Sunny Saturday summer morning. What does that say to you? Well, for a lot of folks it says “yard sale!” I had a rare Friday off yesterday so I decided to put my pile of stuff out and have a sale. Thing is, I hardly ever do very well selling at a yard sale, even though I live basically right in the middle of town. On the other hand, I sometimes do very well as a buyer.
One of the things that’s true of crossdressing (and being transsexual, in the early stages of transition) is that obtaining clothes can sometimes be problematic. For one thing, it can be expensive – particularly if you are prone to the regular purge event. Beyond that, there’s the issue of discretion. For those who feel compelled to keep their activity “on the down low” being seen buying women’s wear in the mall introduces a number of awkward issues. One of the best solutions to both problems is yard sales. Along with thrift stores, yard sales are the most crucial way to minimize the financial costs of dressing. It’s a lot less of a setback to purge an outfit you gave $2 for (and can replace for $2 more) than it is if you make that $2 into $20 instead (and frankly, $20 is cheap cheap cheap for a nice outfit of female outerwear nowdays).
No it can be true that if you stay local with your yard sale shopping you still run into the gossip issue, but if you take the effort to go for a drive to a town where they don’t know you, then people will generally assume you are buying for a wife or girlfriend (alternately, it can be an opportunity to spend the day dressed and shop for yourself openly) and you can find some really nice stuff at the right sale. One thing I like to do is try to find sales in the nicer neighborhoods because you sometimes find that the people who are more well off are selling much better items, and usually for not much more in terms of cost than you’d find elsewhere. It goes without saying that if you can buy a blouse that originally cost $15 at Walmart for a dollar, or you can buy one that originally cost $65 at some pricy specialty shop for $5, the latter is a better find.
Different areas have different customs, and you will learn from experience, if you are a yard sale newbie, what the customs are. In some places, dickering is expected and in others the prices are firm. In some places the sales might go all day, others start at the crack of dawn and take up before noon. But ever how they do it in your area, I recommend you get involved. Stock up on small bills and make a day of it, there’s a nice little rush when you find something you absolutely love and only spend a dollar or two to get it.
photo by: Patrick Ethan Matias