Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Garage Sale (Part 2) - Sale Day

Up at 5am to be ready for a 7am opening. The homeowner’s association sponsored the sale but so far there were no signs and up to the very last minute we wondered if the sale was even going to happen or if our labor had been in vain. We realized that in the hurry we had forgotten to get change so that meant a quick trip to the 24-hour store to get $40 in change and small bills. 15 minutes before sale time the garage door opened and we pulled out everything that we wanted in the driveway still not knowing if the sale was really going to happen. We also found a child’s easel and made a cute sign advertising “Girls room”, size 0 to 16. Promptly at 7am the gates opened and the community sale had begun.

From 7am to 10am was the longest yet the fastest hours I have had in ages. Maybe only those who have had a garage sale can relate to this. Cars swarmed in. There were 10 people walking around at once. All asking questions. All dickering about the prices. All offering lower prices just to see if they could get a better deal. I was so thankful that two people were manning the sale because one would have not been able to handle all the activity. We were so busy and stuff was flying out the door. We would look at the watch and only 15 minutes had passed where it had seemed like an hour.

We had some surprises:

1. The hottest items were the shoes and purses that we did not think would sell at all. Priced at $1 people bought up to 15 pairs.

2. Books and children’s DVDs were also hot.

3. Stuffed animals were almost a one per person item. Almost everyone wanted one including the children. The kids would come up with their quarter in their little hand and it was sold regardless of what the original price had been.

4. I didn’t know that so many women were pregnant. That was a surprise to me.

We had some interesting things:

1. We would have a person come up and gaff at the price of an item and rudely walk away. A few minutes later someone else would look at the same item and be ecstatic that they could get it at such a cheap price. We quickly learned that the reaction did not necessarily indicate that the price was off.

2. It was also garbage day and the next-door neighbor was going to put out a desk and chair for the garbage truck but asked if we would want to keep it at the sale for a few hours until the pick up came. We said sure and the desk sold within about half hour for $15 dollars and the people were very happy to have it. As they say “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” And, one of the customers also took the cans from the recycle.

3. We had people from almost every ethnicity show up at the sale. The interesting part of that is many did not speak English so much negotiation went on with hand signals, head nods, and pointing. Even the Jehovah Witness’ showed up all dressed up but did their shopping before passing out their brochures.

4. We also noticed that around 11am people bought less, were more grouchy, and more often complained about prices. We decided that after a morning of garage sale shopping we could have sold pizza by the slice and it might have cheered everybody up again.

By 1pm the traffic was so slow we decided to close up. We were exhausted and ready to call it a day. I took the kids and walked around to check out the other sales and they were in about the same shape. We had sold about half of everything that had been out and the big-ticket item. What is left will go toward the next sale and we haven’t even started going through the house.

Our grand total? $488.

And, yes, there will be room to pull the car in the garage.


No comments: