Friday, February 14, 2014

100 Reasons I Love Being a Junker

Back in the day, there was this thing that went around the comics blogosphere where, at Valentines, folks posted lists of 100 things they loved about comics.  I never did this, but always wanted to.  I even made notes for a list, but never got around to doing it. I also made notes for a "!00 Things I Love about Living in Louisville" list.  I found that one the other day.  Probably 20% of the places named on it are now closed.  Sigh.

I got to thinking bout those lists a little while ago and decided that it was finally time (nearly a decade after the trend has died) to do one of my own.  Not about comics, but about junking.  (But there is some junking-related comics content.  Never stray too far from your roots, man.)

Of course, being me, I can't just list things.  I have to talk about a few of them and share some links.  And name-drop a bit.  If I didn't mention you on my list, it's not because you're not one of the things I love about junking, but because I ran out of room.  Or I forgot.  Or something.  Remember, there's always next year.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!


By Michael Edward Mitchell, age 48

1.  It's an excuse to shop!   C'mon, everyone!  Let's be honest about this one!

2.  It keeps me from being a hoarder!  At least that's the justification...

3.  Old comic books.  It's where I began.

4.  BOOKS!  I'll always have way too many.

5.  Vintage religious items.  I buy 'em.  I sell 'em.  I collect 'em.  I love 'em!

6.  Making new friends

7.  All the crew at Dixie Peddlers Mall!  Y'all rock!  Shout-outs to Dianna, Tiffany, Theresa, Elizabeth, Brenda, Richie, Jim and James!

8.  Thrifting:  My dad took me to my first DAV.  It was downhill from there!

9.  50% off day at the ACB thrift:  Happens every now and again.

10.  50% off day at Unique:  Happens on Monday holidays.  The crowds are crazy and it's impossible to get a cart.  I love it!

11.  50% off tags at SVDP:  Happens every month!  They use colored tags and every month a different color is half off!

12.  YARD SALES!!!!  Counting the minutes until Spring...

13.  CHURCH SALES!!!!  Keep reading for the ones I never miss.

14.  Going through your haul at the end of the day.  Bit by bit, it all adds up!

15.  Finding the "theme of the day"  Some days you see the same oddball item at every sale you hit.  Salsa kits.  Fondue pots.  Porta-Potties.  Who knows what you're gonna see?

16.  Buying junk from kids

17.  Blessed Sacrament Church Sale.  It always seems to be held the same weekend that one of the Derby footraces hopelessly tie up traffic in the neighborhood, but it's worth the effort to get there.

18.  Big representations of things that are small.  I love it when scale is played with and inverted.  Makes for interesting things and I like to by and sell interesting things.

19.   The Five Guys!

20.  All the other Peddlers Malls:  Louisville is blessed with an abundance of vendor malls.  They provide a nice alternative to the thrifts and the antique malls.  I love 'em all!

21.  Booths with good stuff cheap.  Don't forget to shop your neighbors!  I do it all the time.

22.  Small city and neighborhood sales.  Louisville has dozens of little incorporated cities within its borders.  It's a bit of a political and logistical headache, but many of them have their own designated citywide yard sale days!  I'm all for that!

23.  Vendors who don't take themselves so seriously.  We're in this to make some money, sure, but this is supposed to be fun!  I can make money in a dozen different ways and be unhappy while doing it.

24.  Broadway Baptist Winter Sale:  One of my favorites.  The last hour is half off and there is always a ton of stuff!

25.  Small representations of things that are big

26.  Old Hymnals

27.  All my peeps at Yard Sale Queen!  Holla!  Laying aside my lame attempts to sound hip and young, there's not a nicer online forum around!  I have learned so much in the few years I've been a member.  Just a super great group of people!

28.  Dixie Trading Post.  Home of my second booth.

29.  The Big Flea!  The original and still finest.  I've spent many a fine junking hour wandering those aisles.  When I am old and decrepit, I'll be paying young whippersnappers to push my chair up and down the aisles and carry my bags of stuff.

More list love after the jump!

30.  Finding quality furniture cheaply priced.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's awfully sweet.

31.  Vintage pop culture:  From cartoon characters to theme parks to pop stars, popular culture can be a huge part of vintage junk hunting.  Thing is, I don't seem to see many junkers talking about or specifically seeking it out very often.  One who does is Sir Thrift-a-Lot, who loves the stuff as much as i do. 

32.  Highway-long sales.  I haven't done one in a while.  Maybe this summer?

33.  Vintage graphics and logos.  Packaging, artwork, typesetting and design just totally rocked back in the day, you know?  It makes me happy to find it and share it.  And by "share," I mean "sell."

34.  Everyday vintage items in the original packages.  I love it when you can look at something and say "How did this never get opened or used in all these years?

