My wife has always loved yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and garagesales. i think it must be the excitement and thrill of the hunt that gives her so much enjoyment and maybe it is just the camaraderie of the nice folks, many whom we see every week at the local sales. I am not as big a fan but since my retirement in 2003 from GE Outdoor Lighting Systems she insists that I go with her to these sales and to keep a level of sanity and peace in the family, I go with her to most.
We check out the local newspaper and and make an informal itinerary subject to be changed if a yard sale sign is posted somewhere along our journey that wasn't advertised in the paper. We have found that there are those who become aware of sales advertised in a subdivision or on a certain street will spontaneously decide to get in on the sales by taking advantage of someone else's paid advertisement in the paper. We have found these non advertised sales to be the best because these sellers are genuinely wanting to get rid of stuff and have their goods priced to move.
A few years ago there was a rummage sale at the First Methodist Church. My sister-in-law is the secretary there and gave us opportunity to come out the night before to be the first to view the sale items. As I normally do, I began by looking at hardware and tools while my wife was looking at clothing and housewares. I picked up a little box containing plumbing repair parts for faucets and sinks and the label on the box was 25 cents. The contents were those brass washers and neoprene gaskets, common everyday items and nice to have on hand and save a trip into town to a hardware store to find. As I looked more closely I found what I thought to be a thicker brass washer and pulled it out to examine it, to my surprise it was a ladies gold wedding band, 14 karat gold. I pointed this out to my sister-in-law and she told me it would be impossible to identify any previous owners or just who might have dropped off the box as a donation for the sale and I could still take the box for the 25 cents as marked.
When I showed it to my wife, she immediately tried the band on and it was a perfect fit. Later she bought me a gold wedding band for around 35 dollars at a local jewelery store so we would have matching wedding bands. You never know just what you might find at a rummage sale or a yard sale and that evening my 25 cent investment yielded a great surprise.