Saturday, 21 January 2012

Garage Sale Treasures

Saturday is Garage Sale day in New Zealand. Dave and I had a nice wee sleep in then decided to head out to check out some local garage sales.

The first thing we did was get the Saturday newspaper. In the classified section there is always a list of a good few sales. The way we do it is look through the ads, circle ones we like the sound of eg they have a whole house-lot, a combined street/family one, or have antiques and furniture.

Then we filter by area, Christchurch is relatively big and you want to get to see as many sales as possible in a couple of hours. We pick a general area eg north + west Chch and head off to the closest ones. Because it costs to put an ad in the paper, some people just put out signs on the street. If we see one en-route we usually pop in to check it out. Most sales start at 8am and run until around midday but there are always exceptions.

The trick is to get in early to get the good stuff but who wants to get up that early on a Saturday? Also, the later you go, the more willing people are to haggling. The whole point of a garage sale is to get rid of stuff and after 5 hours they just want it gone. So make your best offer! You never know!

Anyway, those are my secret tips, I highly recommend going, make sure you have a large-ish car for those bulky items and set a budget.

Our budget this week was $50

Here are our sweet scores:

A gas torch for Dave
A table saw for Dave
A standard lamp and shade
A tripod
This is what the tripod will turn into. A slightly more modern shade though.

All together these items cost $50. The table saw was priced at $50 but this was the last sale we went to around 10.30am. The guy said to make an offer and we had already seen the other 3 things we wanted. So we said thanks and looked around a bit more, then told him we had an offer for him. '$50 for the table saw, the gas torch, this wee tripod and that wooden lamp over there.' The deal was done. Dave was over the moon.

This book was 10c
This book looks hilarious. 10c. Bargain.

Small wooden box. Has some scribbles on lid.
 This box was 50c. It is slightly vandalized by small children but it has potential. Maybe covered in fabric, or decoupage, or painted.

The two identical tulip prints were $5 together.

The light in our lounge does nothing for these pictures. They are quite big, nice pinks and greens and add a splash of colour to our lounge. When we have our own place they will probably grace the wall of a hallway or guest room.

The find of the day.
Beautiful molding
Cool legs too!

So this was the find of the day. An old writing desk that someone had tried (and failed) to paint green and distress. I missed it because of the colour but Dave singled it out to me and I was sold. This is what we have been looking for for ages. Cool old furniture to do up. Except the second hand shops get picked clean. So this was amazing! We are going to strip it back, paint it white and add some nice brass handles on the draw and cupboards, line the insides and paint the molding some cool contrast. What colour? We were thinking baby blue/pastel blue.

How much did this cost you ask?

Ten dollars. Ten dollars!


So all up we went slightly over budget but we got what we were looking for and lets face it. We would pay that much just for the table saw.

Table saw, tripod, gas torch, and lamp - $50
Writing desk - $10
Tulip prints - $5
Small wooden box - $0.50
Book - $0.10
Total: $65.60

Happy Garage Saleing everyone!


  1. Yuss! Love garage-saleing. PS if you don't have a use for the lamp shade, Kieran collects those shades and would probably be keen to swap for something. Erica xxxxx

  2. Haha, I collect them too, I'm going to find a butt load of fabric and cover the three I have so far to look the same :)

  3. Awesome scores! Nothing like that rush of finding the perfect thing! Nice to meet you too

    1. I think it's a bit dangerous though, I'll want to go every week!


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