Thursday, April 17, 2014

Yard Sale Wrap Up

So I owe you all a wrap up of my yard sale experience.  You might want to get a cup of coffee or beverage of choice for this one. I think it will be a little long.  I'm going to steal a trick from the always awesome We Are Clamco and separate this into sections with titles.  I think that will make it a little more bearable.


Thunder over Louisville day is not the best day for having a sale.  I knew that going in, but I didn't want to wait any further into the season, after getting stymied so much by the weather in previous weeks.  Since people don't tend to head out until the afternoon for Thunder, I thought that if I just ended early, I would have a decent sale and get lots of people by.

I did get lots of people by, but nowhere near what I'm used to.  There was no steady flow, only spurts and ebbs.  Believe it or not, I had no early birds, which kind of freaked me out.  I did have a fair share of dealers coming buy.  Most of them bought the best of Mom's books, but little else.  There were also those people who just like going to yard sales, and I was happy about that.

I kept my expectations modest, like I said in my prep post.  I was mainly looking to make some space in the shed and get rid of stuff.  The lowest amount I would have been happy with was a hundred bucks and I made about 120, including dropping off the last of the books to Half-Price Books.

On another day, I probably would have at least doubled that, but I got some extra cash for junk hunting (always nice), cleared out some room, took several large items to the booth (a couple of which have already sold) and made a small donation to Goodwill.  I also held the last of the anime and Batman stuff to take to the booth at another time.  I'm really happy with all that.

There was less stuff at the end than there was at the beginning.  That's what matters.  There will be more time to do it again and bring in some more cash in the future.


Since I do my sales in back of the house and not in the front, describing where they are is a bit challenging.  Our house faces one street and backs on another, but of course, there is no number for the street in the rear.  I have taken to advertising sales using the block number and street name in the back:  #### block of BLANK street.  I also throw in the intersecting street across from our backyard and the convenience store as landmarks.  Usually, there's no problem, but this time around I had a couple of doozies pass through.

The mildest was the grumpy lady who told me she thought this was supposed to be a block sale, even though nothing I wrote or posted said anything remotely close, except for the use of the word "block."  At least she bought something.

The real winner was the guy who actually asked me how to find my own sale!  "I've seen the signs, but I cannot find it."  I told him he was at the sale, and he told me that "couldn't be right."  Since the #### block of BLANK street starts down a little hill from us, he told me that the top of the hill couldn't still be that same block.  This was after I showed him the street sign across from my sale, which clearly indicates what block we were in.  He actually proceeded to try and argue with me about where my own house is located!  He kept telling me "It didn't make sense" for this to be that block.  I finally told him to take it up with the city.  He also didn't buy anything.


So as the annoying guy above was leaving, I turned to sit down in my chair.  The chair in question was a lawn chair that we had bought at a recent yard sale for a buck.  We figured that for a buck, even if we got a little use out of it, it would be okay.  Earlier in the day, I had already sat in one of the chairs we got at the sale and the bottom gave way.

When I sat back down in this one, everything gave way.  Totally.  As in each leg went a different direction.  As in I went flat down to the ground.  As in pratfall.  As in this.  I wasn't hurt, but I was extremely embarrassed.  Seriously, two chairs in one day???  Diet starts right now!

That's not even the worst part.  After I got up, I took a look at my coffee cup, which had been behind the chair.  It seemed to be okay and intact, with just some coffee splashed out, so I picked it up and took a drink, only to have it dribble all over my shirt.  The damn cup was riddled with cracks, yet somehow holding it's shape.  I've had that cup for nearly 20 years!  It's been my morning companion all that time, and now it's gone, felled by the rickety yard sale lawn chair.  Curse you, rickety yard sale lawn chair!

I guess you get what you pay for sometimes.  Caveat emptor, and all that. 


I sold a batch of my Sailor Moon stuff to one young couple who came specifically for it.  They told me that her six year old sister is autistic and is really, really into Sailor Moon.  She knows all the songs and all the characters and makes up stories about them and draws them and stuff.  I was kind of amazed about all of that, given that, at six years old, she wasn't even born in the 90's when the show was on TV.  They said they look for stuff for her all the time and hopped in the car when they saw my CL ad.  They bought a big batch of stuff, and then I threw in some extra for her know me.  I'm all about the kids, especially when they're fans.  I honestly have never seen anyone more excited about a yard sale purchase than these two were.  They were debating whether to give it to the little girl right away or wait until her birthday. Nearly made me cry.


