Sunday, August 01, 2010

Now we are experienced I think.

Have you ever had a yard sale?  I never had.  My parents never had a yard sale either.  I wonder, is it a relatively *new* thing to have yard sales or have they been going on for centuries?   Is there an historical record of yard sales somewhere?

My brief yard sale history starts here.  Only-Daughter and her hubby recently bought a sweet little house in Hometown USA and since they are newlyweds, they have very little furniture and stuff to fill up their sweet little house.  Only-Daughter had no yard sale experience since being raised on a ranch in the boonies -- until she met this friend.  A friend who loves yard sailing!  It all started with a quick stop here and there one late Saturday morning, but then she began taking my girl out into the deep water,  setting sail at 7:30 a.m. to be the first to anchor at the best destinations where you can buy a whole dining room set for a mere $20!  O-D was thrilled and amazed and continued sailing with her friend most Saturday mornings, with nothing but $25 in their pockets and cups of latte in their hands.  Soon O-D got the crazy idea that she could have a yard sale in her own front yard, selling her brother-in-law's junk and her mother's junk.  She, herself, had only had a few wedding picture frames to toss onto the sale tables.

When she told me she wanted to have a yard sale, I was not sure.  It meant that I would have to face stuff that I do not see nor want to see on a daily basis, stuff that I put away and forget about.  This would mean a trip to the crawl space!!  (Twilight Zone music here) A place I do not like to go.  I don't mind fetching canning jars and the pressure canner from the crawl space, but I do not like to go sifting through the junk and accumulated stuff  that my kids bring home from college and past apartments.   One time I had thought about cleaning out the crawl space and organizing it, but then I had a better idea.  I would leave it to my kids.  One day, when I am gone from this earth, they can sort through Mom & Dad's junk and decide what to do with it.  Simple solution, don't you think?

Well, as it turned out, I came up with some items to take to the yard sale.  Really, not a lot of stuff.  Not as much as I thought I would haul in.  Hubs wouldn't let me take any of the golf clubs.  He said he's saving them to cut off and re-grip into children's clubs for the grandkids.  I hauled in a few boxes of my stuff and a box of my DIL's stuff and together with Only-Daughter's BIL's stuff, we had a nice assortment of things to sell.

We set up at 7:00 a.m. and had our first sailors at 7:15 asking if they could look around while we set up.  They didn't find anything they wanted.  At about 7:30 an older gentleman came to sniff out the sale items.  He asked where the antiques were.  We said we only had junk for sale, no antiques.  Sorry.  It got quite busy with people slowly driving by and gawking out the window and others stopping for a closer look-see but we weren't moving any stuff.  By 9:00 I was ready to call it quits, but we promised on the yard sale sign:  8-noon, so we had to honor our promise.  By the last hour of the sale, we were having a clearance sale with everything half off the marked price.

At noon the temperature was 95 degrees which caused us to break into profuse sweating and thirst.  We began picking up everything and reboxing the unsold junk to take to the Good Will.  We folded  up the tables and chairs and put them away, and I could tell by the way she was traipsing around and by the way her jaw was set that Only-Daughter was never doing this again.  Me neither.  We poured ourselves tall glasses of ice water and sat down to figure how it all tallied up.

a grocery sack of terry cloth rags
a fishing tackle box with lures (very popular item) slashed to half the asking price
gently used cover-alls

a picnic basket (never used)
a plastic spice rack
a vibrating travel pillow
a pair of roller blade knee pads
two dresses
a tank top
2 pair of shoes
a blond wig (the buyer needed for a play she was in)
hunter green hot mitts
a couple books

How did we come out financially?  Brother-in-law raked in $40 while DIL captured $10 on her picnic basket.  I netted a whopping $11.50 on some clothes and shoes.  Only Daughter and her hub got the free lunch....on me.   In the email she sent me later that evening O-D wrote:   "Now we are experienced I think!"
 Yup.  I think so.


  1. Ha ha ha ha! We've only had one. It was sad and a lot of hard work for pennies. I always SAY to myself that I am going to start poking around garage sales looking for kids books, but I don't do it. I bet you are GLAD it's over. Buy some ice cream!

  2. It can be fun...and a lot of work too. We usually take thing to the DI or goodwill and get a receipt to apply toward our tax returns...thats my way..not as fun though! :D

  3. Sounds like the sales we've had! But we usually make enough to buy everyone pizza for supper.

  4. Oh, that sounds less than fun, except, of course, the time spent together. I've had a good many g-sales and every time I do it I say it is the last one I will ever have!

  5. Hahaha! The best part of the garage sale was that you got to write so eloquently about it! I'm a garage sale hater. We had one years ago when we were moving. Sold a lot, but it took several days to price everything -- days that certainly weren't worth the pittance we made. But beware...thinks like that are like childbirth. Over the years you forget the pain and you'll be tempted once again LOL!

  6. Oh, yard sales are so much work, aren't they, I do think I prefer attending them.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  7. Oh bummer! Maybe you should have set out the coffee and donuts! Chalk it up to experience.

    I've done two garage sales in my younger years and find taking things dierctly to the Goodwill works better for me now.


  8. Doing them is not fun - but going to them can be fun! We have a 70 mile yard sale weekend on our end of the Island in Sept. People come from as far away as Maine and Quebec. It causes traffic jams in rural PEI :) I like driving around and poking through the sales, getting a bite to eat at a favourite spot, and chatting with my yard-sailing friend. I never usually buy much but it's still fun.

    Wish I could have gotten your fishing tackle box!

  9. LOL, well I have never had a garage sale either, after hearing your story, I doubt I will ;-) Well lesson learned xoxo Clarice

  10. I'm almost addicted to garage sales. Admittedly I like shopping more than hosting, but either can be fun. It's too bad that your first adventure was such a negative one. Sometimes (certainly not always) having a sale can be quite a treat.

  11. I only had one garage sale, that was when we lived in Michigan in the 1980s. Same experience, put a lot of time and effort into it and made very little money.

    Anytime I've even thought of having another, I remember how miserable I was that day and take boxes to charity instead.

    My memory of when garage sales started... during the huge recession of the 1970's/early 1980s.

    Interest rates were up around 20% and taxes were high. I don't know where they started (what part of the country) but by the time my daughter was born in 1977, I was going to garage sales for her clothing.

  12. BTDT! Sorry for the lackluster eXperience. We've hosted several g-sales over the years ~ some more profitable than others. On our last attempt, the piXies cleared more selling cookies and pop than we did selling our treasures, so diXymister proclaimed, "never again!" We still enjoy shopping at g-sales and the thrill of the treasure hunt, but now take the charitible donation (taX deduction) approach for purging our own eXcess treasures.

  13. I've never had a yard sale. I don't think I'm the right personality-type for it, though I do have a lot of junk that needs getting rid of. When I get organized (very rarely, I fear) I grab up loads of stuff and take it to Good Will. That's about all I'm up for. Like Pom Pom, I always think one of these days I'm going to start going to yard sales to seek out interesting stuff, but I never do.

    I enjoyed reading about your yard sale, though!


  14. Haha! This is a great story, Mom. So I had my jaw set, eh? :)


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