Monday, July 30, 2007

Thoughts from a Yard Sale

We had a yard sale over the weekend. Just lots of "stuff" that we no longer needed, no longer wanted, no longer had a place for. I manned the sale in it's entirety while my two ladies came and went doing various other things.

It's interesting watching people at your own yard sale. Even though you're selling it, and you REALLY want this stuff to go there's still a personal connection. Reading body language it's obvious that the lady in the clam digger shorts and the over sized sun glasses doesn't think much of your offerings. (I'm sure she thought those glasses hid her emotions from the world. Silly lady!) And I find myself getting a little offended.

"Hey, I may not want it any more but there's nothing wrong with it. If you don't like then move along. Keep your snotty attitude toward yourself"

(I only think these things. She might want to buy something else)

All this over a vase or a wire basket in the shape of a chicken.

On the other hand I snort to myself as someone picks up that terrible frog pot, or that hideous butterfly napkin holder. Good God, I never thought THOSE would sell. But I take my dime for each, glad that someone liked them.

There are the people who cruise by the end of the driveway "just to check", trying to see if they really want to stop. I've foiled them but setting up at the far end of the driveway, so they can't really see.

Most people will say hello, whether they buy or not. I wonder about the people who choose to ignore me completely.

But my favorite are the hagglers. My theory is that I've priced everything at reasonable prices with an emphasis on making sure that price doesn't scare away the customers. As one guy said, "Nice to see an old fashioned yard sale with old fashioned yard sale prices". The most expensive item was a nice sized wall mirror for $10, we had a few things at $5, and everything else was $3 or less. Lots of 10, 25, 50 and 75 cent items. Could I have gotten more? Probably. But I might have sold less.

So my prices are very reasonable. Still some folks want a little more taken off. I had a brand new electric hand mixer with beaters priced at $3. In the store it would be what, $12-$15? The guy that bought it wanted it for $2. Then proceeded to peel of the two singles from a huge role of cash. Nicely dressed, driving a nice car. So that buck was probably very important to him.

The more I thought about it the more I came to realize, yes it probably was. A lot more important to him than it was to me.

And I think that's probably just fine by me.

Oh, and we did OK on the sale. Sold about half (we had a LOT of stuff), sold most of the "good" stuff and a fair bit of the "You really want to put that in the sale" stuff too.


1 comment:

Aghaveagh said...

My mom's a big yard-sale fan, and I used to go with her...but I always cringed when she would say, in a loud voice, things like: "Look at this junk! Can you believe they want this much for it? I wouldn't pay that much for it new!" And I would be trying to make myself invisible. I would be mortified if someone did that at my yard sale!

Now whenever I stop at a yard sale, I am very polite, even if I may be thinking along those lines...