Bargain hunters get odds-and-ends worth

If you couldn’t find what you were looking for Saturday at the World’s Greatest Yard Sale, it probably doesn’t exist.

Any number of items such as decorative knickknacks, power tools and baby clothes spilled over tables and onto the grass at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

And there was furniture for sale, too.

One couple left with a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer tap that they were thrilled to get for $10.

An antique-looking brown, hanging glass lamp went to another happy customer for the same price. Piles of clothing, some brand new with tags still affixed, sold for pennies on the dollar.

To the serious bargain hunter, the event wasn’t to be missed.

“We’ve seen very few people come out empty-handed. When they do, it’s to get their vehicle to get a load of stuff,” said Chelsi Reimer, an employee of Cumulus Broadcasting, which sponsored the event.

Zachary Duran of Eckert staffed a booth with antiques that he and his father collect.

Among the treasures were a 1903 student-issued violin, which was a model replica of the famed Stradivarius violin, and one of the first Marx electric cars made for children. The violin in its original weathered case was priced at $150, while the car was listed at $700, though it’s common knowledge that most everything is fair game for bartering.

Before the gates opened to the public, Duran had recouped the money he spent to rent a few spaces at the fairgrounds, thanks to other vendors purchasing wares from his booth.

A recession is keeping many people from spending as readily, but in general, Duran said, folks who don’t appear to have an abundance of money seemed more apt to spend than those who appeared wealthier.

“People are still kind of holding their money,” he said. “You can always tell a conflicted person.”

At a nearby booth, tools in all shapes and sizes, many from a bygone era, were spread out on the lawn. When a passerby made an offer for an old wood sander, the seller wasn’t having it.

“I’ll give you $10,” a potential buyer said.

“How about $15?” the seller countered.

The man wandered on.

The seller, who didn’t want to be identified, said later the item was worth $20. “I’ll come down 25 percent, but that’s it,” he said.

Proceeds from the $5-per-person entry fee went to Partners of Mesa County.

Some vendors reported sales were brisk in the morning but slower in the afternoon, which they attributed mostly to the warm weather. A similar sale at the fairgrounds in May lasted just a couple hours because of rainy weather, but vendors reported buyers probably purchased as much. They just shopped more quickly that day.

One vendor said she likes the process of buying goods at yard sales and reselling them.

However, that can be bittersweet.

“When you buy it, you have to like it to begin with,” she said. “It can be hard to part with.”


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