In my first year interning with the Settlement Home, I wasn’t sure what The Sale was, but I was lucky enough to get to experience the unique experience and see it almost every day. Day two of The Settlement Home Garage & Estate Sale was a sweet and fun one. I got to visit The Sale for the first time, and I met some incredible individuals. In my first hour of chatting with people, I met some of the more dedicated Sale shoppers. I met five different groups who have been coming around for more than TEN YEARS! The very first people in line were two ladies who had never met before or outside of The Sale, but have become very close through waiting in line with each other every year. They only see each other when The Sale comes around, but they shop for each other and bring each other lunch every year. They have been coming to The Sale since ’92 and said they have no plans to change that because it’s the highlight of their year. These ladies aren’t the only people I spoke with who have been coming around year after year.
A little further in the line, I met a couple who has been shopping at The Sale for the last 26 years. The woman said the most memorable thing she has found was a set of diamond watches hidden in the jewelry section. She has had them for more than 20 years and still wears them. They mean more to her than any other piece of jewelry she has because she got them from a good cause and had to find them herself.
The others I spoke to were a little less seasoned in their shopping experiences at The Sale, but are still expert, veteran shoppers. Another man I met was sitting in the furniture section reading a paper and holding some bags. I went to speak with him to see if he needed any help, but when he looked up from his paper I quickly realized he was just enjoying his day and living it up. He was holding his wife’s bags while she walked around for the two of them. I asked if he was bored and he replied “Oh heavens no! This is what I come to do. She shops and I get to people watch and read my paper. I love coming with her every year!” After 20 years of shopping here, his wife has her strategy and list perfected, and he knows he will get to see some interesting items and watch her have fun so he still tags along every time.
The most important question I had for all of the people I spoke with was “What is it that keeps you coming back every year?” and all of them had different answers, but one in common as well. It’s for a great cause. They can get great bargains, find crazy items, people watch and have fun all while knowing their money is going to a good place, The Settlement Home. The most important tip they had for any new shoppers is: be patient, have a list, make a game plan, and enjoy yourself. Through ten years of dedicated shopping these shoppers have made friends, found great finds, and helped The Home year after year with no plans to stop.