Saturday, October 11, 2008

Garage Sale Over. Garage Still Full.

I did sell stuff, but the stuff I really thought would sell (small dog crate, bread machine, etc.) didn't. NONE of my mother's stuff sold - not a thing. As my daughter pointed out, they can go to IKEA and get glasses the size of fishbowls, these tiny cocktail glasses of yesteryear are a novelty. We hauled the stuff that didn't sell back into the garage and tomorrow there will be a Goodwill run, followed by a big trash extravaganza.

And people really do piss me off. I put out a few surplus handbags - one by Fossil, another some other good brand, and a nice leather office-worthy tote, all in like new condition and priced at an extravagant $3 each. One guy took 2 for $5, I can live with that, but that left the big, soft, very lightly worn leather tote. A woman examined it with a very critical eye, and offered $2 for it. I said that it was definitely worth 3 - and it was. A consignment shop would mark it up to $8 or $10. She threw it back and stalked off. I was offered $4 for a fifty year old lead crystal vase in perfect condition. I declined, thank you. I'll donate it to a charity thrift shop first.

I didn't have anything priced over $20, and that was for perfect items that would retail for well over $50 - and it was very amusing to have people who pulled up in $35,000 SUVs getting pissy over a buck. As the morning wore on and we got bored and it got hot I did let a lot of things go for practically nothing - but not the things I KNOW are worth way more than I was asking.

So, for items like that it will be eBay, consignment, or charity.

We did make $225, I tipped my lovely assistant a few bucks. It wasn't a bad experience - the weather was nice, there was a breeze, chatted with some nice people, but including all my prep time, I figure I made about $1.25 an hour. I know that's the wrong way to look at it - these days I do need the extra $200. So, yeah, I'll probably do it again when I list the house.

The sage Girlchild observed that garage sales are like parties - it's a lot more fun to go to them than to host one. Hosting one is a hell of a lot of work.

And it's only 2 in the afternoon. Time to get moving on the rest of my day.


Anonymous said...

Was driving around my neighborhood today and noticed probably 50 yard sales. No one seemed to be selling anything. People are really spooked if they wont buy at a yard sale.

Anonymous said...

Don't give up you can still find buyers for your stuff and not have to hassel with re-posting at an auction, try a free online garage sale.

Good Luck

Charlotte said...

Your experience is why I've only had two garage sales in my life and don't plan to ever have another. I donate my stuff to a charity thrift shop and take a tax deduction instead. Of course, that's no help when you need cash.

Catherine said...

Last year, when I was making a lot more money, I couldn't bring myself to have a garage sale, because I know it's usually it's a lot of work for little reward. Now, yeah, $200 comes in handy. I'll pick through the leftovers today, make a run to Goodwill with some of the leftovers, and others will get put on eBay. I think my mother's crystal will get hauled back to her house for the estate sale. But I'm really surprised that some of the really practical things I'd put out didn't sell!

carlarey said...

After joining some neighbors in a multi-family garage sale, I vowed that before I'd go through that torture again, I'd drag everything out on the driveway and set fire it it.

And you're right, it's never the people who look like the need every penny who want to haggle, it's always the lux suv crowd.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, it's a lot less work to put it on the curb for the mosquitoes to waft away, overnight. So many are on to garage sales as a place to get stuff at a low price to sell somewhere else for more, and they do just that. The last one came to fix my phone line one day. He was tearing old books apart and selling the photo pages as "antique engravings" on ebay.

What a drag. But, as you say, $200 extra is needed. Let the good stuff get bid up on ebay. Might be more fun.