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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Explore Garage Sales on Your Next Visit to Palm Springs

Unusual Magic 8 Ball Found at Garage Sale

Bargain shopper? Well, then you have come to the right place. Ask a local person, and they’ll regale the virtues of garage and estate sales throughout Coachella Valley.

Since I had worked on a project in Palms Springs, I was well aware of the bargains that could be found at these two kinds of sales. Once I decided to make the move from Vancouver, Washington, I decided it made absolutely no sense to move my stuff to Palm Springs.

Like the declutterers are recommending, I packed only things that brought me joy, my Caribbean artwork, and my clothes. Just saying, six years later, I have no regret about leaving stuff behind nor do I miss it.

Garage Sales and Estate Sales Hunting

For many of us, these sales have become a hobby. One never knows what treasures one will find. My girlfriend and I head out at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings with a sense of expectation and adventure.

She happens to love research, so she has with her a list of sales, with addresses, she has found on Craigslist, Facebook or Palm Springs Neighborhood Newsletters.

If you are here a short time, ask a local what is considered the most affluent area. For these areas are most likely to have the sales with often pristine items. As you drive around, you will see a number of signs posted on main streets, competing for your attention.

By the way, be sure to put sunscreen on and wear a hat. Also, keep in mind, when in Palm Springs a bottle of water and sunscreen is a must ANYTIME you leave the confines of your home or hotel room.

Vintage Sequin Jacket found at Garage Sale for $15

What Kinds of Things Can You Expect to Find?

One time I went to an estate sale and there was a black, all leather, perfect condition sofa for $150. Admittedly, that is an extreme bargain; however, none-the-less it was for sale.

As I write, I’m sitting on my deck writing on a wrought-iron table with four chairs that rock purchased for $75.

One time, I decided I wanted a waffle maker. Second stop, I found one that made four waffles at a time for $5. Works perfectly.

Linens? I think I’ve gone overboard on my napkin collections. Hey, at 25 cents a piece for brand new ones, why not?

How Do I You Keep from Cluttering your Home with Bargains?

It soon became apparent to me I needed my own guidelines. So I made two of them:

1. It has to be an upgrade from something I already have in my possession.

An example, I had a standard office-type stapler. At an Estate Sale, I found a Cadillac of staplers for $3. The other promptly went in my giveaway bag.

2. It has to have an art component to it.

Since I am a jewelry connoisseur, this guideline prevented me from buying many a normal piece of lovely jewelry. I look for movement in it or it is created by an artist.

As for wall art, I must love it.

Globe for $15 with Working Compass

Why are Bargains so plentiful?

Actually, there are three reasons:

1. Often these are winter homes of elderly people. Children find themselves overwhelmed when parents pass on. Thus, they have sales to purge their parents’ things.

2. Condo and homes are sold often here with contents in tack. New owners want an entirely different décor.

3. Neighborhoods often decided to go together to have one grand community garage sale since they do not have enough time/energy to put one together on their own.

By the way, there is still another reason why I enjoy this Saturday morning activity. You meet the most fascinating people, and you get to peek in peoples’ backyards. With Estate Sales, you get to see an entire house, which may or may not be to something you might want to consider owning.

It should be noted sales are often on Friday too. People say that is when you get the really good stuff. Also, do not be afraid to bargain, especially if it is getting close to closing time, which is usually no later than 2:00 p.m.

Kathy Condon is a travel writer and blogger. She is the Founder of the Palm Springs Insider Guider Her book, It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask: It’s All About Communication was named Best Book Finalist By USA Book News 760-902-3094

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