By now, I think pretty much everyone reading this knows how passionate I am about yard sales, library sales, thrift stores, and used book, movie, and/or music stores. Places such as those are where I have obtained most of the media I've bought for myself, as well as many gifts for others, over the past few years. Some people don't care for buying used goods, but, coming from a family that hasn't always been affluent, I can tell you that purchasing items secondhand is sometimes the only way you're going to get them.
Part of the fun of garage sales and Goodwill is that you just never know what you'll find. There have been times where I've seen items for sale that I didn't even know existed. For example, earlier this year, I saw an easy reader titled Putt-Putt's Night Before Christmas, accompanied by an audio cassette. When I was about eight or nine years old, Putt-Putt (an anthropomorphic talking convertible) was to me what Victoria Justice currently is. Although I liked other computer/video game characters back then, such as Mario's green-clad brother Luigi, that little car was my absolute favorite. I was surprised to see it, and that I didn't know about it previously, considering how bad my case of Putt-Putt fever was. There have been plenty of other similar incidents over the past few years as well.
Anyone who frequents yard sales and thrift stores will tell you that you can't go to them looking for a specific item, as in only one DVD or a certain book. You have to just browse, and, if anything strikes your fancy, buy it. I agree with that rule; however, there have been a few items over the years that I've just been keeping an eye out for when I go to library and tag sales, and I've had some previous searches that were successful. One such long-time quest was finding the British edition of an album by Westlife. You've probably never heard of that group; the easiest description I can give you is that they're the UK's answer to once mega-popular boy bands such as 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. The key difference is that most if not all of Westlife's songs are covers of previously popular hits, such as "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "Against All Odds," and "Seasons in the Sun." I had heard the latter track through the streaming site Project Playlist, and had wanted to get it (legally; I don't do illegal downloads) really bad. None of the digital music stores had it, though. Yes, I likely could have gotten the CD through Amazon Marketplace or eBay; however, I don't like the latter all that much because people on there tend to get in "bidding wars," and importing a CD from across the pond through Amazon tends to be expensive. So, for years, I quietly hoped that I would find that CD for sale somewhere...and a yard sale in my neighborhood a few weeks ago granted my wish. It had two British Westlife CDs, including one that had "Seasons in the Sun," for sale. I was overjoyed to find them, and finding Monsters, Inc. on DVD at another garage sale several months ago elicited similar feelings.
Though those searches may have ended, I still have some going on. Recently, I've been keeping an eye out for Where I Wanna Be by V*Enna. V*Enna was a turn-of-the-century Christian female pop duo that only recorded one album: the one I just named. After hearing the CD's title track on a WOW CD, that was also bought used, I've been dying to hear, and own, the whole album. Another search is for the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie The Love Letter (not to be confused with the identically-titled film starring Kate Capshaw, which I wouldn't even pay one cent for.) That search isn't for me; it's for my mom, who has the Hallmark telefilm on VHS, but hasn't been able to find it on DVD. According to the employees at my local MovieStop, the disc version of The Love Letter is out of print; yet, that wouldn't stop me from being able to find it at a tag sale or thrift store. Other used item quests include the soundtrack to 102 Dalmatians, old-school Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) on DVD, and the last three books in Bodie and Brock Thoene's Zion Covenant series.
All that said, I may not be able to find all or even any of those items. I certainly hope I do, but you never can tell; the unpredictability of garage and library sales is a big part of their appeal. No, I don't need those items; still, I can have hope that, somewhere, somehow, maybe when I least expect it, V*Enna's sole album or Hallmark's The Love Letter will pop up. When it does, I sure hope I'm ready.