My boyfriend’s dad calls them “garbage sales,” but if you ask me garage sales are one of the easiest ways to get some of the best deals around. I mean….why spend full price on drinking glasses when you can get them for 50¢ each?
But there’s only problem with the awesomeness that is garage sales (which I discovered last weekend while trying to go to several in one afternoon): You just never know if garage sales are going to be accessible. Driving 20 minutes to a supposedly ‘great’ sale, only to find out that you can’t to get into the backyard; it’s too hilly, the tables are all set up on the front porch (you get the idea) is never fun.
After sitting morose in my van after arriving to an inaccessible sale last week, I had this great idea that garage sales should start listing whether or not they’re accessible. So far in my day, I’ve yet to see any kind of accessibility symbols used next to garage sale listings. Why isn’t this already happening??
It would be ridiculous to expect all garage sales to be wheelchair accessible (after all they’re private homes; it’s up to the owners whether or not they want make them ‘friendly’). But…is it too much to ask for signage, some icon, so we stop wasting gas driving from one end of town to the other? The whole point of garage sales is to save money by scoring deals, but if you’re burning gas and getting nada, you’re not saving anything at all. Might as well just go to a thrift store.
I really hope those who list garage sales will add an “accessible” box to their submission form one day. I, for one, will be writing a letter to them informing them of my brilliant idea.
I’ve learned a few good tips though since starting my hobby of going through people’s junk (smirk). If you use a wheelchair, always look for multi-family garage sales. It’s a great way to see a bunch of stuff in one spot and will also usually be accessible (since most of these sales happen in suburbs with homes that have easy access driveways). Also, always bring an AB friend with to move things, carry your purchases (can’t expect the sale throwers to help. They might, but it’s no guarantee).
And the big BIG tip – if you really want to make sure the garage sale is accessible, just call before you leave. You’ll be surprised at how friendly people are, or are willing to carry you over their shoulder and tell you how inspirational you are and give you some fresh-baked banana bread while they’re at it (yes this has happened).
Oh and don’t forget – Craigslist.org. That’s where all the sales are posted.
Do you like/love garage sales? Have any tips??