Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shake it like a Polaroid picture !

Wheww! Summer has arrived and it's hot and muggy in my part of the garage sale world. It's the kind of heat that makes you want to wrap up early on Saturday mornings, head home and crank up the air conditioner! Being both a keen weather observer as well as a garage sale picker, I've noticed the summer mornings always start off cool and comfortable, but quickly degenerate into a sauna after the nine o'clock hour. This can cause the late morning sales to turn into a high-intensity workout! Making matters even worse, some of the high-highfalutin neighborhoods I frequent have super long driveways. On those rare occasions when I end up empty-handed, it can be a looong, muggy walk back to the old truckster! It all proves once again that going to garage sales is not for the faint of heart...especially in the summertime!

But despite the heat, one of those long driveways turned out to be worth the hike last summer. At that particular sale I bought something most of my competition usually overlook....Polaroid instant film. You may be wondering whether they still make Polaroid film? Well, yes and no. But before we get into all that, let's take a stroll down memory lane. For those of you not born in the stone age like me, the Polaroid camera and it's instant film were a very big deal back in the day. Prior to Polaroid, most people used Kodak film and cameras. Kodak film was the complete opposite of instant, requiring you to not only transport your roll of film to a developer, but also wait days or weeks before getting your pictures back! Supermarkets, department stores and camera shops were some of your choices when having film developed. You could also choose to mail your film away to some distant developer, waiting weeks before receiving your photographs back. It was a real pain! But with Polaroid cameras you didn't have to go through all that hassle. Just snap a photo and the picture developed right in front of your eyes. It was convenient and amazing!

But like most technologies, time marched on for the Polaroid camera. The writing was on the wall with the introduction of digital
cameras. Digital cameras required no film-just download and edit your photographs right on your home computer! As digital cameras began to grow in popularity, Polaroid cameras began to fade away. The mass exodus away from Polaroid can be seen at your local thrift store. On any given day you'll probably find one of two Polaroid cameras on the thrift store shelves. While most are not worth a hill of beans, a few of the cameras still sell for big money. I'll get to that in a later blog.

With digital cameras taking over, Polaroid ceased production of their instant film in 2008. But while Polaroid gave up, some true believers refused to abandon their  cameras and began buying up instant film wherever they could find
Polaroid:If you see it-buy it!
it. The demand was such that a company in Europe stepped in to fill the need. The company currently produces an instant film for old Polaroid cameras, selling an eight-picture pack for a hefty $21 bucks. But even with new film being produced, Polaroid aficionados still clamor for the original Polaroid film in the blue boxes. This makes it a hot item to look for at garage sales! I occasionally get lucky and find a few boxes here and there. Case in point: the seven boxes seen here were snagged for the incredible price of just three dollars. The seller priced it low probably thinking Polaroid film is worthless. But boy was he ever wrong. A few weeks later I sold the entire lot on eBay for $268 dollars! Pretty good for old expired film, right? Speaking of which, if you score Polaroid film don't be discouraged if it has an old expiration date on the box. Polaroid buffs don't seem to care about that. The film I sold was over eight years old. I made sure to mention the expiration date in the item description. By doing so, I avoided any misunderstandings or possible complaints regarding the age of the film. But considering I made almost $300 dollars on the flip, it was obvious the expiration date was not a big deal to bidders.

Be sure to add Polaroid film to your garage sale "buy" list. While it's becoming harder and harder to find, it's still out there and will make you big money!

Do you have any good Polaroid stories? Share it in the comment section below.....

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  1. Wow! Sounds like you snagged a great deal! Thanks for letting us I will know to keep a look-out for the Polaroid film! Did you ever sell your blue Coleman cooler? After your post about the cooler I found a vintage green Coleman cooler at a sale with a gallon jug along with it. I paid $20 for both (they were asking $30). I've got it listed on Ebay right now and it's up to $55...I'm hoping for at least a hundred! Here's the link if you'd like to take a peek:
    Do you think I'll get the hundred? Thanks so much for your info!

  2. Pam-I checked out your listing...nice! The cooler is in excellent condition and in it's original box, plus you have the matching thermos. It should be a should have no problem hitting $100.

    I havent sold my blue cooler....yet. But I still may. Once you sell yours, let me know how much the shipping cost was. I'd be interested in knowing in case I list mine.

    Good luck with the auction and thanks for writing in.....Dude!

  3. I never see any Polaroid Film at yard sales in my area, but have in on my lookout list.

    Had to laugh when I saw the title of your post because for years I thought they were sayin' Shake it like a Holy Roller Preacher in that song.

    1. Kym- Ha! I always liked the verse because it's exactly what people would do after taking a Polaroid picture-shake it! And it didn't speed up the development process but people still did it. Too funny!

  4. I only found polaroid film once at the t.s for .99 I almost passed on it because I didn't think it would sell since it was expired. I sold it in November to a buyer in Canada for $24.99

    1. beckyp-You have to love that, right? Those packs of film are found money! Thanks for checking in ....Dude!