Yard Sale-a-Palooza 2012

I am just now recovering from what was an exhausting and not-so-profitable day. We participated in our annual neighborhood sale for what is probably the fourth? fifth? time. Last year, I made $800, and that was even with having to close up shop early when a downpour hit shortly after noon. So I was a bit disappointed to clear $250 this year. Granted, I had less stuff…but part of the reason was location: for this sale, almost everyone is out front, which is where I usually am (last year was my first year in the back). Before last year, I was the only person in my building participating, which made it easy to decide for myself where I wanted to be. Now there is a family who also likes to participate and logistics have become tricky. Though they don’t have nearly the amount of stuff to sell that I do, adding my stuff to theirs still makes it too crowded in the front. Their family has four kids, so their items are solely baby items, and this sale really caters to the vintage lovers (right up my alley) so people tend to pass by if they scan the sale and see mostly baby items — getting them to come to the back is tricky. Still, I thought the easiest (and most diplomatic) solution was to take the back and try and get as many signs as possible in front indicating that vintage items were in the back of the building. It either didn’t work very well or this was a remarkably low-attendance year (which is possible — it was crazy hot and the humidity was ridiculous). I was never swamped with people like I usually am. It made for a long day during which I had plenty of time to look at all of the crap I was going to either have to haul off to the Salvation Army or upstairs, three flights.

Nonetheless, it’s always good to clean out, and $250 is extra money, certainly, and that is nothing to be sneezed at. Here are some shots of the set-up.

These dishes didn’t sell. The pattern is Parisian Center and at one point I had them marked $10. Not every piece is chip-free, but a lot are, and it’s a really pretty pattern. I couldn’t bear to take them to the Salvation Army because I knew they would throw them in the bin and break 2/3 of them. If you live in the Chicago area and want them, they’re yours! You just have to pick up — and bring your own box and paper because I have neither at the moment. 🙂 Seriously, just let me know!


This lovely lady didn’t sell…again. I had her marked down to $10. That’s really not too much for an original oil painting that’s so big, is it?? I’m thinking I’ll just keep her.


The other half of the patio was all baby stuff, which didn’t really sell very well either. I was surprised that my cake plates didn’t sell until the very end, when I had marked them way down, and the two adorable lazy susans I had marked $3 each never sold. Who doesn’t want a lazy susan?? Am I the only one who loves these?

But I need to be reminded of my own advice: don’t have a yard sale to make money. Have a yard sale to clear the clutter and make enough for a nice dinner.

By the way, what is UP with people leaving their trash behind at yard sales? Pepsi cans and potato chip wrappers littered our patio after I had cleaned up. Have a little decorum, people!

August 10, 2012 - 6:07 pm

janie hightower Even tho I’ve seen all your wares already, my mouth still started watering when I looked at all the pictures. Surely the heat had to factor largely into why you weren’t as successful as you should’ve been. I am so sorry. When we win the lottery, we will put all your stuff in a store and just look at it with love until it sells at very high prices.

August 31, 2012 - 6:20 am

jo Oh, WOW. I absolutely adore the Parisian Centre dinner set. If only I wasn’t on the other side of the world. Thanks for the blog – I’m a garage sale (I think you call them tag sales) and second hand shop fiend, and what I wouldn’t give for a peek at American yard sales – my sister furnished her whole house with amazing things when she lived north of NY for a few years. It was beautiful. And FUN to visit! I also love your 50s and 60s (I think) ceramic vases – my collection is little, but I love it, and I use it, and I covet yours!
Lovely things, great read. Thanks lots.

August 31, 2012 - 8:04 am

Lara Jo Well, thank you, Jo! I really appreciate you visiting and your nice comments. Wish like heck I could box these dishes up and send them to you — I want them to go to someone who loves them but so far, no takers.

I think actually using your collections is wonderful — I used my matte white pottery as centerpieces for my wedding and will always love the photos from it. Now that you mention it, I need to try and do that more often. (Use my collections, not get married, I mean.)

Thanks again for visiting!

October 22, 2012 - 9:31 pm

Sara Is the radio flyer red wagon still available. I would love to purchase that from you!!! I own, well starting up, a photography business and would love to add that to my newborn prop collection! Please let me know either way.