Sunday, May 15, 2016

Exploring a Free Sale

                   I like to think that I am fairly well informed in all the manner of cost effective ways of gathering animals, tools, and items that may be wise to acquire second hand.  Until recently, I had never heard of a "Free Sale".   Craigslist alerted me to one in an area a fair distance away but with which I had some familiarity. They advertised some things that my adult kids with houses had been looking for.

                   When I discard things I don't generally have a garage sale. I used to have them in the suburbs and they were quite successful, but here in the country, once you find our property, you still would need to find the house, and I am not that sure I want strangers having the layout, or perhaps coming here again. So when I get rid of something, I usually give it to someone who had admired it, or I ask them if they know someone who could use it.  Of course, in a large family, I often wind up giving it to someone in the family. If everyone has one and really doesn't need it, then I take it myself to Goodwill. I am careful to get a receipt for its value which helps on  income tax if you itemize.

                  I was interested as I drove today, as to what would motivate someone not to have a garage sale, and not to drop their discarded belongings at Goodwill, but to have a Free Sale.   Like me, the Free Sale marketers had a home that was a distance from civilization and was hard to find.  Also like me, not everything is accessible via GPS.  Sometimes one must drive, look, and follow the signs, some of which have blown away.  It felt like driving to a treasure hunt.  I finally arrived and I was the first one there.  There were CDs, DVDs, household items, unopened packages of durable food within expiration date, new pillows, new items that were likely gifts to them, rugs, baby clothing, women's clothing, new hats and shoes and some computer peripherals. Yesterday, there had been furniture also. There was some shelving and some rather nice curtain rods.

                   What motivated the family to have a Free Sale ?   They are moving out of the country within a very short time. The items they are keeping are packed and on their way.  These are the items they need to have gone as soon as possible. They have a lot to do and therefore running several trips to a Goodwill doesn't fit their schedule.  I also got the impression that they were doing rather well and that they didn't mind sharing their bounty with others.

                   Since I was first, I was able to gather a number of things my kids would have appreciated.  There were some Jazz, Classical and Celtic CDs that are hard to find.  Most items were new or nearly new. I also picked up some household items. It was worth the trip and I enjoyed the drive.

                 For preppers a free sale may be a chance to buy some things that will free up other money for preps. It may be a way to acquire some things you actually need for your preps.  It could also be a way of learning about your area, the people there, and perhaps even making some acquaintances.    Whenever you travel to a place advertised on Craigslist or similar venue, you should not go alone. You should also file a "flight plan" at your home, so everyone knows where you were going when your car broke down or you otherwise disappeared.  Remember that many places in the US do not have reliable cell service. It is possible to break down and be unable to call for help.

               If you do have a chance to speak to the family providing a "Free Sale", please thank them.  It is a big help to many people to acquire things that are "new" to them.  Most things can be washed, or one can go over them with alcohol and a paper towel.  Their generosity is not only commendable but can influence others to do the same.  I hope you had as enjoyable a day as I.