Treasure Hunting in January

I love casting about for yard sale treasures.  In the Spring and Summer, there’s nothing I like more than getting in the car on a Friday or Saturday morning and heading to the early sales.  7 a.m., bring it on!  In fact, the earlier the better in my opinion.   

In my novel, Prince Charming, Inc., my heroine is swept away at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning by the man she’s trying to socially remodel for her millionairess client.  Where does he take her?  To an early morning swap meet where she discovers a treasure she cannot live without! 

The reality of Pacific Northwest garage and rummage sales in January: almost nonexistent.  Yet that doesn’t stop my treasure-hunting gene from egging me on (for some reason I’m just not much of a thrift-store-antique-mall shopper).  So I comb Craigslist.  Yesterday an ad for the Masonic Lodge made my heartbeat double.  

 Rummage!  In January!

 So what’s going to be collectible in fifty years?  I have a couple low-to-no-cost ideas:  

 1. Gift cards.  With colorful graphics, fun designs and new issues for each season, I have albums full of cards and have been collecting these since 1996.  I only collect the Starbucks cards.  Some of those already command a few bucks on auction websites.  Others, like one that features a pro baseball player, go for a lot more.  I use old business card albums to store my collection.  

  1. Electronics packaging.  Used Ipads, Iphones and some vintage electronics are already highly collectible. I once bought a sphere shaped stereo and sold it for hundreds.  As is.  But with limited storage space, I tend to stick with the small items.  Better yet, free items.  Again, going with cool graphics and superb design, nothing beats Apple.  Mac people tend to NOT throw out their packaging, yet they don’t necessarily want to keep it when they upgrade.  Yard sales aren’t exactly brimming with old I-phone boxes, but that’s where I find these treasures.  Always in the free box – hey, it beats adding more content to the landfills!  

While the Lodge sale didn’t yield any great finds for me, I did stop at a garage sale on the way home and found my first treasure of the year: an old sterling silver mirror for three dollars. Now that my stash of stuff isn’t so secret anymore, I’d love to know what YOU collect!