Monday, March 8, 2010

On Library Sales, Yard Sales, and Similar Places

Those of you who know me probably know that I'm very big on yard sales, aka garage sales. I have walked over a mile in one day just to get good deals on used stuff. It's something that my family has always done; I have many memories of my family and I riding around the neighborhood looking for bargains. Some people don't really like them, because they'd rather buy stuff new. I say, sometimes you find stuff at garage sales that is new, i.e., still in the plastic. Even used stuff isn't that bad; as someone who comes from a family that hasn't always been affluent, I can say that sometimes getting stuff used is the only way you're going to get it.
A new way I've found to get stuff cheap is library sales. Though I've only been to three large ones in my lifetime, both the library I volunteer at as well as two others somewhat close to me have rooms and/or carts that have stuff for sale all the time. Some items used to belong to the library, but haven't been checked out in a while, so they're getting rid of them; others are just things that people donated, and the library had no need for them. Most of what's for sale there is books, but they also have music CDs, audiobooks, and videos, too. Since I mostly buy printed or electronic media at yard sales, it only makes sense that I would like library sales, too.
I will admit that I have had problems getting rid of stuff that I've gotten at yard sales and library sales after I was done with it. For example, just last week, the used bookstore near me wouldn't accept some books I tried to trade in because they had the name of a library stamped on the side. It didn't matter that I had pulled all the stickers off the cover, including the bar code, nor did it matter that I actually paid money for them; all that mattered was they had that stamp on them. I just ended up donating them to a thrift store. Also, there was a series of books (that will remain nameless) I bought several hardcover volumes of at a library sale last year, because they looked good. However, after starting the first one, I couldn't believe such dreck would go on for even half the volumes that were in the series. I tried to sell them at my family's yard sale, but no one bought them, so I ended up donating them back to the library, who put them up for sale again. (I didn't mind them doing that at all; at least the library made some extra money, right?) Even beyond books, I had several Christian CDs, a good part of which were bought used, that the used music store near me wouldn't accept for trade-in. Based on that, I would imagine that's not a big seller for them.
Still, all that notwithstanding, I still love garage sales and library sales. Without them, I wouldn't have been able to have a good part of the stuff my family and I have owned in the past. Even the desk I'm sitting at to write this post came from a yard sale, as well as the entertainment center sitting next to me and the DVD recorder sitting inside it. I'm really looking forward to this yard sale season; since I just moved to a new location last October, I have a whole new neighborhood of garage sales to walk to. There are also two library sales I know of that I'm planning on going to; one in my city, the other in a neighboring city. The former already has a date set; I'm going to keep checking the website for the latter to see when they're having one. I would like to go to one in my city that I went to last year, but my mom doesn't want to take me to that one again because of how hard it was to get to, as well as the distance (not because of anything I did wrong, as someone with a hidden agenda against me might think.) I'm hoping by that point I will have a job; if not, my dad has said that he might give me some spending money for yard work. He did something similar before where I got a $10 weekly allowance. That might not sound like much, but that little amount can go pretty far at yard sales and library sales. Who knows what deals are waiting for me this year? Only time will tell.
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