The U.S. government is having a yard sale too

The federal government has been selling off almost all of its lighthouse properties for decades now. This one in Wisconsin has an opening bid of $10,000.

The federal government has been selling off almost all of its lighthouse properties for decades now. This one in Wisconsin has an opening bid of $10,000.

Here at Yard Sale Secrets, we like to talk about our yard sales and the yard sales we visit. But there’s an even bigger yard sale going on all year long, and its being held by the U.S. government.

The General Services Administration hosts a site called GSA Auctions where the government lists all of its surplus property that it no longer wants, needs or isn’t allowed to keep.

And some of it is actually pretty darn interesting.

While there's a lot of interesting items at the GSA's auction website there's also some strange items too. Why put a grimy old chair up for auction? It's not even a set of chairs. It's just one chair!

While there’s a lot of interesting items at the GSA’s auction website there’s also some strange items too. Why put a grimy old chair up for auction? It’s not even a set of chairs. It’s just one chair!

Looking for a lighthouse of your very own? Click on the “Real Estate” link and then on to “lighthouses”

How about an airplane or two? You can find them under “Aircraft and Aircraft Parts”

Maybe you’re in the market for a new house. If so, you can check out these hot properties in the “Real Estate” section as well.

But maybe you aren’t interested in such extravagant purchases. You can also use the site to bid on office supplies, landscaping equipment and old computers too. There are categories for just about everything, in fact — furniture, hand tools, jewelry and photo equipment.

Before you get too excited about the deals from the GSA, be sure to read the fine print. In a lot of cases, you’re required to go pick up the items or to have them privately shipped to you. The vehicles come with zero warranties. The computers are wiped clean, too, so you won’t be finding any “X-Files” hidden on them.

Likewise, some of the listings are just plain silly. Do you really need to have your very own “chair on wheels”? And if you do, why not just go to Walmart and get a new one?

And those lighthouses? Well, the tough thing with owning a lighthouse is that you actually have to find a way to get to there. Once you’re at your solitary little paradise, you have to put up with the Coast Guard stopping by to check up on their equipment.

You know, the very equipment that made that lighthouse obsolete in the first place.

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Al Roker’s yard sale tips

The Weather Channel's "Wake Up With Al" offered some great tips for hosting a yard sale and -- you guessed it -- they want you to have a weather-contingency plan.

The Weather Channel’s “Wake Up With Al” offered some great tips for hosting a yard sale and — you guessed it — they want you to have a weather-contingency plan.

We love to search around the web for great yard sale tips, and found a few interesting articles and videos worth your time.

First up, check out this Weather Channel video, which offers a quick tutorial on doing everything right. http://www.weather.com/video/yard-sale-tips-49359

WE’RE FAMOUS, KINDA

We were also amused by this video, because the screen shot features our logo. We had to watch. http://youtu.be/kT8L8Hok3Vg

Yeah, we agree. It was a little disappointing, but we appreciate the exposure!

LIKE A PRO

Popular Mechanics offers a 20-point list on maximizing your yard sale adventure.

Popular Mechanics offers a 20-point list on maximizing your yard sale adventure.

There was also this helpful article for yard sale shoppers from Popular Mechanics. It’s a great summation of making your money and effort work for you.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/skills/auto-home-improvement-diy/20-tips-for-shopping-a-yard-sale-16686328

JUDGE NOT

We also liked this tip list from Realtor.com. In particular, we liked Tip No. 11 — Don’t take it personal. When you’re at yard sales, you judge the quality of other people’s stuff. Don’t be surprised by snark-filled comments about what you put out on your lawn.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/tips-on-how-to-have-the-best-garage-sale-ever/

LOOKING BACK

The one video we laughed at throughout was this woman’s “Yard Sale Complaints” video. She’s swearing like a sailor throughout, but she’s darn funny in the way she sums up her experience as she hosted a yard sale.

Again, we want to warn you about the language.

http://youtu.be/2YR64LofXfQ

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Best Bets for July 11-12

Here we are in the middle of summer, and where are the yard sales? York County, that’s where! Check below for some of the best the area has to offer.

There’s a chance of thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday afternoons. Get the up-to-date details on the weekend weather from our pals at The York Dispatch.

GROUP YARD SALES

  • PINE SPRINGS: A development sale ad advises us to “use 111 Farmview Drive, 17408 for GPS.” Friday and Saturday.
  • RED LION: A multi-family sale off Kenyon Drive. Thursday through Saturday
  • STEWARTSTOWN: Another multi-family sale at 18370 Webb Road, east of Stewartstown, has “guns and man stuff” Friday and Saturday.
  • SPRY: More multi-family sale action at 2720 Ironstone Hill Road. Thursday through Saturday.
  • Even more, there’s more multi-family sales too. Check out the listings!

SOUNDS INTERESTING

  • The Wrightsville Historical Museum, at 309 Locust Street is hosting a sale. They promise books, games and household items. What no Civil War-era heirlooms? Oh well, it will be worth it anyway.
  • Get all the test answers right at a sale at 350 S. Pleasant Ave in Dallastown, where they’re offering teacher’s books. They also have a portable generator. After this week, a few more of us want one of those.
  • Boys young and old will delight in the offerings at 2434 Crystal Lane in the Haines Acres area. They’re selling Many different nerf guns and accessories… Transformers … light sabers and various other toys.”
  • Buy a “grandmother clock” and a curio cabinet at 130 Evergreen Lane near Briarwood Golf Course.

