Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Belated Rambles

Okay, so how about some belated rambling?  Sound good?  Here we go!

Like I said on Monday, I spent most of last week sick with a bad cold.  My whole routine was: stagger out of bed, take Dayquil, go to work, stagger home, take Nyquil, go to bed, repeat.  If I hadn't planned out those birthday posts weeks ago, then I wouldn't have had anything on the blog at all.  There really wasn't a lot to write about.

Thankfully, I was starting to get better by the time of the birthday celebration.  As usual, the birthday weekend was devoted to my favorite activities:  eating out and second-hand shopping.  In the days before I had a booth, I was looking for stuff for my collections and such.  Nowadays, it's a merch hunt, although I did find a cool stash of old comics for myself.  Since the yard sale season has pretty much died (more on that later), the birthday event is kind of like my really big push to make sure that I'm stocked enough for winter.

As I get older, it's surprising to me how tired I am at the end of the weekend.  Wheeling a cart around a bunch of vendor malls is a lot more tiring than you would think!  It's also surprising to me how the secondhand retail scene has grown in this town.  I used to be able to hit just about every thrift and flea market in town in one weekend.  Now, it's just not possible.  In fact, there are a couple of stores that have been open for a couple of years now that I have not been able to make even one visit to yet!  I keep worrying that we've reached or exceeded our carrying capacity and that there's going to be some contraction in the market, but it doesn't seem to be happening yet.

As usual, it was a lot of fun and I got a lot of cool stuff.  I feel better prepared for the colder months now.  In fact, I might be able to get by for both booths without having to make too many merch runs during the cold months, except possibly for furniture.  Seems like a good deal to me.

We did hit one yard sale (actually a church sale) over the weekend.  There weren't many listed, and most of them seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel.  This particular sale has been one of my favorites, but it usually happens much earlier in the year--February, to be exact.  Going from being one of the first sales of the year to one of the last really hurt it, I think.  This is the kind of church sale that allows a bunch of people to set up, but also has a large area of stuff that the church is selling.  I think the date switch put the sale so late that most church members had already had their own sales, so they only had their leftovers.

I did buy a few things, but nothing really special enough to post about.  A couple of oddball things happened, though, that are worth mentioning.  I asked a lady how much this cubby organizer thing for a kid's room was.  None of her stuff was priced.  She responded with the old "How much will you give me?" b.s.  I said, "Three dollars."  Then she said (and I quote verbatim here):

"How about four dollars? No, make it $3.50, then meet me in the middle at $3.25.  No, let's just go with three, like you said."

In other words, she countered her own counter-offer and did my negotiating for me and came out at my price!  I've never seen anything like it before.  Ever.  I resisted the urge to ask if she had sold much that day.

There was another lady with a bunch of electronic stuff that was not priced.  If someone asked about something, she would look it up on Amazon using her iPad.  Whatever someone had a used one listed for on Amazon was the price she quoted and she refused to negotiate because "I could get more for it on Amazon!"  I wasn't even interested in her stuff, yet I really had to suppress the urge to go over and tell her to put the damn stuff on Amazon, then wait six months or more for it to sell (if ever).  Seriously, you're going to turn down someone standing in front of you with cash in hand for a mythical 20 bucks more you could make on a website where you will never, ever actually list the item?  Someone needs lessons.

I spent the actual birthday day working my booth at the Peddlers Mall.  Last Monday, I had started rearranging to prep for the post-Halloween merch shift, but didn't get done because I wasn't feeling well.  I kind of left everything half done and then had not been back due to my cold.  In other words, I had a lot of work to do to get back on schedule.  Interestingly enough, I sold several more Halloween items in the days after Halloween, including the last of those damn skulls.

I pulled the Halloween stuff, rearranged the booth, tidied, and put out a ton of new stuff, including the start of Christmas.  I made a new Thanksgiving display, since my other one was getting a little tired.  The first round of my holiday gift idea items are out, with more still to come.  It all cleaned up rather well.  I forgot my camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  Keith commented on my working on my birthday, but the booth recognizes no such special occasions.  Afterwards, I started making my rounds of Halloween clearance to stock up for next year.  More about that in my sales analysis post.

I'm betting I'm not the only one who stayed up too late last night watching that nail-biter of an election.  Now, it's time to pull together and get things done.  I'm in.  Are you?

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