Friday, April 24, 2009

Garage Sale Tired

Don't get me wrong. I can be a people person. I love to entertain and play hostess. But, inviting strangers to come to my driveway and dig through my stuff? I'd like to keep it professional. Buy my stuff and leave, please.Honestly? I'd rather go to your driveway and dig through your stuff.
The thing is. I'm not much on dickering. I figure if you have a price on something, you probably want that price. I know. You might expect it, the dickering. And I might play along. Or I might just pay your price and walk away.
My folks are hosting a lovely gargantuan garage sale in their driveway at this very moment. I've worked with them the last few days, setting up and selling. And yes, I find myself shopping.
Between the dickering folks, the non-English speaking folks, the "can I have it free?" folks, the stealing folks and the folks who wanna talk my ears off, I am whooped! Some of your comments prompt me to add more. There are also the unruly, unsupervised, sticky fingered children. The early birds. The folks who jump the fence and peruse the goods after closing. And the tag switchers! Bad people. And those people who throw dirty diapers out the car window before driving off without one child in a carseat or seatbelt. My dad is convinced that if we speak crossways to the people, they will immediately go knock down or steal the garage sale signs. It's been done by someone more than once!

This Bar-B-Q Chef knife holder? Love it. If nobody buys it, I'm stealing it from Dad. No dickering. Outright raising my shirt and sliding it into my waistband. Just like the thief who stole a cell phone I was trying to sell. Ugh.

I must admit. We do make incredibly good money in the 3 garage sales the city allows a year. We have regular customers that love to see our signs. We have nice people who help with translations. Some people just pay what is on the sticker, because, ya know...we know it's a garage sale. We priced it pretty cheap in the first place. The last thing we want to do is pack it up to take away or store. We want it gone!

Yes, these are the very same parents who are coming to sell at the sale in Poetry on May 16. I assure you. They will have lots of good stuff. Like my favorite thrift store, my folks restock almost daily! And, by the way, they can dicker with the best of them, too.

Tell me. Have you any horror stories from hosting a garage sale?

Happy Friday!



  1. That sale is mammoth! I've taken a break from having sales after one I held two years ago. The things that occurred made me temporarily lose faith in mankind. Ugh! I wish your parents many sales though!


  2. No garage sale horror stories except for my Mom who keeps selling my good stuff I left at her house! She sells the goodies for change! She keeps telling me to "get it or she is gonna sell it". Hard headed woman! Glad I didn't inherit that trait! :) I can't wait to meet your parents on the 16th!


  3. My daughter & family just had one & they had a man come up as they were cleaning up & he told them he didn't have any money & needed gas & food. Being the people they are, they gave him a $20 bill. They worked so hard on that sale -- I just hope he doesn't make a habit of this. I wasn't sure if you knew that we took over The Seedbox when Mel & Brian decided to just do shows. They do get around.Jan

  4. Oh Lord, I had two women (a mother and daughter) changing the prices tags on stuff last time I had a garage sale...garage door was up to child head height so the kids could come in and out and someone is trying to buy stuff out of the garage. NO! If it was for sale, it would be out here and NOT in the garage. I'll honestly never have one again. I try to clear out every few months so I don't have to garage sale...I honestly doubt I'd make much so I would rather donate it...Good luck!

    And thanks for the lovely compliment. We don't think of us as a 'military family' although we are...and very proud :D

  5. OMG they have lots of stuff. I had some tag switchers once, and fortunately I KNEW what I had priced it at and it wasm't $3. There is a certain group of folks that do not watch their children, I'm amazed any of them actually reach adulthood without getting run over in the street.
    yep it can be difficult. But green is green (money) and it's the same all around. Hope you have a great sale. See you on the 16th.

  6. See you stopped by our blog today. Just wanted to say Hi, any friend of the girls at Junk Fest are good with us!

    Linda & Dixie
    THe FuNKy JUnK SisTeRS

  7. Not really. Usually all goes well. Yes, people try to negotiate but I let them know straight up. Usually we end up giving stuff away by the end of the day, and then everybody loves us.

  8. This post made me LAUGH!! My story: A friend
    and I set up for days in my garage for a sale and the morning of my back went out and I had to go to the ER for a shot! My friend and my kids had to run the show and I felt terrible, both my back AND for me not helping with it! My son would run in the house (as I was in bed) and say "Some lady wonders if you'll take $5 for the wooden angel instead of $10?"...UGH...get real, people!! Andrea

  9. This is why I do not do garage sales, ever! I don't have them at the house and I don't go to them. In the "good old days" I could go and bring home a truckload, but I'm afraid those days have gone with the dodo bird! I can only look at so many baby clothes and exercise equipment. Plus, and this is a biggie, when we do go out Danny always gets prices like a quarter of 50, they ask prices like 10.00 dollars! I kid you not. So, he just leaves me at home. I don't do them here at the house for the same reasons as you and I just can't bring myself to sell stuff for a dime. I'd rather just donate it to some of the local groups. I told you...I'm lazy!

  10. Garage sales are a nightmare. The people are horrid. That's why I stick to estate sales. To me, the worst are people that do it at the shop, or when I used to be at the Big Flea! WE'RE PAYING RENT, you dopes. At a garage sale, you can expect dirt-cheap because people are cleaning out. At a market or shop, we need to cover the rent. We find things, clean things, mend things, and scour the 'hood looking for good stuff. We've done the work for you, and need to be compensated! The problem is that everyone thinks they're eBay savvy and watch too many Roadshows....

    Rant complete.

  11. Thanks to everyone who responded. I think we needed that! Whew! ~Mindy

  12. Just got around to reading your blog. Dickerin is all apart of garage sales. I never offer what it's marked at. Where's the fun in that? I guess I've been working at the wrecking yard too long! LOL. And non-english speaking people are used to dickering, cause that's how they do it in there country. Remember - no matter what you paid for it (or marked it at), it's only worth what the next person is willing to pay!

    Love your blog. I'm going to pop over to David's and wish him a happy B-Day!! :)

    Brett aka The Vintage Husband

  13. This post and the comments left absolutely cracked me up. I still believe good crap can be found at these sales but I've got to be in the right mood! And to dicker over a quarter...people kill me do they realize how goofy they sound. My neighborhood garage sale is this weekend and I should be gathering and pricing but I'm having to much fun on your blog. ~Michelle


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