Yard Sale Season


YARD SALE SEASON IS UPON US. Here in East Hampton, N.Y., it’s fertile picking ground. Actually, I’ve been checking out the East Hampton Star‘s yard sale ads all winter, whenever I’ve been here on a weekend, and I’ve scored a couple of items that make me unreasonably happy: the blue-and-white tin spackleware urn ($15), top, and a chunky green wood bench, below, probably home-made, that works perfectly at the foot of my bed ($10).


Yard-saling is an extremely popular weekend pastime around here. On Friday, there was a queue outside the door of a cedar-shingled cottage in Wainscott, below, which was billed as the moving sale of an “ex-Martha editor.” As it happens, I didn’t find anything — not being in need of white kitchenware or white linens bundled with white ribbons — but I liked the house, with its subdued green trim and angled bump-out to create a south-facing sun room. (This picture was taken as I exited, after the eager crowds had dissipated.)


This is my third spring on the East End of Long Island, and as I’ve done every April since living here (formerly full-time, now part-time), I planned my own yard sale to unload the stuff that tends to pile up in one’s basement when one is an aficionado of yard sales. I didn’t have all that much to dispose of — I’ve actually grown quite good at saying ‘No’ to new acquisitions — but a few friends wanted to join forces, using my 400 square foot gravel parking court as a staging area. So we placed our own ad in the Star for Saturday April 23 (“Years of accumulation”), which, as residents of the region know, was cold and foggy, with rain pelting down all day. A total washout.

View from my back door Saturday


We had advertised Sunday as a rain date, though, and two of us decided to proceed, though it was Easter and quiet, even on my busy road, and none too promising, weather-wise, in the morning. It was a long day: nine hours from the time I started bringing stuff up from the cellar to the time I put the ‘Free’ box of leftovers out on the roadside. We had a flurry of activity in the beginning, then sparse custom throughout the day, which ended with a few neighbors on lawn chairs drinking prosecco in brilliant sunshine.


The upshot: enough cash to keep me away from the ATM for a few days, and enough cleared-out space in the basement to hold the spoils of future yard sales.

6 thoughts on “Yard Sale Season

  1. This post is “oh, so true!” Yard saling is a sport in the Hamptons. I had never been to a yard sale anywhere and a couple of years ago I stopped at one in the Hamptons and well, I was impressed by the offerings! As with any shopping expedition, sometimes you capture game and sometimes you don’t! I was out East this weekend…I would have loved to swing by your sale.

  2. As the wife of someone who can’t say no to a bargain, we have amassed over the years a collection of useless yard sale finds: a tent that leaks (it was advertised as such and he still couldn’t resist the 5.00 price tag); rusty tools; torn posters; 2 sets of ugly, expensive china etc. I have a fantasy of holding my own yard sale and advertising it as a won’t-you-please-come-and-buy-back-all-your-useless-junk-sale! Bravo to you and your friends! I just love an empty cellar.

  3. hi HT, well, it would have been great to meet you, but you didn’t miss much in the way of merchandise, frankly. Wasn’t my finest yard-sale hour!

  4. LOL, Fran — you are clearly overdue for your own yard sale. I love “Come buy back your junk” as a line for the ad copy! The empty cellar — well, mostly empty — does feel good:-)

  5. Aloha Cara,

    Love this post! I just had a sale also, and mine are usually a roaring success. Everybody knows I have the “goods” from my antique shop days.
    Someone stopped by the b&b the day before to look at my bread oven and ended up buying a Korean apothecary chest and another great piece to ship back to Texas from Maui!
    This one was billed as “Collectible Sale and Regular Stuff” It’s fun and puts some coin back in the pocket.
    Sending you loads of Aloha from Maui,

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