Speaking of kids, one little boy bought three clocks from me.  One was a wind up alarm and I had to show him how it worked.  He had been going in the convenience store across the street, and ran across the street when he saw my sale.  He told me he was going to have a yard sale of his own and sell his old toys and books, as soon as his grandmother said it was warm enough.  He also said he was coming back with more money, because I had some other things he wanted.  I wasn't surprised when he didn't make it back.  I'm guessing his grandmother confined him to the house when he came home with three clocks.  Not everyone appreciates a junker.

I gave a little gourd to another boy who was walking his dog, because he was kind of fascinated with them.  Why not?  After all, I am trying to get rid of them.  One way is as good as another some times.


I found a really big purse made out of a burlap-type of material with some fun stitching on it when I was going through my mother's last bits of stuff.  It was big enough that she would use it as an overnight bag when she came to visit. It went with her to the hospital a couple of times as well.  I don't really need it, so I priced it for a couple of bucks and threw it in the sale.

People kind of walked past it all day, until this one guy saw it, picked it up, clutched it to his chest like Shara with a Redmon basket, and literally dashed over to me to pay for it.  It's really odd to see some stranger do that to some totally ordinary something that used to belong to my mother.  Are burlappy bags the new Coach?  Who knew?

Afterwards, I pondered if that's the way I look to some people running sales.  If it is, then at least I'm entertaining.


The chest I had sold later in the day to a guy who just fell in love with it, despite the loose hinge.  He kept walking around it and looking at it, going away and coming back, but would not open it and look.  Finally, I opened it for him and that got him.  It was a love connection for sure.  I offered to help him get it into his truck, he just hefted it up and he was gone!  I like it when I can bring something together with someone who appreciates it.  I hope that I look that way to at least a few people running sales.


There was a lot of traffic passing by, especially later in the day.  We had the usual "slow down and gawk, then speed away" type of people who drive me nuts at yard sales.  We also had one case of the "almost cause an accident by stopping in the street to decide if you want to get out or keep going" type. Annoying as these types are, every sale has them.

I discovered a new type during my sale:  "Drive right by because you are going to Thunder and not looking for yard sales at all, but slow down and gawk with an open mouth like you've never seen a yard sale before."   Seriously, car after car drifting by with everyone staring with their mouths hanging open.  I felt like I had two heads or something.  Uncouth, to say the least.


I'm really glad I did the sale. I got rid of stuff and had a good time.  People are so fascinating, even when they're being annoying.  I think I'm going to do a book sale towards September, with one last yard sale in October.  Louisville lets you have three per year, so I'm going for it.  Still got a shedful!  There are a couple of community sales I'm thinking about setting up at too.  That way, I can sell and still shop!


We are: Clamco said...

My favorite part of holding garage sales is meeting all the people. And I love the kids! I'm sure you made their day and I'll bet the little girl getting the Sailor Moon stuff is going to be really really happy. Thanks for the shout out and I liked your little sections. :-)

Shara said...

When you see a treasure, you must grab it! :)

Sounds like an interesting day. I usually try to have fun at my sales, but someone usually pisses me off and ruins my good day. Like the old guy that wanted to know if that "old cracked up black pot was for sale or was it headed to the junk pile?" You mean the big cast iron kettle that came from our Great Grandmother's farm? The one she boiled clothes in and made jam in and apple butter and...and....and....? The kettle in the landscaping full of fifty dollars worth of plants?" Uh, no that's not for sale." Goober.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Eye opener on some strange behaviours of lookers. Its great that you lowered your volume of 'stuff'. Always a great feeling.

laurie -magpie ethel said...

IT is always an interesting experience to do a sale. Am doing one in June when our neighborhood does and annual garage sale. Crowds come and it really well attended. I get rid of tons of stuff and make money to fun my habit. Crazy people come tho. The dickering does drive me crazy.

Judy said...

Loved your Yardsale story, Eddie and the way you broke it up into separate parts. I had to laugh at the mental image I had of your cheapy chair giving way and the leaking coffee mug just added insult to injury. Glad you were able to unload some stuff, too.

Sandy in PA said...

I hope the Sailor Moon folks were legit. That stuff goes for a fortune on ebay.