Thursday, September 3, 2009

Peddling my wares...

I hate garage sales.

Now, don't get me wrong...I mean, I love shopping at them and I love how they allow me to get rid of useful stuff, earn some money, and get over my sentimental attachment to my stuff.

But I absolutely hate having a garage sale.  I don't like setting them up.  I despise gathering, cleaning, sorting, and pricing my baubles.  It's very difficult for me to put a price on something that means a lot to me but is simply taking up room (my children's baby items, a picture I bought to decorate our house when we first moved in that I just haven't found a use for yet, Nathaniel's stuffed animals that are reminiscent of the characters he loves but that he could basically care less about and are taking up WAY too much room.)  Putting a fair (garage sale) market price on sentimentality is HARD - there's a lot of pressure involved!

On top of the hassle of setting things up, it drives me nuts to deal with some of the people who come to garage sales.  You know the type - those people who want something for nothing.  Or think garage sale prices are still too much to pay so they barter - "Would you take 60 cents for this?  It's marked .75?".  Or they want something that's marked $10 but mysteriously only have $6 in their wallet so they'll have to run to the ATM/go cash a check at Wilson Farms/run home and ask their Mom for it.  

Then there are the lazy people.  Those people who don't want to get out of their cars to find out how much you're asking for something so they sit at the end of your driveway and yell out their car window "How much for the [insert item here]?"  

On top of that you have the advertising requirements, the sign placement strategies, keeping the kids occupied and OUT OF THE STUFF you have purposefully displayed for maximum affect and sale-ability.  I swear Nathaniel found a new love for everything we had in the garage sale despite how long it sat in his room untouched or how passe something had become prior to moving it out to the garage and putting a price sticker on it.  He kept telling me "Mommy, you have to get the toys out of the garage sale and put them back in my room".  Uh, no.  If I did that he'd have to lose something far more important to make room for that stuff again - like his bed, or about 15 of the 17 blankets he sleeps with.  Now, we wouldn't want that, would we?  

Anyway, speaking of the weather...does this look conducive to high garage sale traffic and killer profits? 

No, it doesn't.  But that's ok.  We actually made out pretty well, considering.  We sold some bigger ticket items early and day two had nicer weather which helped even things out.  

At least it's over now.  We took down the signs and put some stuff out on the curb.  Took photos to get some of the bigger (less storable stuff) up on Craigslist, then packed up the leftovers in boxes marked "Garage Sale" to do it all over again next year.  Now I think I'll take my $109 and go shopping for some more stuff.  

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