Sunday, June 1, 2008

How Much Will You Pay For This Post?

Sorry I was gone for so long. I was stuck in Garage Sale Land. It is a land, far far away, where you sell all your crap to strangers. It is a land where these strangers either love your junk, reject it with laughter or don't even see it. It is also a land where you spend day after day working on this sale just to realize at the end, you have 3/4 of your crap leftover.

Nothing makes me happier than selling the basically brand new Old Navy shorts that I bought in every color for my son just last summer to which I then turn around and sell them this spring for a dollar. Oh no, not a dollar each. ALL FOR A DOLLAR. Nope. Not nauseous. Not me.

My mother is reading this right now and saying out loud to her computer screen "Oh come on Becky! You love those damn sales!"

OK fine. This is true. As a little girl, I would use EVERY chance to sell something. Anything! When my parents didn't want to deal with the pain of a lemonade stand, I would sell autumn leaves that fell on the ground. I would just put them in my wagon and sit on the corner and sell leaves. That didn't work so well, so once I just sold water. Water from the tap. Donald Trump, move over.

This was also the girl who when I was a girl scout I would love selling those cookies door to door. they actually GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO SELL! Hell yeah!

So, in reality, a garage sale isn't much different. I still get a little high when someone comes at me holding Aunt Margie's quilted Christmas wreath with their sweaty little two dollars in their hands.

The thing that really kills me about garage sales is that people actually lose their minds. Buyers and sellers alike.

In the buyer's mind, EVERYTHING is for sale. I'm actually surprised no one came over to me and asked how much my earrings were, that were ON MY EARS. We had a lady set her purse down to go look at a lawn mower, when another lady came up and started going through her purse! I had to say "Ma'am. Um, MA'AM! That is actually someones PURSE. WHO IS HERE! It's not for sale."

Or when Ben was eating lunch in the garage (don't worry, he didn't have a price tag on him) and this woman came up to his bowl THAT STILL HAD PEARS IN IT and asked if the bowl was plastic or porcelain. "Um, that's my son's lunch bowl. It's ah, not for sale." She was embarrassed because she didn't even see the kid, just the STUFF! Thank god she didn't see him, she might have started to barter on how much I would take for the kid with the messy face. "Well he also does have Kool-aid all over his shirt..."

At one point I saw my friend and partner in crime, Emily, come out of her house with a lady carrying a TV stand and an end table. I thought "Huh where did Emily have those set aside?" When I went inside later to go to the bathroom I saw that her TV was on the floor, along with all her stuff that was on the end table that was now in some lady's car. I came back out and said "Emily! Didn't you need that stuff?" She said almost in a daze "Dude! I got $40 for the set!!"

My mom tells a story about neighbors across the street who were having a garage sale one summer and got such bad garage sale fever that they ran into their house took down their shower curtain and hauled out their living room furniture onto the lawn. After the sale they had to run out and buy all new items.

But my true favorite of the weekend was the lady who was trying to barter with me on a sweater that was already just one dollar. She had two items in her hands. Both were $1. She said "I give you $1.50." I laughed and said "How about $2?" She came back with, "Well look at dis sweata? It all pilly on da side." I again laughed and said "Fine. $1.50."
Did she forget where she was for a minute and think this was Macy's? Did she forget that she was paying just ONE dollar for a wool sweater. HONEY! Look at this stuff and where you are! It's all crap and it's being sold IN A GARAGE!

The kids had a Kool-Aid stand and percentage wise, they beat Emily and I in sales hands down. They even ran out of cups and still got "donations."

Regardless it was fun, fairly successful and we really lucked out with the weather. I am now a whopping $64 richer and rid of a lot less stuff. Although seeing as how $50 of that went towards gas, I'm going to see if I can find Crazy Sweater Lady and let her do some bartering for me at the gas pump!


Marketing Mama said...

Oh how fun! You all look so cute! I can't believe the stories you have, especially about the lady wanting to buy your son's lunch bowl!

Although I have to laugh - last weekend I stopped in at a sale and asked a lady "Is that a sand & water table?" (a.k.a. toddler toy) she said "yes" I asked how much she wanted for it "It's not part of the sale, I'm just using it as a table...." but then she changed her mind (through no pressure from me) to sell it to me for $5 bucks. Better than the $75 it sells for new in the store, even if it is missing the plug for the sand and the one for the water still leaks... ;)

Jennifer said...

HA! So, so true. I love the Sweater Lady.