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'Tis the season

Karen Larson of Marinette snagged a 1970s style lava lamp at a rummage sale Friday. Amy McKenny and Kayla Walters were thrilled with the find. The three say they enjoy searching for older items to adorn their respective homes. EagleHerald/Mike Desotell

There's always a sale around somewhere

MENOMINEE - Even with gasoline selling for about $4 a gallon, local residents will still pile in their vehicles and drive around town in search of a bargain.

Thursdays through Sundays are the busiest times as people search for everything from 8-track tapes and exercise equipment to clothes and tools. Make no mistake, the summer rummage sale season is upon us.

For Karen Larson of Marinette, it's "rummage sale" and nothing else. "They're not selling a yard so why would they say yard sale, they're not really selling a garage either," she laughed.

Larson and her two partners in bargain hunting, Amy McKenny and Kayla Walters have a pretty good idea of what they're looking for when they head out the door at 6:30 a.m.

"We love old stuff," said Larson. "I'm hopefully moving into a new place so I'm looking for cool stuff."

On Friday she found a 1970s style lava lamp at a rummage sale near Henes Park in Menominee. For $2 she got quite a deal.

McKenny spends most of her time looking for antiques. "Anything cool and old," she said. " I don't like new stuff, I like all antiques." By 10 a.m. she had procured an old planter which she will use as a decoration in her home.

"I like antique stuff too," said Walters. "I'm starting to get into things she (Amy) likes."

On Saturday the three will travel to Abrams to try their luck there.

Experienced sellers know that people who shop at rummage sales are looking for nice things at discounted prices. "We tried to mark things to just get rid of them," said Andrea Grinsteiner, of Menominee. Her sale was well laid out, the merchandise was clean, the prices were well marked and similar items were next to each other - it wasn't just a bunch of old stuff thrown on a table.

Grinsteiner had an assortment of clothes, household goods, toys, bikes, etc. Friday was a good day for sales. Part of the reason for the success was because she received help from family and friends. It took them about four hours to organize and price all the items.

You never know what a customer is going to snap up. "The copper tub, that's gone. The fish tank vacuum sold too. And we had some antique shoe stretchers," said Grinsteiner. Those were some of the items that went quickly. What didn't sell Friday will hopefully find new owners today.

Many non-profit organizations are also jumping on the bargain sale bonanza. Today from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. the Friends of Spies Public Library will hold a plant sale and flea market in the library parking lot on 1st Street. Just down the block the American Legion will hold its rummage sale and cookout from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. On the second Saturday of the month, folks gather at the M&M Plaza for the community flea market.

You could have the most useful, well maintained and reasonably priced items in town but if no one knows about your sale it won't do much good.

Kelly Boucher is the classified advertising manager at the EagleHerald. When it comes to rummage sales she knows what works best.

"I think we average about 30 rummage sale ads a week just in the beginning of the summer and it will probably climb to about 50 a week."

As part of a special package deal, the paper also publishes a list for people to use to help guide them to the sales.

"That way people that are going to the rummage sales can cut that 'clip and save' out and all the addresses and times are right there in that one spot," said Boucher. "Obviously they look through the ads to see which sale has what and then they have their little list. It's great, it's awesome."

The newspaper also offers materials such as rummage sale signs, price stickers, tips sheets and checklists.


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