Lessons In Yard Sales 101

September 2, 2008

Alright! So I’m a really slow learner,there I said it. This realization will make some people I know so happy considering they have tried to point this fact out to me for years,but I never listened hence, me being a slow learner. I never listened because the idiot switch in my brain does flip on after a couple flickers and eventually I do get it.Although I will admit there are a few things that no matter how many times the switch has been hit ,I still remain dim witted.

For instance, having a yard sale is the biggest waste of time and energy. I know this to be true from years of my experience with having them.Once the last person has pulled out of my driveway in their ’74 station wagon of wood paneling and rust,I vow never to put myself through this punishment again.But it never fails once a year has past,I start thinking that if I had another one it would be different. And no sooner does that optimistic thought hit my brain ,the lights of reason go out and I start making signs to hang up around the neighborhood to direct weird people to my home,which is exactly what I did this weekend and the results…….horrendous as usual.So in order to change the repetition of history with me and yard sales ,I’ve decided to write out the facts that I know are inevitable to happen if try I to do this again ,and hopefully I will learn from this list and never make the mistake of having a yard sale ever again.
Fact #1. Yard sale preparation is one hell of a time sucking task.You at least need a good two days to get ready for the event you’ll most likely regret.You have to rummage through everything you own looking for stuff to sell,keeping in mind the whole time, that things that you think would bring in decent money, won’t and the strange stuff that you don’t even know how that got in your house, will sell like hotcakes. Once you’ve gathered it all up, you need to price everything according to what it would have sold for in 1952 and not a penny more. Then prepare yourself to live like Fred Sanford ,until the wee morning hours of the day of disaster and non profit.

Fact#2.I’m not a morning person,and that will never change,so waking up at 5am to set up shop is pure torture.But if you’re having a yard sale ,you don’t have the option of hitting the snooze button .Because the people that these sales attract, tend to crawl back under the rock they came from before noon. Thank God!

Fact#3. The act of inviting strangers to come invade your space and fondle your possessions is just a weird practice. Not to mention that, the people who frequent yard sales are the strangest/cheapest people, I have ever come into contact with in my life. Anyone who wakes up at the crack of dawn ,just to sit at the end of someones driveway waiting for the home owners to open up for business,without saying a word,just seems very predatory to me.Then when they come up to buy something, they totally ignore the price tags you spent hours creating and offer you pennies on the dollar less than what you wanted.Feeling bad for them,you give in,and take three dollars for a shit load of stuff.Only to have them pay for it with a twenty dollar bill. That pisses me off every time!

Fact#4. People will get caught up in bargain heaven and not watch the ten small children they decided to bring with them. The kids will be running around either breaking or stealing something ,I know I could have made at least a $1.50 on,really drives me crazy!

Fact#5. There is no way you will sell everything you put out,it just won’t happen. So be prepared to spend the rest of your sleep deprived afternoon putting the stuff back in your house or making frequent trips to Goodwill.Either way you go, your day won’t be over til about mid evening.

Fact#6. A bunch of 1 dollar bills only looks like you made a fortune ,until you count it. How much money did I make? $100.00.WOW! You might say that not so bad…now subtract the hours I put into the sale if I was being paid minimum wage it would be $131.00.Oh and don’t forget to throw in the supplies I bought (i.e. posters,price tags,etc.)I’ll go low, and say I just spent $5.00.That would bring me a profit of negative $36.00.

Now you can see what a waste of time and money having a yard sale is, and at this moment ,I do too! Let’s just hope, I don’t forget!



  1. Oh God, you’ve nailed it exactly! You feel my pain. I hate ’em. I only did two garage sales. Both were when I was married – NOT afterwards. No more since it’s my choice now.

  2. Wouldn’t a “profit” of “negative $36.00” simply be called a “loss?”

    Sorry sweetheart, I couldn’t resist!

    Thanks for the kind words, and while I definitely reduced the “Bostonian” accent, it still shows through in the more character-esque pieces.

  3. If you sold that ring, Kong is going to be pissed. Sorry couldn’t resist.

    We live in a neighborhood that has a community sanctioned yard sale every year. No one can have a yard sale, except for this one weekend every summer.

    As soon as my wife and I find out the actual dates each year, we make our summer vacation plans. When we get back my next door neighbor fills us in on the freak-fest πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you Don for agree with me that yard sales suck. I was afraid everyone would say how much they loved and profited from them.

    As for you Enabler…yes I realize it was a loss,but using the word profit made me feel a little bit better about the whole thing.

    As for the “Bostonian” accent I heard it. I happen to love accents and actually am quite good(for a southern girl)at faking a near perfect “Bostonian” accent myself.

  5. I threw the “kong ring” out ,Erebus.Even though in hindsight I probably could have made a fortune on selling it.People buy the weirdest sh*t.

  6. Heeeard that. The last two times we had one of those demon fests I had people knocking on my door at 6:30 a.m. Even though all the signs and newspaper listing said it started at 8.
    People trying to haggle me down from $.25 to a shiny nickle annoys me. Really? A nickel? How about I light you on fire and disconnect my hose.
    Needless to say I ended up giving half the crap away.

  7. Never done a yard sale …… but am seriously tempted now! – tee hee

  8. The last two times you had one,Josh?Seems like you might be a slow learner about yard sales too!!

    DON’T, DP!!Please learn from my mistake.

  9. I’ve learned it’s just more profitable to burn all my old shit. Time is Money.

  10. Thanks for the idea,Heff.

  11. We never have yard sales because I hate the thoughts of other people pawing through our junk – I mean treasures. But it does get recycled. We put anything we can no longer use out on the boulevard and its almost always gone in the morning. No money, but no stress either!

  12. I agree with you Bill. I don’t like strangers rummaging through my stuff. I find it very invasive.

  13. So have we convinced you yet? To stop this silly annual venture?

    Donate recycle the junk. Put the rest on ebay!

    You could even have your own auction right here on your blog page. I would have paid you money for tha…never mind πŸ˜‰

  14. LOL! Having an auction on my blog! Uh no people think I’m strange enough already….seeing what I own would only strengthen that opinion,Erebus.

  15. I’m definitely at school right now and just wanted to say that I loooove you!

  16. Samantha,

    What are you doing looking at my blog at school?Lovely education you’re getting. Let me take the time to educate you on calling yourself a name your mother surely didn’t give you.Please don’t let me hear you calling yourself “sexy sam” again!
    And I love you too!!

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