The Berkley community garage sale is happening this weekend and there will be nearly 100 spots to shop and score gently used (and maybe even brand new) treasures to repurpose for your home.
Inside the , 12 stations will be set up to browse and more than 80 homes are participating this year.
One local garage sale enthusiast, Tracy Ponds, said that a two-day shopping extravaganza might be overwhelming for some, with the hassle of sifting through things, but that it can also be an adventure of sorts.
“I’m no expert, but yes, you can say I am a frequenter of garage sales,” said Ponds, a 38-year-old mother of three. She's no stranger to the art of yard sale shopping and even goes to nearby towns such as Dearborn, Livonia and West Bloomfield to score new treasures with friends and her sisters.
“Some people like to thrift shop or show off their craft and DIY skills; well, I like to do this,” she said. “I like the challenge of finding things that other people have no use for, but I know can fit perfectly into my home.”
Thankfully, her favorite season has come and before she sets out for unique finds, there’s a few lessons learned she always reminds herself of.
Ponds shared her 15-plus years of insights from being a yard sale host, but mostly a shopper, and packaged them in three of her most important tips:
1. Have a budget in mind
When you’re browsing yard sales, especially citywide sales where it can get even more tempting to buy anything and everything, Ponds says to set a budget. “Even if it’s just $30 and you bounce back and forth from one sale to another to make sure you spend your money in the wisest way,” Ponds said, laughing, adding that her moves like that drive her husband crazy.
“I’ve lost out on buying items I had my eye on by doing that, but hey, that’s half the challenge and I know sometimes that happens," she said. "It’s supposed to be fun, not something that will make-or-break your trip if you miss out on a cookie jar.”
2, Don’t buy it used if you wouldn’t buy it new
“(I) used to think, what the heck? It’s only a handful of quarters,” Ponds admitted. Then she realized her family had more things to donate to charity at the end of the year and more things to convince others to take out of her hands.
“The worst was when I wound up as the one trying to auction it off at next season’s garage sales,” Ponds said, remembering things like the teacup set she bought because it was “a 10th of the price” of what she paid for the one she already had. “I thought it was a deal I didn’t want to miss out on, but it ended up being clutter.”
3. Have some ideas in mind, then browse
Shoppers don’t necessarily have to go in circles bartering and comparing like Ponds has been known to do, but she said it pays off to know what’s out there and what could benefit you or your home.
“Just so I don’t get sidetracked, I always think about what I could use,” she said. Maybe that’s a new set of dishes for patio parties, a new picture frame to repurpose or fun new things for a toy box.
“But being prepared has always helped me spend my money wisely and get things that will be of value to my home. I want to put my finds to good use,” she said.
Ponds said her list always works, as long as she stays flexible and having some fun with it.
“I like to leave room for an unexpected find. Something so neat, and I guess unique, that I couldn’t have pictured it before I saw it,” she said.
Having these little tidbits to follow, Ponds said it makes for a productive day as she shops with an open mind and a reusable shopping bag in hand.
If you go
The Berkley citywide garage sale will run 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. See the attached map for participating homes.
Having a sale?
If you don't see your address on the attached map/list and/or if you have something special at your sale, please add it in the comments area below.