35. Child-sized furniture.  Years and years ago, we bought a child-sized recliner for Keith's niece as a Christmas gift.  Every kid ought to have things to sit on and use that's their size.  I love to provide that as a vendor.  You'll always find something child-sized in my booth.

36.  Regular customers.  It's kind of cool to have a fan base, even if I never see most of them.  I always know when they've been in, though.  I hear about it from the mall staff.

37.  Hurstbourne Christian Church Spring Sale.  I swear every room in this very large church, plus the parking lot, is filled with stuff!

38.  Stuff in jars

39.  Stuff in bags

40.  Box lots

41.  Bulk Buys  Pretty much, anyway you can get a buncha stuff cheap, I'm there!  Yeah, some of it will be crappy, but if you check things out and choose carefully, you can sure come out of it with a nice haul!

42.  Auctions.  I don't get to many live auctions, but I always have a good time when I do.

43.  Junk bloggers:  Monkeybox, Dig This Treasure, Magpie Ethel, Clamco.  I'm not totally sure how or if I fit in with this wild bunch, but there's some good reading out there!  One of these days, I'll actually put my blogroll back up, and these folks will be on it for sure.

44.  Customers who tell you how much they like your stuff.  I'm not talking about the regulars here.  Random comments from someone passing through your area mean an awful lot.

45.  Blogging about junking:  I think my blog really got focused once I really committed to this junking thing.  It's kind of fun showing off my finds.

46.  Sterling Road sale:  One of the first neighborhood sales we ever went to.

47.  Craigslist

48.  Filling the car on a Saturday:  That's the goal!

49.  Re-filling the car on a Saturday:  That's the dream!

50.  Paying the mortgage.  There is a practical aspect to all this.  We like having a roof over our heads.  Kosh kind of insists on it!

51.  Junkin' Memories

52.  Beats working.  What?  I'm not supposed to say that out loud?

53.  Researching finds.  The nerdy side of me loves to spend time learning about different things I find. 

54.  Estate Sales.  The variety of stuff at a good estate sale is mind-boggling.  You get the really nice, special stuff, like the antiques, in one room.  In the next one, you've got all the every day stuff--umbrellas, screwdrivers, widgets and gadgets.  There is truly something for everyone at an estate sale.

55.  People give you stuff!  Nicest phrase in the English language:  "Here I really don't need/want/use any of this stuff and I'm just going to throw it away.  Why don't you take it and see what you can do with it?  No, I don't want anything for it?"  Okay, that was several phrases, but you get the idea.  Happens to me all the time.

56.  Other people's trash:  I don't wander around opening people's trash cans, but if there's something cool sitting beside it or on top of it or in a can without a lid or in a recycle bin, it's probably leaving with me.  Their trash.  My treasure.  Just the way I like it!

57.  The Oddfellows Sale:  I always find something large, cool, and cheap at this one.  Plus, the people who run it are really interesting.  And, it benefits the VA hospital.  My dad was a vet.

58.  Never to be believed MEGA-SCORE!  Yes, it was seven years ago and I'm still talking about it!  I also can't believe it was really seven years ago.  Man!

59.  Any Catholic Church sale.  Your likelihood of finding Catholic-themed religious articles for sale increases when you are in a Catholic church.  I've been debating writing the Archbishop of Louisville and suggesting that he require all the churches in the Archdiocese to have a yard sale every year.  Call it a holy obligation.

60. Eddie's Attic (Booth 62) Rocks!  But you already knew that, didn't you?

61.  Unexpected finds.  Who would have thought I  would find all those vintage Fisher-Price playsets in that weird alley sale?  Or the beautiful dresser just sitting on a curb?  Or that big batch of saints?

62. Half-Price Books.  Extremely good clearance shelves. 'Nuff said!

63.  Making new furry friends at sale.  At some sales, everyone gets involved, even the puppy and the kitty.  I'm a pet person, so I love meeting the critters.  So does the Queen of Fifty Cents, who often blogs about her new friends.

64.  Flea Market style vendor malls.  I think I'll be a flea market boy until I hang up my junking shoes!

65.  Library Book Sale.  Box days rule!

66.  Having my own yard sale.  Sometimes, you just gotta!  Thin the hoard, as it were.

67.  Beechwood Village Sale  Another good small city sale. 

68.  Goodwill uniform pricing.  Walk in any Goodwill in Kentucky and the books will be 50 cents.  I like that.

69.  Going junking with my uncle.  When my work schedule and his health permit, of course.  He's got to get better soon, because it's been too long.

70. A well-organized junk room:  Not that I have one mind you, but I sure would love it if I did!

71.  The massive multi-family sale on Poplar Level:  The fewest families I've ever seen at this one was seven.  I have seen as many as eleven.  Two of the regulars are antique dealers clearing out stuff.  The picking is always good.

