Neon Hitch teaches us about yard sales

British singer Neon Hitch has some colorful ideas on how to attract attention for your  yard sale.

British singer Neon Hitch has some colorful ideas on how to attract attention for your yard sale.

It’s not too often that we come across a song about yard sales, but there we were in the gym and Neon Hitch’s song popped up on the video screen.

This song isn’t entirely about yard sales — more about getting rid of stuff you don’t want and letting go of the past — but there’s still enough in it to warrant our attention.

If you’ve never heard of Neon Hitch, she’s a British songwriter and performer who signed with Warner Bros and is just starting to get mainstream attention.

Just like that Sammy Kershaw video, we have a few mostly positive critiques of Neon’s yard sale effort:

  • We like her effort to bring in shoppers. A bull horn! Great idea.
  • At 1:05, we notice she still has items in boxes. No one wants to look through peoples packed-full boxes.
  • We have to give her even more points for her sign spinner. If you know a sign spinner, you want that person in front of your yard sale.
  • But putting all your stuff on the ground? Bad form. The old folks won’t want to bend over, and the kids will trample your merchandise.
  • She also makes sure her customers know her return policy. That’s something everyone needs to do.
  • Why is she having a yard sale? She has a clear purpose for it. That’s always smart, since you won’t be disappointed in the end.
  • She also knows to put her large items out where people can see them. Heck, even free items make for good curb appeal.
  • And with a great rummage sale effort behind her, she ends it with a big no-no. We know you wouldn’t do that though.
  • British singer Neon Hitch offers some  tips for garage sale hosts in her song "Yard Sale."

    British singer Neon Hitch offers some tips for garage sale hosts in her song “Yard Sale.”

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‘Yard sale’ means more than you thought

There are the yard sales we're all familiar with and then there are a whole other type of yard sale.

There are the yard sales we’re all familiar with and then there are a whole other type of yard sale.

Over at the hysterical and often naughty ‘Urban Dictionary,’ we decided to look up the term yard sale.

The website was created to help people understand slang terms and how they are used by different aspects of society. So if you look up a word or a term, you can find oodles of definitions for it. Most are the ‘unofficial’ definition. Even more are very, very saucy, so it should be noted that the site is mostly “not safe for work.”

That all being said, the term ‘yard sale’ has earned several, non-dirty definitions that we found quite interesting.

First up, we got a good laugh out of this description that we’re most familiar with:

Old, dirty, and/or broken, discarded items ranging from bathroom shower curtain rings, to under-stuffed chairs with oily stains and animal hair, for sale. Items are displayed on blankets and folding tables inside of a garage, or on the driveway, and across the lawn. Common identifiers of a “yard sale” are lines of cars (old and new) parked with two wheels sinking into a neighbors’ grass and women, usually in pairs, with big butts and wiggly arms, grabbing everything marked 50 cents. Cardboard signs directing drivers to the sale are seen for years after.

Next comes the definition as its applied to a skiing or snowboarding accident:

A bad wipe-out on the ski slopes, your gear’s all over the place: One ski over here, a pole over there, hat somewhere else.



A similar definition is offered for the term in ice hockey lexicon:
A term used in Hockey when a player is body checked so hard, equipment such as gloves, stick and helmet, are sent flying through the air.
For players of lacrosse, the term is cat-called by the opposing team when you get wiped out by a check:
In lacrosse, one player stick-checks another, knocking his stick out of his hand. Usually followed up by a loud chorus of “YARD SALE!!!” or “Hey, how much for that stick?”
Then there’s the version of the term where a person gets called a ‘yard sale.’
A person who is scattered and uncollected. A person who is drunken and disorderly
Dude: “Dang, that guy is a yard sale!”
You can even use ‘yard sale’ as an excuse:
An alibi often used to explain the origin of petty contraband. Often works because it is nearly impossible to disprove, plausible, and usually absolves the owner of guilt.
Officer: “Son, mind explaining where you got those milk crates with ‘Property of Milk Company’ written on them?”
Dude: “Yard sale.”
Officer: “Grrr.”
Or you can pull the yard sale prank on an unsuspecting homeowner.
This is a prank where you drive around town and pick up all the free stuff people leave on the side of the road. You then take this stuff, pack it up in a truck, and then throw it on another lawn. Then you put a ‘yard sale’ sign on their lawn, and as you drive away you scream “YARD SALE!”
As for us, we’ll stick to this definition: A great place to get great stuff at great prices.


