Pricing The Past: Inside A Metairie Tag Sale | WWNO

Moreau says that one of the biggest conflicts that comes up in her work is that the older generation saves a lifetime of belongings that they assume their children will gladly inherit, only to find out that social morés have shifted, and the younger generation would prefer not to take on a houseful of heirlooms.

She sees this generational difference as “a vestige of the Great Depression.” That is, the older folks lived through a period in which Americans conserved everything in their home, from their prized armoires to the twist-ties in their kitchen drawer.

Not so these days. Shifting values and a globalized economy have created a more disposable mentality, wherein IKEA sets can be replaced without hesitation. For Moreau, that means she can make the most out of what’s left behind, carefully pricing out old Pyrexes and Barbie clothes to the highest bidder across the country.

Within this seemingly conventional world of estate sales and eBay bids exists the daily possibility of happening upon something new and unexpected. It’s not the objects themselves or the auctions that excite Moreau most about her job. For her, it’s pure discovery.

“It’s like a treasure hunt,” she says.

Moreau gets to chance upon those rare moments when everyday work can become a thrill, no matter how fleeting.

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Pricing The Past: Inside A Metairie Tag Sale | WWNO.