Monday, November 07, 2011

Garage Sale woes

I enjoy poking around at other people's garage sales, and used to do it often when we needed stuff for the house.  But for the past several years now, our house has been stuffed to the gills and we don't need any more stuff, so I haven't made the garage sale rounds in a long time. 

But I've never liked having garage sales.  I don't like the tedium of pricing everything.  I don't like having to stand there while people paw through your things and make disparaging remarks, and I don't like that they bring $100 worth of stuff up to the counter and say, "Would you take $5 for this stuff?"  I think you have to enjoy bargaining for this to be fun, and I don't.  I don't like bargaining for cars, I don't like shopping in places where you're supposed to haggle over prices. 

Wow, I sound really grumpy again, don't I?

But we have had them on occasion.  When we'd been married for a couple of years, we had a garage sale with some friends where we sold off some of the many multiples of wedding gifts that we received (five picnic baskets, four brass planters, etc).  We made over $200, and given that we were in graduate school and it was almost 30 years ago, that was a lot of money.  But we had another one that wasn't really worth the trouble a few years after that, and then another similar one a few years after that, and so we quit doing them. 

But then Nell got old enough to want to make some money off selling her old toys, so she talked us into another one-- this was probably five or six years ago.  and I had some things to get rid of, so we agreed.  We spent days collecting stuff, and pricing stuff and getting it all together, and then the day of the sale it poured.  Not just a light shower, but huge, enormous, buckets of drenching rain all morning long.  We had some furniture, so a couple of furniture dealers still came, but only about three other people showed up.  The furniture dealers did their typical thing of offering you practically nothing.  So all that work, and I think we made less than $100.  And we still had all the stuff left that we had to get rid of anyway.

Never again, we said.  Just take it to the Salvo and take the tax deduction.  And that's what we've done ever since.  Sometimes I think we keep that place in business.

But now we're going to have to get rid of tons of stuff-- not just the back of my car filled up, but several pickup loads of stuff.  So I'm wavering.  Nell is coming home for Thanksgiving (if she can get a ride), and I'm hoping she will be enthusiastic about it and want to help, especially if I offer to split the proceeds with her.  Of course, given our track record, that might end up being $17.

Book Giveaway update:  After several delays due mainly to the fact that I hate going to the post office, I mailed the book giveaway boxes today, except Anna's, because I still don't have your address.  E-mail me, Anna! 

And that's it for today.


  1. And in other news (completely unrelated to garage sales), if you've never read the bloggess (, this excerpt from Friday's post is exactly why you should:

    "...Victor just pointed out that I don’t actually have 'severe, crippling ADD,' but I do have mild ADD and access to the internet, and that’s pretty much the same thing. People with severe, crippling ADD might disagree, but luckily they’re too easily distracted to write hate mail. Also, I seriously just forgot what this post was about and I had to go back to the top to reread it to remind myself what it was about."

  2. I am so with you on the whole garage sale thing. I used to do with my my Auntie Jane, she loved to have an annual garage sale. But it is just too much of a pain. I would rather just donate the stuff.

    And who doesn't like The Bloggess and her homicidal monkey.

  3. I am SOOO with you. I hate haggling. My sister lives for it and she's always trying to get me to enjoy it, but no. Which is why I freecycle. No tax deduction, but the stuff is gone, gone, gone, and that's what I'm after. (Also, I read that Blogess post the other day. Hilarity ensued.)