – and lest I forget, yesterday I walked to a local rummage sale and found some goodies too!  My non-puking moments are beginning to outnumber by puking ones – PRAISE THE LORD!
This morning was really a hit though, I spent no more than $17 on the following items: Walkie Talkies for Aidan (we had been wanting to get those for him for months), a “vintage” walker for this next baby – should be a riot on our wood floors, a new clamp on seat for the dining room table, a tomato cage, a tri-pod for my camera, a whole handful of wonderful kitchen knives, spatulas, a can opener (blue none-the-less and we NEEDED one, we have been opening our cans with a Swiss army knife for the last couple weeks), 3 yellow Pyrex ramekins, two sa-weet chartreuse colored pillows, and a “big boy” bike for Aidan, an adorable dress for when LeeLee is older, and a hat for her next winter…good grief it was amazing!!!  SEVENTEEN DOLLARS PEOPLE!!!

So, I’ll show you some photos of these goodies and the rummage sale ones and the ones from a few weeks ago and then allow me to disertate on Garage Sale Etiquette! 

First of all, I found this tule skirt for 5o Cents a few weeks ago…I love tule and now I have one black (hanging as my powder room curtain) and one white.  I LOVE Marilyn and always have and I also love to recreate photographs – after this baby I am going to recreate the famous Milton Greene photograph of M.M. using an old vintage dress with this tule underneath – get out my signature red Christian Dior lip gloss, a black sheet and the pin curls!!!  Sounds like a fun afternoon while the kids are sleeping next spring!!!  I still love to play dress up.  

I don’t know what those bead games are called but our midwife had one and Aidan LOVED it. Aren’t they pretty “expensive”? I got this one for two dollars a few weeks ago and the kids play with it ALL THE TIME!!!
I got those clothes for Amélie for 75 cents a few weeks ago too plus a winter play coat and boots for $2 and a bunch of other cute/tacky embroidered jeans for a quarter each. If she never slims out enough to fit into them – big loss. At the same sale I found Aidan a basket ball hoop for the driveway and this pirate lego boat, $2 and $5. We had prayed for a basket ball hoop and legos before we left the house!!!!  I hate it when you put text too close to a photo and it does this underline thing!!!! I can’t get rid of it!!!  Oh BTW, that is a $70 bike for $3 – shocks and all.  

The chartreuse pillows.  50 cents a piece.  BONJOUR!!!

The perfectly clean snap on seat.  Now we don’t have to move the one from the kitchen back and forth to eat in the dining room and next year when we need two – VOILA.  $3.

Mon amie Francoise always serves her Ratatouille in orange personal Le Creuset ramekins.  So these aren’t the little blue Le Creusets that I dream of and there were only three BUT they were 50 cents TOTAL.  BTW she serves her with a layer of broiled goat cheese on the top.  When my garden gets going I swear I will share the recipe!!!

The rummage sale stash – $7 total.  Domes for cakes and cheese plates, a small jar for homemade instant gratification jam (Joie de Vivre cookbook) and a HUGE one for Gardinara this fall!  Our family goes through Gardinara like crazy – I will share that recipe too!!!  Oh, and of course, a pitcher with lid for le citronade this summer.  Pure sugar, lemons,water and ice cubes on a hot, steam day.

“Little Buttchop this is Big Momma, You got a copy?”

So she won’t wear it for 3-4 more years.  I am a sucker for sailor dresses, especially when they are mint and $1.

And now,  the Parisienne Farmgirl’s Guide for Garage Sale Etiquette…

Look, all your signs need to match O.K.?  Nothing is more frustrating than turning the car on its side to make a quick left or right when a sign is spotted thus missing all the text but only noting the color or design of the sign…next thing you know you are driving, and driving and you spot another sign but it looks different…do you follow it?  Is it for the same sale or do you stay the course???

USE AN ARROW!  Since most of us can not read your “handwriting” and you insist on using the SMALLEST SHARPIE in your drawer – at least put a fricken’ arrow on your sign!!!!

If your house is located in a twisting and turning and twisting and turning neighborhood please put more than ONE sign on the main drag and one in front of your house.  NOTHING is more discouraging than driving and driving wondering if your sale actually exists.

Take the dang sign down after the sale so I am not making the above mistakes two weekends in a row.


If it would look better on a burn pile, please do not try to sell it to me.

Please get over yourself with the pricing.  I am garage saleing for a reason.  I know you are trying to make a buck and I appreciate that.  But don’t insult me.  I will reciprocate when you come to my sale.

Mark your fricken antiques “garage sale” prices.  If you want $95 for a small ugly end table than go rent a booth at the local antique mall.

Please do not just pull out a bunch of boxes out onto your driveway.  I can’t see what’s in them as I  drive by and usually it’s just a bunch of junk anyways.  See burn pile.



Don’t ask me for 50% off an item at 8:30 in the morning on the first day of the sale.

Don’t pick up my crusty, lovely stained glass window and inquire, “Is this old?”  – Moron.

Don’t flick your cigarette butts in my driveway.  I’ll flick them back at you.

DO NOT ask me to lower my price on something and THEN HAND ME A TWENTY!!!!

Stop asking me if I have any gold I want to sell.  

Get your kids away from my fountain and pond.  I am having a garage sale, clearly I can’t afford your law suit.

If you are coming to my sale, please put on deodorant.
There you have it.  Call me uncharitable but I can only take so much.  Until next Friday that is…

What did you score this week???


