Trash to treasures

Garage sale mavens hit the streets


It's Friday morning, and the best of Craig's yard sale hunters are out the door, scouring their first sale by half-past 7.

"You put the ad for 8 a.m., but you'd better be ready before," said Mary Ellen Cook, who is holding her annual summer garage sale this weekend.

She expected such a big turnout that her daughter and son-in-law came from Wyoming to help out. By 8 a.m. Friday, she had a line of people in her front yard waiting to pay for their finds.

Summer is the peak time for the yard- sale circuit, and people in Craig take their yard sales seriously.

"It's the thing to do on the weekends," said Millie Towner, who opened her garage to bargain hunters this weekend, but can be found shopping sales most other weekends.

Cook said one man came out on Thursday to get the best pick of a collection of fishing poles that her husband, Paul, rebuilds.

A longtime "garage-saler," Paul buys rundown poles at other garage sales and fixes them up to sell at his own sale.

Laura Brewer fits garage sales into her schedule.

"I took the day off from work to go to the sales," she said.

The attraction is to see what kind of good stuff can be found, Brewer said.

Advertisements for garage sales in the paper have proved useful, because many people get as serious as making a route map the night before, she said.

"It's a waste of time and gas if you don't," said Doug Slaight, who was bargaining with Tony Sharp over a saw early Friday morning.

"That's cheap, and you know that," Sharp told Slaight about the price, unwilling to take less for the item. Bargaining is a big part of yard sales, and everybody has a different opinion on how to go about it.

Many experienced garage-salers advise to be flexible with prices.

"If I can get rid of it and people can use it, I don't say 'no,'" Towner said. Most agree that garage sales are not really about making a profit. It's more about doing something useful.

"We never make a lot of money," Mary Ellen Cook said.

"Its just to get rid of the things you need to get rid of.

Colbert Levy can be reached at 824-7031.

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