Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Kids Are Next

Garage Sale, Tag Sale, Rummage Sale, Yard Sale... What do all these things have in common?
Yup - they all require a great deal more work than they're usually worth.

We finally got around to doing this ourselves a few weekends ago. Don't be sad if you missed it - we plan to do it again next weekend too! Don't tell the city officials... Seems they have a few ordinances in our town governing such things - Only one garage sale every three months, no more that four a year and only ONE sign can be put up advertising it. The sign must be less than six square feet, be ON the property of the sale, and cannot be hung on any public utility poles. If you look in the way far background of this photo, you'll see our silver van parked on the corner of our property. It happens to have two great big SALE signs on it for oncoming traffic to see.

Just in case you can't read my mailbox sign, it says, "Stimulus SALE - Dave Ramsey says, 'the kids are next!'" We did get more than a few drive by snickers on that one, and one guy came back by at the end of the day and asked my Husband if he could have the sign... I asked him how much the guy paid for it and he said he just gave it to him. WHAT??!!! Husband says the guy did make another purchase - bought that annoying Easter Bunny that sang Rockin' Robin for a dollar - which is what I'd paid for it in the first place on clearance at Hallmark. For the record - Husband is no longer in charge of the haggling...

The entire process is more than a bit humbling. There's just something odd about having people come rifle through your stuff and often times reject it. I almost want to grab some of it out of their hands and say, "you know what...? I don't think you're respecting my junk enough and I'm not going to allow you to buy it for fifty cents!"

Rich people just don't usually have "garage sales". They give their stuff away or auction it off at Christie's. Turns out Christie's didn't want our......stuff. I can't imagine why... These boots alone were a STEAL! I purchased them a couple of weeks before our sale for a 70's birthday party that I helped host for my perfect friend, Lisa. The "compare at" price was $45 - after all, they are Sketchers... I was surprised to only pay $7.50 for them (they were on a secret surprise 50% off of the clearance price. Gosh... I just don't see why someone didn't snap them up sooner!) I truly heaved a sigh of relief when someone was willing to pay $3 for these "only worn once" beauties. "By the way sir, we have a no returns policy..."

We let the kids (just the boys - the girl was sent away to Gramma's so I could sell her stuff off in peace...) in on the action too.

They both helped me set things up - dragging boxes and bags from my bedroom that was doubling as our garage for the last several months. Since we don't really have a garage, the master bedroom had become the dump all room for anything we wanted hidden from the view of company.

Zachary was our cashier for a good part of the day and I taught him how to make change the old fashioned way. Now if he finds a career at McVeggie Burgers some day he won't freeze like a deer in headlights if someone gives him payment plus some odd coins to round up the change to the nearest coin that isn't a penny. He'll also be able to do it without that gargantuan calculator. (Side bar: He asked for a calculator for Christmas and promised he wouldn't use it for actually doing his math homework - which is all the work when you're homeschooled... This way if he pulls out the calculator, I have to be sleeping or out of the country to miss him using it.)

Jacob even ran his own booth of lemonade and cookie sales on Sunday. He did fairly well making about $10 during the day. I'm sure he could have made a bit more if he hadn't eaten all of his cookie profits. Every time I turned around I could see him cutting up a few more "sample" cookies. Somehow, they just kept disappearing and I never once saw a bird swoop in and carry one off. I'm sure he couldn't help it though... each time I was within arms length of his little booth I snagged a bite myself. Nothing like a warm oatmeal cinnamon chip cookie... ::sigh:: And the blazing sun kept the samples and bagged cookies warm all day long.

Now that I think about it - I don't think one real customer purchased any of his cookies. I saw them try the samples and rave about them, but in the end, only Grampa purchased any - and I think he spent a couple of bucks on them. His lemonade was a hit though, and brought in the complements. I don't believe he ever did give away his secret (frozen concentrate) recipe. I'm betting that some people bought his lemonade just cuz he's a cute kid and they were impressed with his manners. And I'm OK with that.

Over the two days, Friday and Sunday, we brought in almost $300, which isn't too bad considering everything we had to sell was pretty "small", no big furniture or cars, mostly just clothes and odds and ends, and books. I felt good about selling many items that I didn't have any of my own money tied up in - things left behind in the house when we bought it, like curtains and butt ugly plates hanging on the kitchen wall, or, (gasp) gifts I'd been given that didn't speak to my heart. Yes... I believe it's OK to sell something someone gave you as a gift if you don't love it - or you need the money more than you love it. The rule is: when you give something to someone, it's theirs to do as they wish with it - even if that means they sell it in a yard sale.

There were other items I wish I could have gotten a bit more for... Those two $100 each (not including the alterations...) Flower Girl dresses are a prime example. One of them went for $5 and the other for $2 - in all did have red icing stains all over it still...

The best part of the whole weekend was getting our bedroom cleaned out (and ready for re-arranging/decorating) and we still have enough stuff left (plus more we've since added to the "pile" that now resides in our shed, to have another sale next weekend. You'll have to come by to see if I'm selling anything you gave me :0) Don't tell the city we're having another sale so soon. I figure it this way - the first sale was at the end of the first quarter and the next one will be at the beginning of the second quarter. I'm sure that's what they meant...

What I still don't understand is that we didn't even get one serious offer on any of the kids. Better luck next time, I suppose.


  1. Maybe next time you should put the kids IN the fancy clothes. Someone might make an offer on the whole package.

    I love the sign! Lisa~

  2. FUNNY!!!! Good luck with the garage (minus the garage) sale.
    Hugs, :) Heather S.

  3. I,too, love the sign.

    I think they usually just aren't worth the work.

    Garage sales. Not kids.


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