  1. Anne Marie

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Anne Marie

    oops (on above)

    I scored myself one heck of a hilarious friend

  3. Anonymous

    please put on deodorant? c’mon! it’s a garage sale. do you expect res-carpet etiquette? my Mother-In-Law doesn’t wear deordorant EVER even for holiday dinners, consider yourself lucky!

  4. Allidink

    Haha I had a pretty junky garage sale experience last week but it wasn’t a total failure! But seriously it drives me crazy when I go to garage sales and people are literally selling stuff that needs to go to the dump! I blame it on Craigslist. Whoever anonymous is getting all jiggy about not wearing deodorant…ew…nasty. Anyway! I think that is so cute what your son says haha. I agree with your garage sale etiquette! It’s bad where I live. We get a lot of Mexicans in socal who come up buy up like every stick of furniture or expensive looking item and then take it to Mexico and re-sell it to people there! LOL. It’s ridiculous I have almost given up on garage sales. I wish you good garage sales in the future 🙂

    All the best,

  5. LillySue

    They need to publish your tips in the newspaper garage sale section! I don’t know how many mom’s let their kids reorganize my whole garage sale for me while they blindly shopped. Were not talking just the toy section here! Gotta love the hunt though!!

  6. Bonjour Madame

    Oh my gosh, I think I’m going to go look for a garage sale today. I am loving the pillows and ramekins you found! And the petticoat is so pretty. Love the music too.


  7. Jen

    What great loot! You totally scored.
    Love the tips!

  8. Old Centennial Farmhouse

    The garage sale etiquette is RIGHT ON, MAMA! I’ve been thinking ALL Of those things, just never sat down and wrote them. (I usually NEVER ask for a lower price unless it’s a BIG item, late in the sale…like the third day or something…I don’t ask often at all because I don not want to insult people.) You made out like a bandit with all your wonderful finds, I’m tellin’ you! That is how we got through our children’s childhoods, too…shopping the garage sales! (You know what else I hate? When someone goes in on your garage sale with you and they bring junk to it that should be in the garbage and they ask exorbitant prices for it! SO EMBARRASSING!)

  9. Lisa

    You found some great bargains!

    You’re right on the money with the etiquette lesson. I can’t stand seeing three month old signs littering the streets. Tacky!

    I’d love for you to post the “instant gratification” jam recipe – at your leisure, of course. 🙂

  10. Faith

    That last section was pretty funny. And Aidan’s Question.

    You are the queen of bargain shopping. Great stuff you found.

  11. Carole~Maynard Greenhouse

    You got some great deals.
    I think in the etiquette part…it’s all in the way you ask the question and how you get approached. I hate it when someone says ” I’ll give you ***”
    No you’re suppose to say ” Would you take***???”
    It makes all the difference in the world to me. Being in retail it isn’t the same but now adays people do try to get bargains.
    Just be nice and you might get what you want.

  12. Calm Energy

    Enjoyed the post very much! If my husband is in the driver’s seat, we only stop at garage sales if the sign says something about tools.
    … My best garage sale find was 3 years ago, I got my daughter a beautiful, 3-4′ square glass and brass coffee table (from Ethan Allen) for $25. It’s gorgeous with her dark red sofa!
    I also love the photo of your kids eating! I remember those days … my kids would eat lentil soup (most kids don’t know what lentils are =)

  13. RobinfromCA

    What a delightful post. I’m sitting here with my drippy nose, sore throat and throbbing head and you’ve made me feel better!

    We never, well, rarely have garage sales around here. And if we do the “burn-pile-junk-in-boxes” is mostly what you see. If it’s been thrown in a box for who knows how long you can bet it’s not clean and I’m not digging through it! A long time ago our city used to have an annual city-wide garage sale. But, alas, everybody here is now from Taiwan so that tradition went away and I will live vicariously through you!

  14. cityfarmer

    how about the people that drive by at 0 miles per hour … turn around at the corner, drive by again and then drive on by like they have infra-red-radar vision and can see all the way to the back of your garage … OR the greedy person who doesn’t intend to buy asks … “is there more behind the house?” … OR how about mrs.client who will not speak to you at all as she shops your merchandise? OR …this year a guy bragged that he used to live in MY house and could he just take a peek inside….NO LIE, my dear!!! ( he made no purchases either)

    let’s write a book, eh!!!!!

  15. Life in the 'Burbs

    “please put on deodorant…” I am laughing my @#! off right now. I can just hear you saying that!! I miss you.

  16. Victoria

    Hilarious list of “please don’ts” for your garage sale, especially the notion that, since you’re having a sale of that type, maybe you don’t want to incur a thousand dollar lawsuit in the process!

    Also, “I’ll flick your cig butts back at you” – priceless Ang.

    Sorry we’re so unavailable. As usual, so good excuses.. just busy. Your brother is older and wiser this Saturday, you know…

  17. the happy sparrow

    well done on your garage sale finds! i scored a trampoline with sides for my son Noah for $20, they are about $340 Aus new so it was Christmas at our house!! 🙂 Martine

  18. Joy

    You are so right on about people wanting to make a killing at their garage sale. I was just at one this morning and the old jewelry was over priced for this area of ‘clientel’!! C’mon people it’s a garage sale, not Sothebys!

  19. Punk Rose Journal

    I am laughing SO hard at this!! I LOVE the part about “don’t ask me to lower my price and then hand me a twenty” – I’ve gotten that before. Your probably the coolest chic …ever!! I always love reading your posts, but this one is too much!!! xo Sher


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