For more on these yard sales as well as the complete list, check out The York Dispatch classifieds.

CHECK OUT THE APP

Yard Sale Secrets, in conjunction with The York Dispatch and the York Newspaper Co., now has a yard sale app for iPhone and Android phones. The app helps you locate all the yard sales advertised on MediaOnePa, which includes sites in York, Hanover, Chambersburg and Lebanon. Zip to the bottom of this page for a link to the app.

TWITTER

Yep, the Yard Sale Secrets has adopted Twitter. We might only use it sporadically, but we welcome you to join us. We especially hope to use it on Saturdays (and some Fridays) when we are out on the road. Join Yard Sale Secrets on Twitter now!

MORE YARD SALE INFORMATION

Got a question for us here at Yard Sale Secrets? Or, even better, a great tip on selling or buying? Then leave a comment for us and we’ll respond in an upcoming post. We love to hear from other yard sale fanatics!

YOUR WEEKEND MISSION

If you’re hosting a yard sale this weekend, take some pictures of your event set up. We would love to see it. If you’re heading out to some sales, lets see some pictures of your loot! E-mail them to jsimcoe@yorkdispatch.com for inclusion in an upcoming Yard Sale Secrets post.

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Why aren’t yard sales later in the day?

Why aren't their any yard sales at night? Well, not many people have lights in their yards. Who wants to shop in the dark? (Photo by Jim Larrison via Flickr.com. Find him at www.flickr.com/photos/larrison/)

Why aren’t their any yard sales at night? Well, not many people have lights in their yards. Who wants to shop in the dark? (Photo by Jim Larrison via Flickr.com. Find him at www.flickr.com/photos/larrison/)

It’s practically a tradition that yard sales are held in the morning hours. Most people set their hours from 9 a.m. to about 1 or 2 in the afternoon.

But have you ever wondered why yard sales never late in the afternoon? Well, even the wizened folks at Yard Sale Secrets don’t know exactly why, but we have some good guesses.

  • HEAT: Most yard sales are held in the summer, that means temperatures go up through the afternoon. In some parts of the country, that means 90-plus degrees by 3 p.m. The mornings, in contrast, are far cooler.
  • BUGS: Even on cool mornings, it’s quite rare to see mosquitoes or other bugs. Gnats prefer the heat of the day. Mosquitoes like the twilight hours — particularly during sunset.
  • LIGHT: If a yard sale was held in the late afternoon, you’d be picking up your unsold items in the dark. Even worse, if you held a yard sale at night you’d have people shopping in the dark since very few people have significant yard lighting.
  • SAFETY: Imagine the problems you’d have with people visiting your yard sale in the evening — tripping over your merchandise or the curb!
  • TIMING: If you set your yard sale’s hours early in the day, you have time to clean up and even do something else afterward — we recommend a family barbecue. Anyway,  with a morning yard sale, you’re not wasting your entire day off.
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Best bets for July 4-5

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Setting a yard sale on a big holiday weekend is a total gamble. This year, the Fourth of July lands on a Friday. That would suggest that very few shoppers will be out on Friday morning. The same might be said for Saturday too, since some people stay up late on Independence Day. Still, the York area is hosting a few yard sales of note this weekend.

As for the weather, get all the details on weekend weather from our pals at The York Dispatch.

GROUP YARD SALES

  • CEDAR LAKE CAMPGROUND: Crafters and yard sale vendors will be setting up at the Dover area campground found at 5051 Pine Hill Road. Saturday only.
  • THOMASVILLE: Turn off Route 30 at Big Mount Road and go to Moul Road for a multi-family sale promising “lots of good stuff.” Thursday through Saturday.
  • SHILOH: Multiple families are organizing a sale on School Street. Friday and Saturday.
  • YORK (17402): A “truly” multi-family sale is promised at 450 Quaker Drive. Thursday and Friday.

SOUNDS INTERESTING

  • Someone is “Emptying house after 35 years” at 1030 Manor Road in Windsor. Friday and Saturday
  • Get a fish tank and riding toys at a sale in the 1700 block of Fountain Rock Drive in Dover. Saturday and Sunday.
  • A multi-week moving sale is getting underway at 220 Bahns Mill Road in Red Lion. The fun begins on Saturday and continues on July 11 and 19.

For more on these yard sales as well as the complete list, check out The York Dispatch classifieds.

CHECK OUT THE APP

Yard Sale Secrets, in conjunction with The York Dispatch and the York Newspaper Co., now has a yard sale app for iPhone and Android phones. The app helps you locate all the yard sales advertised on MediaOnePa, which includes sites in York, Hanover, Chambersburg and Lebanon. Zip to the bottom of this page for a link to the app.

TWITTER

Yep, the Yard Sale Secrets has adopted Twitter. We might only use it sporadically, but we welcome you to join us. We especially hope to use it on Saturdays (and some Fridays) when we are out on the road. Join Yard Sale Secrets on Twitter now!

MORE YARD SALE INFORMATION

Got a question for us here at Yard Sale Secrets? Or, even better, a great tip on selling or buying? Then leave a comment for us and we’ll respond in an upcoming post. We love to hear from other yard sale fanatics!

YOUR WEEKEND MISSION

If you’re hosting a yard sale this weekend, take some pictures of your event set up. We would love to see it. If you’re heading out to some sales, lets see some pictures of your loot! E-mail them to jsimcoe@yorkdispatch.com for inclusion in an upcoming Yard Sale Secrets post.

Read More