The yard sale addict... gets an early start


You know you're really a yard sale addict when you don't sleep well on Friday night. Worse still when you find yourself rummaging in your dreams! Maybe the dreams come from the excitement of the hunt (do fishermen and hunters dream about it the night before?) and maybe it's because when it comes to yard sales, if you're on time, you're late.

How early is too early? No one knows. There are sales where you can show up two hours ahead, sometimes even the night before, and you can shop. Those are the exception though. Mostly, 15 to 30 minutes early is still polite, and it's tolerable if you have to wait. You can see what's out there and if it doesn't look like it's worth waiting for, you're off. Annoying: sellers who rope off their sales and don't open until the dot of the hour. That's a fine thing for community sales -- for churches and schools, it just seems fair. For your neighbor's sale though, it has a rigid feel, of someone who over-values their recyclables and whose prices are likely to be on the high side. The truth, though, is that you just never know.

If the sale isn't open but something on the other side of the rope calls loudly, "Stay," then take the opportunity to practice scanning. You let your eyes travel deliberately over the sale. The clearer you are about what you need, the more likely that your eyes will find it. Going directly for what you want can be the difference between getting it and not. You can always put it back if you change your mind...