In years past, the garage sale venture has been shared with my friend, Bob The Garage Sale King. Bob lives on a main drag in this town, one in which college football traffic backs up, etc. Location, Location, Location!!! Plus, Bob could sell an ice cube to an Eskimo.
I have never developed a knack for throwing a profitable garage sale. One of my problems is that I get too embarrassed to sell junky junk. "Who would buy that?" I think, and I pitch it. I only put the very best junk in my sale: an immaculate bar stool, an extra crock pot [it works], Sony telephone that does everything but the dishes ($90 new!) with low, low prices.
And though Bob & company have some pretty good loot also, they don't exclude their junk. Broken toys, used toothbrushes, his mother's underwear,* a keychain that came in some junkmail: Anything Bob doesn't need gets a price tag on it. A PRICEY price tag too! Bob seems to have figured out some weird garage-saler psychology that I just can't get through my head: If you put a hefty price on something, people will think it must be worth something!
"$14.00 for a 64 oz. plastic Big Gulp cup from the 7-11? Ohhhhh, it's 1995 Big Gulp cup; a collector's item someday! You can't get these anymore!! I wonder if he'll come down to $12?How does he do it?!!! After every sale, my profits are counted out from the muffin tin we used to separate the coins. Meanwhile, Bob is hiring security guards and backing an armored Brinks truck into his driveway to safely transfer his proceeds from his garage to the bank vault.
I spent 3 evenings last week putting little dot-stickers on my crap. My son went through his childhood toys. We bought inner tubes and fixed up a bike with flat tires. I borrowed tables. We swept the garage and placed the ad and posted the sign, and proceeded with the garage sale.
Without Bob. What a heinous mistake.
90 minutes into my sale, I'd sold $3 worth of stuff, while my son was up $1.25. I spent the morning getting grouchier and grouchier at every customer, having wicked little conversations in my head:
"Buy that! It is SUCH a great deal! JESUS! 50 cents was too much for ya?!! That was a $30 spice rack!! Don't you have any grandkids that need those toys? Oh, PLEASE don't spray that perfume in here. Next time I sell a 1/2 bottle of perfume, I'll put it OUTSIDE; this garage smells like a french whorehouse. Oh!! yeah!! That's right, you need that. Buy it, buy it, buy it...DAMN!!"By the end of business hours, I had about $30 to my name. My son made $16.50. The newspaper ad set me back $20.
I deflatedly boxed everything up, pouting and swearing that I will never EVER have another garage sale as long as I live. I grumpily calculated that I made about 78 cents an hour for the endeavor. When will I ever learn, this is the LAST time I ever do this, as long as I live.
I came in for coffee, and settled myself at the computer to find an e-mail from Bob. He'd had a garage sale this morning too! HE had made 300 [that's three HUNDRED] American dollars in 4 hours, and they had had so much FUN!! What a beautiful day!
In fact, they had such a profitable beautiful day, that they're going to hold another 4-hour sale 2 Saturdays from now!!
C'mon! I HAVE to do it! My stuff is already marked, and I have a lot of really good loot left!!!
*I admit to embellishing this part of my griping. To my knowledge, Bob has never tried to sell his Mother's underwear.