Hark! From the Half Moon Bay City-Wide Garage Sale. Half Moon Bay isn’t just a town filled with over-sized pumpkins, great beaches and quaint little stores. It’s also a place where every year during the last week-end in September, hundreds of homes open wide their garage doors for their annual City-Wide Garage Sale! This year, there were around 112 participants – enough to keep us in treasure-hunting mode for pretty much most of the day. Here’s how to do it right:
1. Get Geographic: Grab the map in the Half Moon Bay Review showing all the sales and their locations. Or, be extremely lucky like us and have your super-nice friends grab you a copy! (Thanks, John & Tracy!)
2. Dollar Bill Up: You never want to go garage sale-ing looking like you have much money, so be sure to stock up on lots o’ dollar bills. Plus, it saves the garage salers from having to make change for you. They’ll like you extra for that. Take it from our expert garage sale-ing friends – go get some ones!
3. Wear Comfy Shoes: Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But, you can walk from sale to sale in many neighborhoods, since there are so many, so trust me, you’re going to want to be comfy.
4. Look for the Unusual. Our friend Tracy has a keen eye, and she immediately spotted this lovely antique umbrella in a genuine leather case. It has a unique, Mary Poppins quality about it. I loved just looking at the color of it against the cobblestone driveway. And, I think the rubbed-off paint on the handle is beautiful. It looks like it’s kept someone warm and dry for many years. After all, into each life a little rain must fall…
5. Keep an Eye Out for Trends: They must play a lot of Bingo in Half Moon Bay because I found bingo sets at two separate sales – both priced at $3 each. I left them behind, but then changed my mind and went back and grabbed the one with the colorful bingo balls from the nice lady who started a non-profit for kids with diabetes. You can learn more about her charity here. We all (mostly me) had the best of intentions of playing bingo after dinner because well, wouldn’t that be kind of fun?! And, yes, that was partly why I coughed up the three bucks for it, but well, the other thing to know about garage sale-ing is that sometimes you don’t actually use the stuff you buy right away. Sigh. Maybe some other time…
6. Watch for Collectibles: While I think I’ve previously confessed that I’m not very good at the whole Ebay thing, for those of you who are, like my friend Vicki who just published her new guide about how to become an Ebay Rock Star Super Seller – it just may be that garage sales are the perfect place to find antiques and collectibles on the cheap. You can either buy them and re-sell them, if you’re good at that sort of thing, or you can shop early for Xmas presents. Why, oh why didn’t I get the antique train set for my nephew’s sons? Wah! That’s the other thing – grab the cool stuff you see – otherwise you may have deep regrets, like moi right now. Unless, of course, someone tells you that they are having second thoughts about selling their Grandmother’s vintage spice set. Then, you should tell them to keep it because, after all, her Granny painstakingly wrapped each, individual spice “book” in it’s own plastic wrap to protect it. I sure hope she kept it so that she doesn’t have any regrets. Some things are irreplaceable, ya know?
7. Let’s Talk Tools: If you’re looking for tools, and nice ones at that, the HMB city-wide garage sale is your place. Apparently, there are a lot of general contractors and handyman-types in Half Moon Bay because there were lots of tools and saws and tile cutters, oh my.
8. Have Some Fun and Fortify Yourself: But, most of all, the HMB city-wide garage sale is a fun way to spend time with like-minded friends who don’t believe in paying retail prices, either and who are really good at spotting the deals. After the sale, I urge you to drive the half hour south to Duarte’s Tavern for some hot artichoke soup. Or, be like the locals and order the “half and half” – half artichoke soup and half green chile soup. And, if you’re not gluten-intolerant like me, dip some of their fresh-baked sourdough bread into it. It’ll make for a perfect day!