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Trouble is brewing on ‘Storage Wars’

According to the Washington Post, and several other sources, a lawsuit has been filed by Dave Hester, one of the stars on A&E’s “Storage Wars” series.

In the suit, Hester explains that a lot of the show is faked, and the producers go so far as to plant items in lockers and rig the bidding.

We were particularly amused by Hester’s claim about the episode where a stack of Elvis newspapers were found. He says they were planted in advance by the show’s producers. When we first saw the episode, we laughed at the assumption that all those newspapers could be sold for more than $10,000.

Likewise, we are always bothered by the show’s estimated sale prices on the recovered items — most are ridiculously inflated. Further, the show suggests that the wheeling and dealing of storage unit auctions is a get-rich-quick moneymaker, which like the yard sale scene, is more “miss” than “hit.”

Once again, the Yard Sale Secrets team wants to point you to the YouTube comments of Glendon007 as too he talks about rumors swirling around the “Storage Wars” franchise.

We know a lot of yard salers enjoy the “treasure hunt” aspect of the show and those like it, so we thought it was worth pointing the article out to you.

Glendon, who claims to have made a lot of money in the storage unit auction business, offers some interesting bits of information and insight based on his experience in the business.

(And just to clarify, we in no way endorse the purchase of Glendon’s books and infomercials. We don’t know much more about him than you do.)

(Also, he does swear quite a bit in this video, so it might not be “Safe for Work,” as they say.)


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Five great yard sale websites

Blogger Earth Kitsch has a great ability to find cool vintage items at yard and estate sales.

While we know that is your absolute favorite source for yard sale tips, we figured we’d offer you a few other great sites for you to check out.

  • Yard Sale Queen – This great tips site offers a lot of useful information on selling and buying. Our favorite part is the section about weird items she’s come across in her years of buying. Our only complaint is that it doesn’t seem to be updated much.
  • Yard Sale Bloodbath -- A duo of  snarky yard sale shoppers gives us a look at good and bad buys in their trek through the Seattle yard sale scene. They find some crazy stuff.
  • Ranch Dressing with Earth Kitsch – This yard sale shopper has one goal — to completely stock her new ranch-style house with retro decor. You’ll be surprised at some of the cool stuff she finds!
  • Vintage Rescue Squad – Another junk-loving shopper, the Vintage Rescue Squad site chronicles one woman’s effort to find the best stuff she can at yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores.
  • Yard Sale Snoop – This blog features another Pinterest friendly collection of cool retro items that the writer finds while on the hunt through the wilds of Toronto.  We especially like this site because the writer likes to dig up old commercials on YouTube. Good stuff.
  • BONUS — Search “Yard Sale Tips” – Okay, maybe we’re cheating here, but this is a bonus entry anyway. You can get some great ideas by simply Googling “Yard Sale Tips.” That search brings up dozens of articles on what’s good, what’s bad and how to maximize your day at the sale. There’s definitely a lot of great advice out there.


Speaking of Pinterest, follow the Yard Sale Secrets board by going here!


Got some great yard sale tips? Want some advice on a particular yard sale topic? Leave a comment and we will get to work!


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Come visit us at our Saturday yard sale

It’s not often that you see the Yard Sale Secrets blog doing much self-promotion. All of the regular contributors to this little institution have had at least one yard sale since the debut of this blog. We mentioned those sales, yes, but only in passing.

That changes today though.

The Yard Sale Secrets team is proud to announce that we’ve assembled a group yard sale right here at our workplace, The York Dispatch at 205 N. George St. in York City.

The yard sale will feature six to eight sellers and run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Be sure to check out our ad in Thursday and Friday’s classified pages.

Since our tips are written by multiple people, don’t expect everyone to follow every list of tips we’ve put together. That being said, some of the non-contributing York Dispatch staff members have told us they’ve been researching our “Tips for Sellers” posts, so they might follow the rules better than we do.

This employee yard sale is the first for The York Dispatch, so we weren’t sure exactly how big we needed to make it or how much promotion we should do. It could be a total flop or it could be huge. We just aren’t sure Some of the early discussions included ideas of Bounce Houses, free web access, hot dogs on the grill, tours of the building and so on. All those ideas were put on hold though. We just want to test the waters first. If we do well this year, we might just go for broke next time.

You can plan your whole day around our sale and a visit to York’s downtown. The York YMCA is hosting a Bike in York event at Sovereign Bank Stadium, Central Market will be open, and you can check out the city’s museums and other retail operations while you’re visiting.


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