May 20, 2006

What do these things have in common?

• 15 boxes of "stuff"
• 1 lawn sweeper
• 2 almost dead houseplants
• 8 tables
• $82.00
• 2 bright sunny days
• 139 people

My garage sale, that's what. Let me give you the sordid details. The story starts back in March when 2 little old ladies walked around the neighborhood passing out flyers informing us of the neighbordhood garage sales that were occurring in Apr & May. I was too lazy (plus it was too cold) to get my stuff ready in time for the April sale.

For the May sale, I took two days off work (with pay of course). Bright and early on Thurdsay morning, I eyeballed 15 boxes of "stuff". It was a bit overwhelming! It took me practically the entire day to get the tables and set everything up. I ended up with 8 tables full of stuff. After being in the garage all day (you'd be surprised at how much DIRT is out there), I had to then take a shower and get to the bank before they closed in order to make change during the sale. My Dad warned me that I needed more than 5 ones... so I got 10. With $82 worth of bills and change, I started off for home. By Thursday evening, my ENTIRE body was sore and screaming out in pain: "Why? Why? What were you thinking?!?"

The big day arrives: Friday - the first day of the sale. The day starts out cloudy and cool, but I ended up with 2 bright sunny days. I wondered to myself, "How many other sales will there be on this street?" Guess how many? THREE! The street is 3 blocks long and 3, count them 1-2-3 sales. I set out my street sign, which is a big A-frame art easel that I made computer generated "garage sale" signs and decorated with colorful balloons. Now, one of those balloons just made one little girl's day. Well, it did until she managed to hit it into the neighbor's fenced in backyard. She cried and the sap that I am couldn't take it. I offered her another one, her choice of colors even.

My parents put some stuff in the sale. In the first half hour, some guy looked at my Dad's lawn sweeper (which was cheaply priced at $75) and asks, "How low will you go on the sweeper?" Now, I should've taken that as a sign... an omen... a signal... of things to come. I told the guy $65 and he says, "It's not for me. It's for another couple." Uh huh. My mother put a couple of almost dead houseplants in the sale. I have to be honest, I was embarassed to put them in the sale. They were that bad. She said to put 25 cents on one and "a lot more" on the other. Now, what does "a lot more" mean? OK, I took that as $1. Guess what?? Both those plants sold!! One lady said to me, "He looks quite angry. I'll take him home and fix him up." LOL, angry??

Who'da thunk that within the first half hour everyone would've been paying with 5's and 10's?? Had to call my sister and ask her to bring me 10 more ones before she went to work!! I can hear my Dad now... tapping his temple with his forefinger... "Ole Dad knows" Yeah. Yeah.

Remember the omen I mentioned earlier?? Garage salers are cheap and I mean CHEAP! Keep in mind that 95% of my stuff was very cheaply priced. For instance, I had a new in-the-package-never-opened surge protector for $1. A lady offered 50 cents. I countered with 75 cents. LOL, she put it back. Basketball hoop and backboard $5 -- a guy offered $2.50 (Now tell me where you can get a backboard and hoop for $5? Last I priced one, which was a month ago... they're at least $40) The best laugh I got was a guy who bought my 25cent camera lens filters and told my sister he was going to sell them on ebay. Thing is... they're all off brand filters and I already tried selling them on ebay. You can buy those in camera shops for 25-50 cents a piece. Good luck, friend. Then we come to another guy who was interested in the lawn sweeper. He says, "Will you take $50?" I explain to him that it's not mine, that it's my Dad's, and that NEW ones cost about $200. Then I counter with $65. He fiddled around looking at it and asked his buddy what he thought. Yeah, get a second opinion! Finally, he decided to buy it. The best part about that was: My Dad had told me to put $65 on it but I couldn't remember what he said when I made the sign for it. I'd made one for $75 and one for $50 -- then asked my Dad, explaining about the signs. LOL, he says put $75 on it. So in the end he got what he wanted for it anyway.

"How much is that little doggie in the window? Arf! Arf!" I had my 4lb. Pomeranian, Celeste, leashed outside with me while I manned the sale. More people than I can count asked me, "How much is the doggie?" I thought to myself... "You're bickering over a 25cent item, you can't afford the dog!" It got to the point that so many people were asking about the dog, that my niece made a sign:

Celeste had a blast the entire sale. She loves "company" and everybody is her friend. Everybody except other dogs! Yes, there were actually people who showed up at the sale with their dogs on leashes.

I'm guessing you're wondering... "How did the sale go?" I have come to the conclusion that if I do this again, I am only having it on a Friday. Why? Between 7:30am and Noon on Friday, 83 people visited the sale. Between 3pm and 5pm on Friday afternoon, there were 28 people. Between 7:30am and 11am on Sat, 28 people showed up. 139 people total. Since the bulk of them showed up Friday morning, it only makes sense to have it on Friday. All in all, I got rid of at least 6 boxes of junk.... errr, I mean "stuff" and made about $200.