Yard sales are a lot of work

Yesterday I participated in our neighbourhood association’s inaugural street sale. The flyer we got said it started at 8AM, but when I was walking Leia a little after 7AM, I only saw one family setting theirs up. I guess my neck of the woods isn’t a hardcore yard sale kind of crowd. By the time I got back and got my stuff out, a couple more had sprouted. Sean also reported seeing more sales on other streets while he did his coffee run. One group of women who visited my sale were quite disgusted that the neighbours across the street were only just setting up at 8:45AM. “All the best stuff is gone by then!” they sneered. Then they left without buying anything, even though I had lots of good stuff left. Just not good stuff to them. Whatever.

I’m always surprised at the stuff that sells at yard sales and the stuff that doesn’t. I had some purses out, and one in particular was touched by almost every visitor to the sale. But no one wanted to cough up the money for it, or make me a counter-offer. I had a box of never-used wineglasses, a brand-new cheese knife and tray set, and a nice wooden wall shelf that nobody bought. Yet, every single stinky candle and most of the crappy bath stuff I put out was sold. I probably priced the “good stuff” too high, but I took any counter-offer I was given, so I didn’t make as much as I had hoped. This served as a reminder that a yard sale’s main objective is not to make money, but get rid of stuff you no longer need in your life.

One guy came by about halfway through, looked at my stuff for about thirty seconds and told me it was all “girl stuff”. I told him my husband was a packrat and wouldn’t get rid of anything (which is pretty much true). I had an old man ask me if I had any stamps or war medals from Grandpa, (which I did not). I told him my grandpa must have given them to his good grandchildren. This was after the guy was trying to flirt with me by saying he saw my red hair from a distance, but he had been drinking the night before. I told him that I hoped he wasn’t seeing two of me. I’m not sure if he liked me much, but he made me laugh. Silly old men are great!

I gave up after about three hours. I sold over half of the stuff, but since it was a small sale, what was left was starting to look pathetic, and people were just driving or walking by without looking. Everyone was also trying to buy the tables I had the stuff on, which were not for sale. I am proud of myself because when I boxed everything back up, I took it straight to the car to be donated to Goodwill. No sneaking back into my house, clutter!

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.
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