Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Yard Sale 101 (Part II)

Having survived the past two days of hanging out in my driveway, I must admit that I feel like I’ve truly lived the yard sale experience. I lucked out on the weather as it was sunny and warm both days which meant lots and lots of shoppers on the cul de sac.
I decided not to just hang out and sell my possessions but to turn this into a study of human nature. I learned a few things:
People will buy used boy’s underwear if the price is right.
The cheapest people make the biggest mess of your stuff by pulling it all out, dropping    it, and then complaining the most about the high prices. After insulting me and trying to barter, they left empty=handed.
Bringing out a cute dog and tying him on his lead to the tree in the front yard helps sales pick up. Stop and pet the dog. Take a minute and look around for a bargain.
80s tunes playing in the background didn’t really help sales, but the new U2 album boosted sales all day today!
Serious garage sale goers WILL run over your small child with their car while they speed through the neighborhood peering into garages and yards. Keep those kids off the street when there are garage sales in progress!
This is probably a terrible thing to do but I did it as an experiment to see what people would really buy. No one touched the gorgeous (worn once) red velvet Laura Ashley little girl’s dress priced at $25. But someone did buy an old and clearly worn pillow for $1. Just for fun, I tried to sell my nasty (and quite ugly), worn-out white Aerosoles sandals. Not even a glance until I dropped the price to 25 cents. (One woman actually picked them up and mulled buying them!)
Would I do this all again? Maybe in a few years when I’ve accumulated enough junk. For the moment though, it is worth it for the huge wad of cash and the extra space I now have in the house. Also I did enjoy having a day where the most difficult thing I had to do was attempt to stay awake while sitting in my lawn chair basking in the brilliant May sunshine.

Yard Sale 101 (Part I)

Here in Minnesota the start of Spring means a few things: no more ice fishing, a brown landscape slowly replaced by green, people running around in shorts when it’s 40 outside, and garage sales! Having lived on the East Coast (where I had my last sale), I call them yard sales whereas here in Minnesota they are garage sales. Perhaps in Minnesota it’s colder and rainier so everything must be moved into the garage??! Anyway, I’m preparing for my sunny day yard sale that starts bright and early tomorrow morning.
Now, I’m not taking this very seriously as I’ve just started pulling stuff out into the garage to put outside tomorrow. I noticed over the weekend that the more serious and seasoned garage sale families already had tables set up and stuff loaded on top of them. Neatly I might add. They probably even have signs made up.
That did get me a bit motivated to sort through some bins and closets. While pricing my items, I turned on a DVD of old 80s videos and spent most of my time watching those instead. (How can you pass up vintage Tears for Fears, the Culture Club, and Duran Duran!) Then today I shored up the sprouting peony bushes, watered my pansies, helped out in the Kindergarten class, now I’m writing this article. You can see what I mean. This is not my thing.
Those of you who know me know that I detest yard sales. So why in the world is Elastigirl having a yard sale! Two reasons: first to reclaim the spare room in the basement that has become the graveyard for long forgotten toys. Secondly to buy flowers for my window boxes. It’s a tough economy but I love my flowers and won’t give them up.
So wish me luck. I’ll be filling you in on how my first Minnesota yard sale goes. Now how to hide all of the kid’s toys I’m selling before they decide they want to keep them . . .