Ah, there’s nothing like a yard sale.  The allure of maybe making a little fun-money, meeting new people, and all while enjoying a beautiful day outdoors is just too much to deny. Right? Wrong!

Here’s the reality.  There are more than a couple of hours of labor involved in setting up all your priceless treasures,  and then cleaning up all the remaining crap that no one wanted  afterwards.  The weather was about 90 degrees and muggy so we were sweaty and wilting.  I had to pee and couldn’t get away.  I was thirsty and I was hungry.  But we were captives for five hours, needing to watch over our stuff and haggle about prices.  And although we did meet a few nice people, there were so many others who we just had to laugh at while shaking our heads is disbelief.

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My favorite shoppers were the two elderly gentlemen who showed up in an antique Model T car. “Our yardsalin’ car” they said as they got out.

One neighbor came and bought the black and white animal print chaise lounge that my cats no longer use – for her pet Petunia, an adorable little black pig who always wears a flowered collar.  How awesome!

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A woman approached us holding a brand-new in the box, silver plated jewelry box and a small brand new leather coin purse that we had for sale.  “Will you take a dime apiece for these?”, she asked as she held out her hand containing two shiny dimes.  Um, no.

“How much for this (brand new with tags and a price sticker of $16.99 on it) muffin tin?”  “$5”, I reply. “No way” they say, and walk away.

“I’ll give you $5 for this (Vera Bradley) backpack (with the $89 price tag still on it)”. Um, I don’t think so.

Apparently,  some yard-salers  want everything for free.  I get it that this is all about the haggle.  I also think that brand new items with tags still on them don’t need to be given away for a dime.  My way of thinking is this:  I’d rather sell nothing than to give things away for offensively low prices.  I’d much rather donate to a charity that will be able to use or to sell these items to raise money for families in need.  Not surprisingly, everything that we had with a  “FREE” sign on it is gone.  Everything I have left over will be picked up on Friday by the Big Brother/Big Sister organization.

There are definitely some positive results from today’s yard sale.

  1. Our goal was to make enough money for a nice Date Night out.  I’m happy to report that we made $190.  So next week, we’ll get dressed up and go some place nice.
  2. We have many boxes to donate to charity.
  3. Most importantly, we finally got started with cleaning out the cellar that has looked increasingly like a bomb explosion site. (Once upon a time, I had a very clean and organized cellar.  Everything was stored in labeled rubbermaid containers.  Everything had a place.  And then I got married and the quantity of stuff to be stored in the cellar tripled.  Or maybe quadrupled.)  I’m happy to report that my husband did indeed let go of two whole boxes for this cleanout.  9,998 to go. But it’s a start!
  4. My hubby skipped golfing today to help me out.  He brought out the speaker and we cranked up some Motown and snacked on animal crackers. Having him with me made it all bearable.

Now I can start my mantra of “Never again! Never again!”.  But it’s likely that I’ll forgot the pain of all of this and have yet another yard sale (kinda like the way many people think of childbirth).

I’ll leave you with this – the best part of the day – my little next-door neighbor Hannah took full advantage of the neighborhood yard sales (even wearing her lemon sundress!). Precious!

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Written by Jennifer Cartledge

1 Comment

Barb Hansen

I have always found the tax deduction from donating our unwanted items to charity much more appealing that people wanting your hard earned stuff for next to free!

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