A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yard Sales Redux

It’s been a while since I have written about flea markets and yard sales. But it isn’t because I haven’t been visiting them. Far from it. The long suffering wife has the plans mapped out for weekend scrums like a field general. And this year I have noticed more than an uptick in other folks trying to do the same thing. Find something that you need and they don’t for less money than you would normally pay for it. Bargaining comes into play on the paying less for it part. I have perfected the art of picking up an item and looking perplexed. This will bring on a price that will cause me to take in a breath like I am suffering a myocardial infarction and I will put the item down like it was burning. I’ll pretend to walk away and then, Columbo style, turn back at the last moment and say those words that every seller hates to hear. “Would you take less for it?” On a good day I can bring in the deal for at least one third off, more often half. And you find an often bewildering array of stuff, much of it in still sealed brand new condition. Piles and piles of stuff. But as a public service to flea market and yard sale operators everywhere I have a list of things that I always see that are never gonna sell. First and foremost 8 track tapes. I don’t care if they are sealed. I don’t care if it’s 10$ for a box of a hundred. You’ll be keeping them. Along that line-Cassette tapes and VHS tapes. Magnetic tape as a storage medium was an iffy proposition when it was new technology. And it was new technology when Bing Crosby was on the charts. About 60 years if you are counting. Tape deteriorates. It stretches and breaks. And cassettes were hissy. Take them to the landfill. And take the cassette machines and old VCR’s with them. It’s buggy whip technology. Because you have a DVD player do you think I want your old VCR? They make fine boat anchors I am told. And last but not least. Readers Digest Condensed Books. If I had a penny for every teetering stack of those badly edited albatrosses of literary shame I have walked by I would not be searching flea markets for bargains. Oh yes, I almost forgot. Encyclopedias. Folks, there is this new thing out called the internet. As Homer Simpson says, they have it on computers now. I looked at an encyclopedia the other day. No matter what I did it wouldn’t boot up and let me search Google. But then again I could be wrong.

1 comment:

John said...

My home 8-track player was a Soundesign from Sugermans. It also had an AM/FM radio and a turntable! Woo! In the car I had a Craig and later a Kraco. I know in my basement there is for sure a Silver Convention "Fly Robin Fly" 8-track and a bootleg copy of Queen "Sheer Heart Attack" with a generic rock band label complete with hand-typed song titles that I bought in a little storefront in Jessup in 1975 that was openly selling bootleg music. The funny thing is if I walk into Sugermans on the weekend nowadays, where there is a big flea market, I can find pretty much the same 8-track player and tapes! The guy who runs that table, probably the same guy from the bootleg store.