Garage Sale Daze |

Garage Sale Daze

Mary Thompson

Sifting through racks of flowery dresses, mountains of worn-out skis and dusty knickknacks displayed proudly on sun-baked driveways, garage sale enthusiasts made off with some of the best bargains in town this weekend.

“I sold a color TV for $5, a barbecue for $20 which retails for $60 and a Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike for $30 that was easily worth $100,” said Roy Ranne, who was hosting a garage sale at his home on Herbert Avenue in South Lake Tahoe. “You can find gold mines out there.”

Tony Cramer and Jodee Gansel, who had their treasures neatly displayed outside their apartment on Alma Avenue, near Sierra Boulevard, agreed.

They said their hottest-selling items were winter clothing.

“We had a little bit of everything,” he said. “But we were selling these brand-new winter fleeces for $3 and that was probably our best deal.

“We had all kinds out here, everybody from derelicts and people in their Suburbans.”

Still some buyers, in the tradition of the American garage sale, tried bartering for an even better deal.

“This one guy wanted to buy a whole stack of fleece jackets for $3 and I just said no,” Cramer said.

Other than the occasional thrifty consumer haggling away the profits, he said the sale was a success.

“We were swamped and we made rent (on Saturday’s sales),” he said. “The only thing left now is junk.”

But one person’s junk is someone else’s treasure.

Between garage, moving, estate, and yard sales scattered between the Tahoe Keys and Ski Run Boulevard, a frugal shopper could snatch up anything from handmade baby clothes to a set of silverware imported from South America for just a few dollars.

Dan Benvenuti, a retired builder from Sacramento, bought a portable gas tank.

“I came over and made my deal,” he said. “I usually will stop because garage sales give you a better deal.

“But I’m not like some of these people that come out at the crack of dawn to buy things to sell at the flee market.”

Benvenuti said he’s got another technique at stealing the deals.

“Most people want to sell and particularly at the end of the day,” he said.

If Benvenuti doesn’t nab all the goods at the last minute, garage salers will have to deal with the leftovers.

This time, Cramer was stuck with a black trench coat, so new it still had the tags on it.

“I tried lowering the price all the way down to $15 and still couldn’t sell it,” he said. “It’s a nice coat though.”

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