An Insider's Guide to navigating the World's Largest Garage Sale
By Alexandra Garry
CVB Sales and Services Administrator, Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”
When that cold hits the air, it’s always a sign to me that autumn is for letting things go — and with that we get THE WARRENSBURG GARAGE SALE!
The first weekend of October has easily become one of my favorite weekends of the year. I am an avid thrifter, up-cycler, crafter, creator, and overall bargain shopper!
This sale is mainly targeted for folks like me, but there’s so much more than just some garage sales!
Main Street is your go-to for all food carts, new products from vendors, flea market vendors, antique dealers, and same returning veteran vendors!
So basically, you can attend this HUGE town-wide sale and still get brand new sheets for your bed, or a brand new blanket for your mom, or eat some deep fried Oreos and chowder bread bowls!
It’s fun to cruise Main Street and look at the expensive vintage, and eat some food — but the real magic happens in the backstreets!
The real down and dirty garage sales where you hunt and hunt and find the best treasures — some even for free!
Let me break it down…
So most have to come the way into Warrensburg from I-87, Exit 23, where you then have the option to park at far distances and take the shuttle…nope! Newbie move!
If you can, take the back roads in…like driving up Route 9 from Lake George (which has great sales along the way, too) and then turning left onto Bakers Crossing Road (right before the light), Follow it behind Price Chopper, then turn right onto Harrington Hill Road…follow down from there and start to look for a place to park on the side of the road!
You won’t be alone in parking here. Plus there’s some good sales in this area, too!
This now has you on the west side of town in the backstreets. I try to get as close to the medical center as possible to park, because it puts you in a good central part of town. If not, then head up to the Stewart’s and then left onto the backstreets there!
I personally just like to bring a backpack with some empty totes in it. Many like to bring wagons, which is good if you have kids or going for a big-ticket item. If not, it just gets in the way. I have found in my experience that if you buy a large item, most vendors will allow you to keep it there until the end of the day when you can drive up with you car and load it up!
Always bring water and an umbrella!
Cash is valuable, and in small amounts! On my way up I like to stop at my bank to get money. I recommend bringing 10s, 5s, 1s, and quarters! Sometimes that will get you the better deal, also!
This has become more and more apart of the weekend. Everyone is setting up and light sales are happening. It’s a fun time to view Main Street with a fraction of the people around.
Saturday — the main day.
All hands on deck! This is the money-maker day for most vendors, where everything is selling for full price. Also, the prime for all foods available and most amount of people! A fun social time for sure!! I like to try out the ‘new’ food carts for the year. Last year my new favorite was the ribbon fries!
Main Street is also home to my favorite vendor! (See photo above!) She’s a wonderful lady that comes every year, and my classic buy from her is a new license plate. I have a collection of them, and most of them came from her! Something silly, but she always remembers me for it — and I her. But this day is when you’ll do the most walking and most likely the most spending.
Busy, busy, busy!!!
Sunday — my favorite day.
The morning is the last push for most vendors to make final sales before packing up their trailers and moving to the next show... or the last day for Mrs. Keenan to make her high price sales in her driveway. But as the day progresses, there’s less people and the prices start dropping! They don’t want to pack everything up…they don’t want those items back into their basements in boxes for next year…so now’s the time to make an offer!
One year I actually had a guy sell me a whole box full of antique teacups for $1…and then there’s the year I was ASKED to take beautiful cowboy boots for free because they were just going to the street curb anyway! This is my best day, with the best deals and giving me all the creativity feels! For me too, this weekend is about Christmas shopping, finding something unique and special for a friend, or discovering something to craft into a new treasure for my brother!
I encourage you to “get off the main path!”
Take the backstreets and side streets instead of the busy Main Street! Discover new people and what they have to offer. You never ever know what you’re going to find! A lot of them are multi-family sales that collect all year long and save their treasures to have the best sale ever!!! You’ll often find the best baked goods sold there, too!
Well that’s about it! I’ve told you all my ins and outs from year’s wisdom — now it’s up to you to find the treasures!
Take this opportunity to up-cycle or reuse some great items rather than buying new!
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