In my lowly opinion I think every blog needs to have a regular column. Since every other day I blog about random crap, I think that Fridays should officially be dubbed “From Hell Friday!” in which we have a guest share about a hellish ordeal they’ve suffered. This week I will go first with the day I entered into…
First, let me get this out of the way so when you later see this in my post you don’t feel the need to crucify…er…correct me in the comment section. I don’t call them yard sales, rummage sales, moving sales or even garage sales. No matter what kind of sale it is, I call it a…
No, I know how you read that, but stop and go with me for a minute. In this circumstance, I don’t pronounce garbage like garbage. I make it rhyme with garage. So pronounced more like “gar-bajh”
Yes, I’m weird, however, this term “fits”.
- What is 99% of what you find at a garbage sale?
- Where do unwanted items typically go?
Simple logic. Plus, garbage pronounced gar-bajh actually sounds kind of class, don’t ya think?
Okay, so my advice on hosting a garbage sale:
That’s very plain and simple. Just don’t.
About two months ago I got a flyer in the mail from the president of my HOA saying that our neighborhood’s annual garage sale weekend was in two weeks.
My first reaction was to cringe. My second was, “Hmm, well, maybe I can offload some of my crap onto someone else and make a little money while making my crap their crap.”
I should have stuck with my initial reaction because before I knew it, I had fallen into the depths of Garage Sale Hell
For two weeks I stayed up late to do research. During the day, I neglected my cleaning to comb through my entire house and attic for things that would hold a value for someone else. Then peeled and created so many price stickers I was starting to see them in my sleep.
I was so super excited. I had done a purge on my house and I was hopeful to have a nice chunk of change at the end of the day.
Then came the “Big Day”.
At 5am, I started dragging all my crap outside. No easy feat considering how much I had gathered in my crap cleanse.
As I was putting stuff out, people started walking up. I was so excited. Not because I’m a natural born salesperson, because I’m not. I couldn’t sell a parka to an eskimo. Never even dream of selling one snow.
First couple came and snapped up 3 of the six children’s life jackets, paying $3 each for them for a total of $9. And THAT was the biggest sale of the day. I’m not even kidding.
From 6:30/7-ish to a little before 10 there was a steady stream of people. From 10-noon, it was dead. There was a minor uptick between 2-3 and not another soul after 3:45. It was miserable and embarrassing. At the end of the day I counted up how much money had been made…$72. Not counting all the hours I worked leading up to the day of the sale, on sale day alone, 12 hours were spent setting up, selling and cleaning up. That equates to $6 per hour which is less than minimum wage. Did I mention this was a miserable and embarrassing experience? Actually humiliating is probably a more accurate adjective.
Was it my location that drove people away?
Heck no! I was the first house in the subdivision!
Was it that I didn’t have anything worth buying?
I guess it’s possible…I had what a lot of the blogs and sites considered hot sellers: super cheap Christmas decorations, kitchen stuff, kids things, clothes, etc, etc. I even had unopened, new in the package, high-end cosmetics. And I credit one particular sale of said products as the reason I didn’t make $80 instead of $72 😀
This lady who had on more makeup than a clown came up and found my box of makeup. She dinked around in the box for a few minutes, then brought a handful up to me wanting to buy it. Oddly enough ALL, not just some, but ALL of the price stickers from all the makeup in her hand were gone. Had I been smart, I’d have just said, “I’m sorry, that’s not for sale, I need to go fix the prices.” But I’m an idiot, so I told her what I had it all marked as. “Oh, that unused powder isn’t worth $3. It’s been opened. I’ll give you one for it,” she says.
I ground my teeth. That powder had not only been sealed, it had been in a sealed box not five minutes earlier. “Fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “I had these lipsticks,” which I see aren’t sealed any longer, either, “for $1 each.”
The lady sighs, counts the six lipstick tubes, the four things of eyeshadow, four makeup bags, a handful of bottles of nail polish and the powder and says, “I’ll give you six for all of it.”
Just wanting her to go as far away from me as possible since most of that was now unsellable I said, “Fine.”
The lady opens her purse where there is money overflowing from every nook and cranny, throws down a five and says, “I think that’s fair.”
I was livid…and numb. I just said fine as calmly as I could and walked away. There were other people in my driveway, it wouldn’t do to cause a scene and argue with her. But I’ll never forget that and never again will I ever host another garbage sale. I don’t care what people say about making hundreds or even $1,000 from a strategically planned sale. This lady ain’t doing it again. EVER.
What about you? Have you visited the depths of Hell and have a story to tell? If so, we’d love to hear it. It doesn’t have to be this long. 🙂 Just go to my Files from Hell page up at the top and fill out the comment form. It’s that simple. Then look for your story to be featured.
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