Modern day treasure hunting

Emrick Smith, 9, left, and Breken Smith, 11, said they were “doing pretty good” at their sale, selling items they no longer needed to make way for new items. Also available was peach and banana bread baked by the boys’ grandmother, Kathy Sorby. There was an interesting folding boat at this sale a few miles up Highway 34 in Waldport on Saturday.

LINCOLN COUNTY — In addition to providing an opportunity to pick up a used fishing rod or recliner, garage sales provide a glimpse into our neighbors’ homes and lives. While generally unwanted items are offered for sale, there’s no telling what might turn up at a garage sale. Most sales consist of an assortment of old clothes, toys, sporting gear, dishes and random assorted household items, but there is still an element of treasure hunting in the Saturday morning quest. 

Last weekend, there were fishing supplies, ammunition, mid-century modern decor and a folding boat available at bargain prices. There were far more plastic food storage containers available than buyers for them. There were two young boys in Waldport selling off some of their old things to make some money, as well as room for new things to come.

Garage sale season usually starts off in the spring when sale signs begin to appear, perhaps a result of spring cleaning. But really, sales occur any time of year. There were few this spring and summer as COVID shut most events down and restricted travel. As some semblance of regular life resumed, so did local outdoor markets. Garage sales, too, are taking place again, although with shoppers masked and distanced.

Garage sale and yard sale are loose terms describing sales taking place at private homes, generally a private party selling items no longer needed or wanted. Sometimes there will be a group or neighborhood offering items together, or a city will designate a weekend to hold garage sales city wide, and there will be many sales in a concentrated area. Or a church or organization will accept donations and hold a large sale. Such combined offerings provide greater opportunity for people to find things they don’t know they want or need.

Last weekend, the Beachcomber’s Days Committee offered space in the community center parking lot for the Great Waldport Garage Sale for $15. There were several tents set up with an array of household items, as well as a pair of artists displaying wooden mushrooms fashioned with chainsaws, timely with mushroom foraging season about to get underway. 

The annual Siletz Community Garage Sale is Saturday, Sept. 19. Those interested in having their sale included on the community map can contact Michelle Schaffer at 541-444-1023.

A moving sale is similar to a yard or garage sale, but offers the potential for more notable finds. With moving difficult and expensive, many choose to sell items rather than take them along when they move. A moving sale can be an opportunity to find a deal on a dresser or dining table someone doesn’t want to haul across the country. There are not only unwanted items to be found at a moving sale, but items offered more reluctantly for sale out of necessity. 

An estate sale is a different kind of sale entirely. Usually put on by the heirs of an estate or a company on their behalf, anything and everything can be found at an estate sale. It can be disconcerting to walk into someone’s kitchen and look through their pantry or drawers, but a good opportunity to pick up a roasting pan, a garden hose or a used washer and dryer at a bargain price. You can buy the deceased person’s toaster or the clothes in their closet. Often, even the contents of the pantry and kitchen drawers are available to purchase.

At an estate sale in Bayshore last Friday morning, there was a pair of Andy Warhol’s cats, beautifully framed prints still hanging on the wall, for sale for $10 each. Partially full shampoo bottles and shaving cream was available to purchase, as were brooms and even bottles of household cleaners in the garage, at a fraction of their original cost. Everything was half off on Saturday, though the bathroom and cleaning supplies remained. Someone did take the several cans of paint that was offered for free. 

The News-Times offers sale listings in the classifieds. Sales are often advertised on Craigslist and Facebook. Estate sales are generally listed along with yard and garage sales. Companies arranging estate sales will often provide inventory listings with photos in advance.

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