Monday, February 26, 2007

Saturday - Feb. 17th, 2007

Arizona Av. Lake Claire “Moving Sale”

This was the only nearby sale on this cold Saturday morning. The sale was held in the two front rooms of a frame bungalow near the land trust property. While I have been intruding on and in a sense exploiting people’s belongings for nearly three years now I felt as though I was intruding when I entered this cluttered property in my neighborhood. Perhaps it was that they had so little room to display the excess of their children’s belonging that they were attempting to divest themselves of or perhaps it was that I could see they did not have much of a chance to clean up the rest of the house for the sale. I got the feeling that this couple with several children felt bad that their house was in such disorder and that I was now on public display. I politely explained that I wished to take photos but with a tinge of guilt kept my lens away from the unkempt areas of the home and focused only upon the assembled clutter offered for sale.
Anyway the sale overall was not that interesting. Nearly all the stuff was an assortment of plastic children’s playthings. A typical item was a hard plastic Sponge Bob that appeared to vomit Playdoh or some other material. On a shelf of books that may have been for sale I did find “Spontaneous Healing”, “The Six Pillars of Self Esteem”, “Mama Makes Up her Mind”, “Conversations with God”, “Grab a Pencil”, “Little Bits of Wisdom” and “Straight from the Fridge Dad”.
I bought nothing.
Plastic toys amid the clutter.
















Sponge Bob with open orafice.

6 comments:

Chris said...

I think the Spongey is snow cone machine.

Anonymous said...

This may seem a bit out of the blue, but do you have any idea as to where I could find how many yard sales there are annually in the US?

Anonymous said...

sorry, you can reach me here: devon.doherty at gmail.com

WeekendTreasure said...

This is a response to the second comment. Garage sale stats are very few and far between. But I have been tracking them for a few months now on our website, http://www.weekendtreasure.com

We are getting about 1,000 sales per weekend, with about 500 of those sales dropped due to the way our system only captures address with predictable patterns. I'd say we are only capturing at the most 10% of the total number of sales each weekend that go unadvertised or are just not found by our system (which searches about 30 national papers and Craigslist).

if I ahd to guess, there are at the very minimum 10,000 sales happenign per week across the US, at this point (very early in the season).

Go here for updates on the running stats:

http://www.weekendtreasure.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=6&pid=9#pid9http:

Yard Sale Addict said...

This is an interesting and perplexing question. Enumerating sales is as difficult as counting stray cats. One has to consider first what is a sale. There are homes on rural by-ways that have a continual pile of clutter and refuse out in the yard that the occupants will sell if anyone inquires, there are also the small urban sales of a few books and trinkets placed on the sidewalk in-front of an apartment building. In addition with the ascendancy of such tools as Craigslist there are now virtual sales where the yard is bypassed and the time of the sale is not limited to a Saturday morning. Bear in mind not all sales are advertised and that some advertisments are redundant and others may be single ads for neighborhood sales that might include a dozen or more individual yard sales.
Perhaps one method of measurement would be statistical sampling. For example considered the street I live on. My four-block street has perhaps 100 homes on it. If over the past year there have been 12 sales on my street. (I can make a more accurate count by going over my journal and counting the exact number of homes). By this sample I estimate there are 12 sales for every 100 households per annum. If one multiplies this by the total number of households in the United States then you might get a statistical estimate of the number of sales each year in the nation. The more sample you have the more accurate your estimate will be. The accuracy would also be improved if the samples taken include a wide variety of neighborboods that differed by region, ethnicity and economics. If there are any social scientist who are interested in this ennumeration please let me know.

Tom Zarrilli

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