Garage Sale!

Somehow I got roped into a garage sale this past weekend. I don’t mean going to one, but participating in one. The backstory is that 6 or 7 years ago my sister decided to have one and asked if I wanted to join in. I agreed. Then it turned into one every year. For a while I had enough crap to contribute and the year that we were moving to the new house I had a lot to get rid of. After that though, I didn’t have hardly anything. If you’ve never done a garage sale, I’ll tell you now: it’s a lot of work. Way too much work if you don’t have much stuff or anything worth over $10 to sell.

So the lure of getting rid of crap in exchange for money has lost it’s luster. Yet somehow this year, I was ensnared. I had two weeks to find enough crap stuff to put in the sale. (I thought if I didn’t say anything about it and hid out, it wouldn’t rear it’s ugly head. I was wrong. Of course.) I really had to hunt. I don’t buy stuff I don’t intend to keep. Most of it was clothes that had miraculously shrunk while hanging in the closet. I wish I knew what causes that…

It’s amazing what people will buy at a garage sale. Things you think will fly out of there are left sitting. Other things that you are sure you’ll have to donate are the ones that fly. It’s a mystery to me. Then there are the hagglers. I mean really, people. It’s a garage sale! Most of the prices are already below dirt. I understand haggling. I’ve done it myself a few times. But not at a garage sale on items that are less than $5, $3, $2.

So, yeah, there are a lot of surprises at a garage sale. I know there are surprises as a buyer when you come across that holy grail item that you were looking for and thought you’d never find. But I’m referring to the instances above as a seller. Don’t get me wrong, there is fun to be had. You meet a lot of people. In our case probably 90% of them are from the nearby area, within a 3 mile radius. Our garage sale is outside of town so a 3 mile radius is relatively small.

There are lots of interesting people, funny people, nice people and folks that you think “Hmmm. I could be friends with this person.” Like you’ve known them forever. A lot of people are what we call “repeat customers”. They’ve come to our same garage sale a number of times before. A lot of them we recognize, and that’s cool.

So I guess the experience of holding a garage sale is as diverse as the items IN a garage sale. But this was the last one for me. I’m out. No, really!

6 thoughts on “Garage Sale!

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  1. I know exactly what you mean! Having yard sales drive me insane. They do take a lot of work!! You’re practically GIVING the stuff away, but the hagglers want it for nothing! I need to have one badly and would like to make a little money off all my stuff but am wondering if it would really be worth the time and effort. I think I already know the answer to that!! The last one I had, the stuff I thought would sell quickly didn’t, and the stuff I thought would NEVER sell, sold! And something i’ve noticed here is now people STEAL at yard sales. A friend told me that mothers actually sent their children to hers to steal! I think that is just crazy!!!!! Have you had a problem with that?

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    1. I think if you have enough stuff, and some that is above $10, it could be worth it. When I had a lot of stuff, it was a lot better. Yes, people actually steal at yard sales. Yes, it’s happened at our yard sale, unfortunately. It’s sickening that a mother would use her children to steal. Totally sickening.

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  2. Oh, wow, I really loved this post!!! I am not a garage sale person, for lots of reasons. I went to one once for a dead person, and it creeped me out, people going through, buying the unused tinfoil in the kitchen. Seeing the pictures on the wall, seeing a life, over. It was too much for me. Where I live, there are professional garage sales. You know the people bought the stuff somewhere cheaply and now are getting the street clogged with cars with their so called garage sale. Then, with the real garage sales, such as you describe, the good stuff is usually gone. Professionals swoop in early, and so your chances of finding something worthwhile are nil. And the amount of work to put one on!!! As you describe, it has to be astronomical. If it is a fun hobby for someone, then fine, do it. But for me, I have other hobbies.

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    1. You’re talking about an “estate sale” where you go to someone’s house & pick their stuff. They also have them auction style, sometimes at the house, sometimes off location. I don’t have a problem with estate sales because I feel that those items are getting a new life with someone who will enjoy it as much as the original owner. Even if the dealers buy it first, eventually it’ll go to someone who really wants it. I understand the sadness of a life gone. I feel sad for that part too. I don’t know what we’d have done without an estate sale when my parents passed though. It’s true that the dealers are usually there first. Some have been waiting for us to open, before the designated time.

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  3. Yes, estate sales are different than garage sales. I get them mixed up. In my neighborhood there is a person who has a “garage sale” every week. My brother goes to estate sales all the time, so I should know the difference.

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    1. I used to get them mixed up too Carol! I thought they were all interchangeable. How in the world could you have a garage sale every week? They must be buying from other garage sales & then selling that stuff. Seems like a lot of work!

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