Because I used to be such a pro at yard sale shopping, I thought I should share some of my experience with you:

1.  If you have never found anything good at a yard sale and you wonder what all the fuss is about, perhaps you haven’t gone early enough.  It’s the general custom for owners to expect buyers an hour before the posted time, and really, that’s the time to get good items.

2.  Plan your escape BEFORE you get out of the car.  Park where you can get out and/or turn around–or better yet, turn around and park facing out so that you don’t have to worry about crashing into trees or pedestrians.

3.  Be careful about pulling too far off the road.  It might LOOK like grass, but it could be a deep bog that swallows the front end of the car, requiring the owner to get his tractor to pull you out.  (If you’re a woman, you can garner pity rather than disgust when you act tearful.  And besides–remember this is great entertainment for the hosts and all the relatives who have come to hang out for the day)

4.  Just let that crazy pushy maniac of an antique dealer do whatever he wants.  I’ve heard people say they don’t put out the good stuff till he’s gone anyway.

5.  Keep your ears open.  You can learn of other yard sales this way, along with juicy details about the new Super Walmart coming to town, Sophinia’s health, Percy’s divorce, and the ripeness of the fruit over at so-and-so’s orchard.

6.  If it’s crowded, don’t take too long to decide whether or not you want to buy something.  Or at least put your hands on it while you think!  This will prevent you from going home with three lovely wooden child chairs (one painted yellow, one green, and one blue) while a rather rude person goes home with the red one.

7.  And of course, always follow the de-clutter rule:  If you buy something new for your house, something old has to go.

Today, the new pitcher on the left is going to replace the one on the right.
I think.