Tomorrow is our school jumble sale.
For some people this word fills them with dread. The thought of queuing in the cold and then elbowing each other to sift through a pile of old clothes makes them shudder.
For me, though, some of the best and unique outfits I have ever picked up have been from old church and village hall sales in my youth. In fact some of the vintage items I blogged about here came from our church jumble sale when I was a teenager (the Blanes dress is now worth $130-£180 and I probably only bought it for 10p!)
Anyway this is all an excuse to re-post this list of tips from a couple of years ago:
1. Be prepared to queue. There will always be ‘professionals’ who have been waiting for hours before the sale starts. You may not want to wait that long but if you want a bargain be prepared to turn up long before the opening time.
2. Once inside there will be some jostling and you may need to be forceful if you want to get to the front of a table.
3. The trick at a jumble sale is to not care about tossing clothes around. That original seventies dress might just be at the bottom of a pile of old t-shirts. By the time the sale ends clothing will have transferred from one pile to another so you may find women’s jumpers side by side with children’s trousers.
4. Another useful tip is to make sure you bring plenty of loose change and lots of carrier bags. It helps the organisers and saves time so you can focus on the next pile of clothes, books or bric a brac.
5. While you may feel you want to haggle about prices do remember these events are being held to raise money for good causes. The joy of jumble sales is how cheap everything is anyway without having to negotiate a price reduction.
On a final note, having helped with the sorting of the jumble please do bear in mind when you donate to a local sale that items still have to be in a fairly okayish state (ie don’t give them that mouldy box in the corner of your garage that is filled with broken items and soggy old magazines!). Oh and if you do volunteer to help remember this is for a common cause and not so you can get first dibs on everything, ie if the charity runs more than one event a year make sure you help out at those too.
To find out when and where local jumble sales are taking place try looking at your local newspapers (in print and online) and other local listings websites.
(I hope to bag a few bargains on the day so a follow up post may be on its way…)