…or rather, the Dummies Host a Garage Sale.
Every year my neighborhood has a big garage sale. Almost every street in the area participates, and it’s a huge affair. This year Dallas and I decided we’d try to sell some things. My sister heard about it and said she wanted to bring some stuff down and see if she could make a quick buck as well.
The only real problem with this idea was that my sister and I have no idea how to do garage sales. We don’t really patron garage sales ourselves so it’s a foreign world to us which was obvious particularly as we were trying to price things.
After days and days and hours and hours of gathering stuff, pricing it, and setting up, we were ready to go! We laid everything out, held our breaths, and waited.
We didn’t have to wait long before someone came up and asked to see our jewelry. Sarah and I both looked at each other dumbly and said, “Uh, we don’t have any jewelry for sale. We don’t really own jewelry.”
“That’s okay!” said the man. “How about your cast iron pots and pans?”
Nope, none of that either! He left without even glancing at the things we did have for sale. That man went a long way in deepening our garage-sale insecurities.
And that’s when the roller coaster of the garage sale began. It’s this back-and-forth game that neither of us knew the rules to or were sure we wanted to play. People would come and snatch things up right away and we’d think, “Dang! We should have priced that higher!” and then the things that wouldn’t sell we’d wonder if we should lower the price. People would come and tell us they were buying things to send to people in poverty-stricken countries and what do you do then? Could we in good conscience charge someone for buying things that they would then philanthropically give away? What kind of person would we be if we did that? But then, were they just telling us a story to play on our sympathies so we’d give them a good deal? And what about the stuff that we put out thinking no one would EVER buy and it ended up selling right away and other things that we thought were great items priced well that never sold? Why is that? Someone explain this to me!
Our second customer of the day had his eye on a wicker basket but didn’t have any money with him. He mentioned he was a cabinet builder nearby. Coincidentally, we needed a cabinet builder. Caroline stood up under one of our kitchen drawers when it was open and busted the front face off. The guy took our drawer and said he’d fix it, no problem. We told him we’d give him the wicker basket when he returned. After quite a long time my sister hesitatingly asked, “Do you feel like he just stole your drawer and is never coming back?”
Well, actually, yes, that’s exactly what I felt like. But we learned we needed to have greater faith in humanity because soon after that he finally came back and voila!
Our drawer was reattached. Thank you anonymous cabinet builder. You may now have your wicker basket.
I told myself that I could already call the day a success because we finally got that drawer fixed and anything else we sold would just be icing on the cake.
Brooke and Caroline are obsessed with money these days so they set up shop at the end of the grass. They sold toys, some artwork, and Otter Pops. I overheard a guy talking to Brooke. She was selling her pictures for $1.00 each. The guy asked her if he could buy one for a quarter. She looked at him like he was crazy, and without missing a beat said, “No. It’s $1.00. Don’t you see I even colored the background?” Get with it, guy. Don’t you realize you’re already getting a deal if you own an original Brooke Golden masterpiece?
Spencer also had a couple of toys out. One of my favorite interactions of the day was when I saw a little kid, probably about two-years-old, toddle up to Spencer and hand him a quarter. Spencer looked at it with a bit of shock and joy, pocketed it, and then handed him one of his cars that was for sale. The whole thing happened without a word from either of them. That’s male bargaining for you, I guess.
Money, money, money! (The money we used for change.)
Money, money, money! (The money we earned.) A huge wad! (Mostly ones.)
We did end up making some money in the end so our efforts were kind of worth it. It was fun to do once or maybe twice, but for now, I’m retiring as a garage sale host. I’ll leave the sale-ing to the pros.