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Home > Garage Sales General > Can you buy gifts for Loved Ones at a Garage Sale?

Can you buy gifts for Loved Ones at a Garage Sale?
By Robert Polman
Monday, 28 February 2011
Viewed : 66578 time(s)
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About the Author

Robert Polman

Rob has joined egaragesales to handle day-to-day operations. Coming from a Marine Engineering background, he is well placed to handle any tricky issues that may arise from time-to-time. It's time to put the garage sale hobby to work.

Robert Polman has written 72 article(s) for egaragesales.

Can something bought at a garage sale become an intimate gift?

This topic came up in conversation with responses ranging from "Never"; to "Depends on what the item is."  I decided to entice some feedback from the Garage Sale Community on this one. As it was approaching Valentines Day, I put a Valentines Day slant on it - Have you bought a Valentines Day gift from a garage sale? I was surprised by the reluctance of people to admit they've done this - or maybe it's not a practice people actually do. But I did get a few responses worth including in an article, and so I'm writing this one. If anyone wants to add to the discussion about whether it is a good or dangerous thing to buy personal gifts from a garage sale on special occasions, please feel free to do so below. But first, some of the feedback I received ...

Emily of St Kilda VIC wrote: About 15 years ago I bought my ex, who loves giraffes, a small handcrafted bronze statue of a giraffe from our neighbours garage sale for $50 and gave it to him as a surprise on our first Valentine's Day.  An antique dealer offered him more than $200 a few years later but he resisted and it still takes pride of place on his mantel piece.  We broke up 10 years ago. Our 12 year old son doesn't even remember us living together but  he has told me how much his Dad loves the giraffe and how his Dad smiles when he shares the story of our garage sale bargain.

Janice of Sydney wrote: Some years ago, I went to a garage sale and saw a lovely rocking chair that would perfectly suit my house. I raced over, sat in it and decided immediately I'd take it. A guy wandered over and told me he'd already bought it. Disappointed but also disbelieving, I went over to the seller and asked. Sadly it was true. I went back  with a view to maybe persuading him to give it up. No good. He bought and sold stuff and was going to onsell it - "sorry". We started chatting and things were going well. But we were both on the garage sale hunt and needed to move on. I suggested we meet later in the day for a coffee and chat - so unlike me. Still not sure whether it was the guy or the chair I was trying to see again. Cutting a long story short, we started going out. Some months later, on Valentines Day, he invited me over to his house. Under a big Valentines card was the rocking chair! He said he couldn't bear to sell it and he hoped we'd be able to enjoy it together. He hasn't done anything romantic like that since, but we're still together and still very happy.

Silvia of Narre Warren VIC wrote: It was really funny.....3 years ago I went to a garage sale and bought a mailman bag which I gave to my husband as a valentines gift. I took off the tag from a new bag I bought for my son and put it on the one I bought at the garage sale.  When my husband got it, he removed the tag and put it in a pocket in the bag without reading it. He was so thankful (the bag  looked really new. I just vacuumed it and made it really presentable.)  When he washed it some time later, he found the tag in the pocket and told me the picture on the tag didn't match the bag. That's the only time I told him the truth. I admitted I just bought it for $2.00 in a garge sale, and since I ran out of money to get him something, I decided to give the bag to him.  He just laughed and said. "You're a wise's the thought that counts, anyway!!!

The common thread to this is that if you see something that might have an emotional value, even if it is a bargain at a garage sale, the gift can be appreciated by your partner and be a talking point for years to come. Maybe another thread to this is that the ladies are more prepared to spill the beans than the men.

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