72.  Tickled Pink (Hi Tony!)

73.  On site storage:  Best move I ever made was renting my little storage room.  This is the definition of convenience!

74.  The thrill of the hunt.  It's out there!  I'm gonna find it! I may not totally know what is is, but it's out there!  I'm gonna find it!

75.  The thrill of the flip.  And when I do, I'm gonna sell it!

76.  People who share info/knowledge with others.  Sure, we're all kinda competing with each other for the same dollar, but there's still room to help folks out.  Vintage Rescue Squad is really good at this,

77.  Hurstbourne/Hurstbourne Acres Sale.  Two adjoining cities that usually have their sales on the same day, along with the church in number 37.  It's guaranteed to be a long, but fruitful, day.

78.  The opening salvo at the corner of Payne and Baxter.  This one is held Derby weekend by some of the same folks who do the sale in number 71.  It's kind of like their spring cleaning.  Even though it doesn't happen until May and there have been sales going on for weeks, I still consider it to be the official opening for the yard sale season. 

79.  Getting those reports.  Can't go to be until the sales email comes in!

80.  Great Escape Sidewalk Sales. I left my weekly visits to get new comics behind me a long time ago, but I never miss a sidewalk sale.  Plenty of selection:  comics, DVD's, CD's, books, and assorted geegaws and nick nacks, all at great prices.  For the last one every year, the comics are 25 cents.  Cannot beat that!  More than keeps me in enough comics to feed my jones, plus batches to put in the booth.

81.  Christmas clearance.  Post-holiday sales take on a whole new meaning when you're laying in stock for next year.  C'mon 75% off!

82.  Halloween clearance.  One of the things I have learned since starting this venture is that people are as crazy for Halloween decor as they are for Christmas.  Nice to know.

83.  Junk set out.  It's coming up in about three weeks!  The damn weather had better cooperate!

84. Email notices about junk set out.  It's the newest thing.  I've signed up for reminders about set out times in all the neighborhoods with the best stuff during sale time.  I figure the picking ought to be pretty good in those parts, too!

85.  Random curb finds.  Some folks just can't wait for the scheduled set out.  That's fine by me!

86.  A nice, quick, easy flip.  Find it.  Price it.  Put it out. Sell it.  All in the same day.  It doesn't get any better than that.

87.   Out of town thrifting.  It was written long ago:  You shall know them by their thrifts.  Okay, maybe not, but hitting new sales turf can be a lot of fun.  Sometimes, it will make you jealous.  It can also make you appreciate what you have a little more.

88.  Stumbling on a killer sale  Once is awesome!

89.  Finding a new killer sale that happens every year  Annually is even better!

90.  The occasional keeper.  Eddie does not live by selling alone.  Every now and then, a tidbit or two has to come home with me.  It's like a little reward.

91.  Regular sales that are never to be missed.  Do this for a few years, and you'll have your own list of annual sales that you would crawl off your deathbed for.  Some of mine are on this list.

92.  Beulah Presbyterian Sale:  This is probably the best sale of the type where different vendors sell, as opposed to the church collecting a large amount of stuff.  The church does have several tables of stuff, which makes it all the better.

93.  Bethel-St Paul Church Sale:  One of the earliest sales in the spring.  Always full of good stuff, including furniture.

94.  Planning my route:  Sitting down on Friday night with Craigslist and the online classifieds from the paper makes me feel like a kid on Christmas Eve!  I can hardly wait to wake up in the morning and see what the day brings!

95.  Old Louisville Sale:  We used to live in this neighborhood of classic Victorian homes.  Now we go back to shop.

96.  25 cent CD's and 50 cent DVD's:  Let media adapters and the techies and the hipsters iPod and iPad everything to death!  There is still a market out there for prior forms of media entertainment.  Heck, there are people who buy 8-tracks, for goodness' sake!  I'll scoop the antiquated media the elite cast aside at bargain prices and sell it!  Take that!

97.  J-town Senior Center Sale:  If I had to pick a favorite sale of the year, this one would be it.  Tons of stuff.  Unbelievable prices.  I always have to make at least three trips through.

98.  Scoring at a thrift you seldom hit

99.  Ending the day with a lovely dinner of Mexican food!  Nothing brings a great sales run to a close like chips and salsa!  You can quote me on that!

100.  Hitting the yard sales with my one and only sweet baboo!


Unknown said...

Love this list, Eddie! I totally get it. :D

Shelley said...

Whew! Made it through the list! I will admit I don't have the patience to attempt such a list of my own!

Protector of Vintage said...

Wow, that was fun to read!

Shelley said...

Ahem...I forgot...Happy Valentine's Day!

The Queen of Fifty Cents said...

Thanks for the shout out... especially since you put me in with the yard sale pets!