Monday, June 14, 2010

Garage Sale Happenings

Saturday, the 12th, was our annual city-wide garage sale. I've participated several times in the past few years but this was the first year we actually got the money paid in on time (it's a fundraiser for the city) and in the map. That was good because we didn't have time to put any signs up. As if we'd have had room to put signs out. There were so many sales out that the plot of ground you can legally put a sign in was completely full. We didn't suffer from lack of shoppers even though we had no signs.

Friday night, the 11th, we'd done the Relay for Life so I didn't get to bed until about 12:30 am - and then back up before 6:00 am. We were pulling tables out of the garage by 6:30 and by 6:45 we'd had our first "drive by" shoppers. Before 7:00, we actually had people swarming the area trying to buy stuff that wasn't organized or priced yet. Some people actually got ticked because prices were on everything but they were technically there before I was even open for business. At 7:45, we had people everywhere - in the garage, on the drive, and walking toward us on the street. I was trying to get stuff out, get money in the register, and wait on people standing there. I asked Kris what time it was and when she said "7:45," I said good; I didn't feel so badly for not being ready because we really weren't even open yet!

I should have taken pictures of all the stuff. Amy had stuff, we had stuff, and my sister had driven down from KC and she had stuff. I had borrowed four long tables from a friend, I had three medium sized table of my own, Kris brought two or three small tables, Amy had brought two tables from Rex's house, and I had borrowed two tables from my neighbor, one table from Keith, and one table from a friend at work. So, we had 13 or 14 tables and they were full most of the day and we'd rearrange as things emptied. It was a zoo.

I had a Delta Burke swimsuit ($50) that was practically new that I hadn't had a chance to mark. I think it's worth $5 so that's what I was putting on it. One woman offered me $1 for it, which I turned down. I told her that I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but if I was going to just give it away, I'd donate it to charity and take a tax deduction. Basically, that's how I feel about things. I'm willing to mark things way down but I don't want people to assume that just because it's a garage sale, they can give whatever they want for something. They wouldn't go into a store and tell the proprietors how much money they'd pay for something and shouldn't expect to do the same at a garage sale.

No sooner had this woman put the swim suit down that another woman picked it up and tried to hand me a quarter for it. I told her sorry, and I'd just turned down $1 for it. She said she agreed, it was a very nice suit and worth much more than $1. So, why then, did she think I'd take a quarter??? No clue...

Speaking of quarters, I had several people try to offer me a quarter for my 1996 Father's Day Longaberger basket, which is in perfect condition. This has both of the informational inserts that came with it, the plastic liner, and the cards with dividers. Well worth more than a quarter. I guess they didn't know the difference between a "cents" sign vs. a "dollar" sign. For the people who didn't offer me a quarter, they said that $25 was too expensive and you can "usually find these baskets for $10-$15 at garage sales." When Kris said, "from people who don't know what they have," the reply was usually, "that's true." People were just amazing.

I didn't even have time to bring out everything that I wanted to offer. I had a bunch of shoes (nearly new), Amy had a bunch of shoes, I had more tools, kitchen stuff, and books. Lots of books. I am going to some of them on Craigslist. I have the entire set of the Left Behind series and two of the three "pre" books (I have the third one but Amy can't find it). Most of them are hardback and one woman wanted to give me $10 for the set. Others wanted to buy just one and couldn't understand why I didn't want to break up the set. Oh well...

I had one man come to the register with three screw drivers - one was marked $1.00 and the other two were not. One was smaller, one was bigger, so I said $2.50 for all three of them. He said, "I'll give you $2 for them." I said that I felt the three were worth $2.50 as one was smaller and one was bigger. He said, in a very irritated voice, "I hate it when people don't have things marked! I'll give you $2.00 or not at all." I was incensed! I said, as calmly as I could, "people started swarming us at 6:45 and we weren't even opening until 8:00, which made it hard to get everything out and marked. You don't want to pay $2.50 that works for me" and then I put the three items down on the counter. I was busy with someone else and looked up to see that he'd laid $2.00 down, picked up the screw drivers, and walked away. If I could have taken them from him without causing a scene, I would have. I'm sure he walked off thinking he'd pulled one over one me, but what he did was just plain selfish and low down.

I had one person try to steal something (actually, it was her son) and then she gave me a business card to offer her services to me. Yeah, I'm going to call someone whose son is trying to steal something right in front of me. No thanks!

All in all, it was a very successful sale. I had one person come at the end and take a couple of items that I greatly reduced so I could get rid of them. I was happy; he was happy. Then, when he saw what we'd put at the curb for free, he asked if he could have that. Sure, all he had to do was haul it off and I was very glad that I didn't have to haul it off. We have more things that I will go through and put on Craigslist and maybe even (shudder to think about it) have another garage sale later in the summer. Maybe mid-July I'll be in the mood to do this again.

Maybe... Maybe not...


SkippyMom said...

[YAY - thank you for doing this! I can comment - you rock!]

Garage sales are such hard work and people are vultures. My mom collects Longaberger and the value is immense - they are nuts to think they can have them for a song. Even what you were asking was a deal - they are wrong.

The screwdriver guy just makes my blood boil - who the heck do these people think they are? We had one lady try to steal a purse once [$1!] and my brother chased her down and tore it off her arm and she just walked on like "Oh well I missed out on my theft." grrrrr.

My favorite customers are the ones that pay with pennies and they count them out ever so slowly - as if I am going to stop them at .50 cents when the price is 2.00 dollars because I don't want to wait. No - I will wait through the "1.25, 1.26, 1.27...] I have all the time in the world.

And the early birds? THE WORST. I usually put up signs that say "Early Birds pay DOUBLE" - the b%^& and moan - but it keeps them at bay.

Glad it was successful. You must be pooped! Take care and love ya!

gsaler said...

Garage sales are great I would love for you to check out our garage sale website: garage sales tracker for any of your future yard sale needs!