A couple weekends ago we had a yard sale in “commemoration” of our recent move. Or in layman’s terms…. our new garage is way the heck smaller than our old one.
When I have a garage sale, I usually try to invite some friends and family to join in so we:
1) Appear to have way more stuff. You can sometimes even get away with calling it a “Multi-Family Garage Sale” – which is much more appealing to the masses.
2) Can chit-chat and catch up during the miserable 90 degree lull.
3) There are more people around to help negotiate for you when you’re in the middle of making another deal.
The fun thing about having a yard sale with your friends is that you get to see what kind of bizarre, embarrassing and unexpected kitsch they’ve been secretly stashing. Case in point, my dear friends were selling a soft toilet seat with a palm tree. Palm tree didn’t really surprise me since they’ve lived in the tropics before, but soft toilet seat… sorta surprising. To me, soft toilet seats = old people.
I have to admit, those soft squishy toilet seats sort of freak me out. Because when you get up (ahem… after, shall we say, a lengthy visit) your butt has decided to become soulmates with the cushion. Think of ripping off a band-aid. Another thing about soft toilet seats (oh yes, I have more opinions on the matter)… when something is THAT soft, you don’t even feel like you’re doing your business anymore. It’s like you could be sitting in a Lazy Boy, dining chair, bed…you know what I mean? That necessary distinction is suddenly very softy and foggy.
Ok, back to the yard sale. If you aren’t too familiar with yard sales, let me just give you the basic rules.
1) It is open season for pawning off old gifts, particularly White Elephant gifts and gifts from Grandma, Aunt Nellie, Great Aunt Tess, and the like.
2) If you are selling a gift from someone participating in your yard sale (such as the case with my sister) – no hard feelings.
3) You are not to to purchase anything from your yard sale partners because you’d just be accumulating more things from each other, which goes against the Yard Sale philosophy – Clean House.
EXCEPTION: Unless you really really like/need/must have/can use the item. Then, what-the-hell right? I am the Freakin Queen of the Exception.
4) You will most likely overprice for an item, and undersell 10 other items… in which case you will definitely feel remorseful 1 minute later.
5) Feelings of remorse, loss, etc. will outweigh feelings of success on making a good sale.
6) There is a 98% chance you will snatch something from your pile as a customer eyes it, and stash it so no one can buy it. You know you can’t part with that Salt N Peppa cassette tape from Jr. High. Ooh Ahh Push It!
7) If you are holding a multi-family garage sale, there is a 99.6% chance you will be selling the same exact item (car buffer even!) as someone else. Which will DEFINITELY make for awkward bargaining and a POSSIBLLY strained friendship.
8) The “what-the-hell” item you threw in at the last moment that you thought would never sell, will probably sell to the most unexpected customer.
9) There is a likelihood that a random customer will show up looking for something wayyyyy too strange and specific. “Do you guys have a Bob’s Big Boy piggy bank or a meat mallet?”
10) Don’t be alarmed. That person staking out your house at 6 am… just an early bird, not the Feds.
11) You will feel deeply indebted to the customer who purchased, left, and came back with her extended family members to continue shopping. Remember to kiss that customer! (or at least knock off $ .50)
12) You will end up with 3x more crap than you actually started off with. You’ll stand back and exclaim WTF just happened?? I sat outside for 5 hours, got a 2nd degree sunburn, and all I got was $79.75 and more junk to pack up??
13) Which will lead you to drop off the man-handled remnants of your treasures at Goodwill and blow your entire $79.75 on McDonalds, beer, and ice cream. In no particular order.
With those rules in mind… go and have yourself a very merry yard sale this summer!
And if you have more rules to add to my list … please leave me a comment. As always, snark greatly appreciated.