The Thrill of the Hunt

The subzero temperatures and frozen water pipes got you dreaming about those wonderful days of spring garage sales? No need to wait! Saturday, January 13th (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and Sunday, January 14th (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) The Greater Indianapolis Garage Sale and Marketplace returns to the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Advertised to be the country’s largest indoor garage sale, this year’s show will fill both the Elements Financial Blue Ribbon Pavilion and the Champions Pavilion. Over 700 vendors have reserved spots with a selection so varied there is sure to be something for every member of the family. My son and husband head for the automotive and electronics displays. My daughter-in-law shops the craft booths and my grand kids check out the latest toys for their dog and swap baseball cards with the other kids at the show. As for me . . . it is a totally retro-vintage affair!
One of the nicest parts of this show are the bargains to be found. This is a nice mix of local merchants, professional resale dealers and “regular folks” who take advantage of this once a year venue to thin down their closets. In the mix you will also find several local churches and civic organizations who collect castoffs from their members and sell them at the show to raise money for their organizations. Whoever the vendor, feel free to barter over the asking price because it has been my experience that these vendors, for the most part, are motivated sellers. (Note to the novice: the best deals are usually found during the last 2 hours of the second day as the vendors face taking home their leftovers and will often slash prices.)
Every year yields an array of unique collectibles. Jewelry is a common find. Industrial and architectural pieces have been growing in popularity in the past few years. Railroad and sports memorabilia abound and advertising pieces are often quite affordable. Clothing is one of the largest categories with vintage, slightly worn and brand new items, some with the tags still on! People often ask me what my favorite part of the show. To be quite honest, I will walk right past the beautifully displayed booths to get to those with disheveled boxes and piles of miscellaneous. Because for me, there is nothing as good as having to ‘dig’ for your treasures!
As a bonus, the staff of the Southport Antique Mall will once again be offering FREE item valuations. Bring your favorite small antique or collectible for examination by some of the top dealers in Indiana. Curious about a piece of antique furniture in your home? Bring pictures including front and back views, hardware and drawer or joint construction. Even if you have nothing to bring for valuation, this is a fun booth to visit. According to Alissa Thompson, owner of the Southport Mall, one of last year’s best moments came when a man who had brought in a 1964 GI Joe action figure in mint condition was told it’s value was $1,000. “He was so surprised he asked me three times if had heard the gal correctly.”
There is no charge for this item valuation service, just present your event ticket and it is limited to one item per person. The Southport Antique Mall booth is open 11 p.m.-3 p.m. both days of the show.
Adult admission tickets are $5 at the door or $3 online at Kids under 12, with a paying adult, are FREE! So pack up the family and join the thousands of Hoosiers who have found the show’s theme to be true, “There is something for everyone at The Garage Sale!” Until next time . . . Linda

Linda Kennett is a professional liquidation consultant specializing in down-sizing for seniors and the liquidation of estates and may be reached at 317-258-7835 or