Monday, March 31, 2008
Anatomy of a Garage Sale
Who can resist passing up the words GARAGE SALE in big bold letters on a Saturday morning? I'm guilty, but this past weekend, the tables were turned and now we were having the garage sale. My experience - shock and awe. In six hours, we managed to sell off 90% of our excess "stuff", making $300 worth of small bills and quarters. Crazy. The secret to it all - attitude, organization, and florescent pink signage.
"I just want to get rid of everything!" This was the frustration I expressed when I announced to my husband that we were going to have a garage sale. We had already gotten rid of old things, but still had been storing a lot of other things we weren't using. Not only was all our excess becoming a sore spot in our relationship, it was becoming overwhelming and a waste of time to keep all these things in order. I was desperate and this was just the attitude I needed to make the my 'everything must go sale' work. Yes, it was hard to sell things we had paid hard earned money for, for the cheapo price of five dollars, one dollar and even a quarter, but they had been a burden for long enough. By that morning, I was happy to give, give, give and see people hauling away my long time burden.
Grouping similar things together also made things move like lightening speed. I noticed that the early birds did not really buy much because they were still in boxes, but the moment they were unpacked and spread out on the driveway, the grass and on tables, they sold! We had spent the previous weekend taking everything out of the garage and then putting it all back in categorized boxes with the 'keep" boxes farther inside. This was extra work, but worth it so we could relax at dinner the night before, and then prevent any stress or confusion that morning.
Lastly, florescent pink rocks. You can see it a mile away and once someone catches the necessary info (GARAGE SALE and an arrow really big, and the date and times really small) all they have to do is follow the pink blocks of color all the way to the treasure! One buyer mentioned how fun it was to follow the pink arrows through all our little streets.
Amazingly, people came till the very end even picking through and buying from the little pile that was left (see pic below). They were determined to find gold - some sort of bargain whether they needed it or not. It was a little bit scary to see this side of American consumers, again something I am guilty of myself, but hoping to resolve after this experience. Admittedly, by the end we did take some things back into garage. Now, it was less overwhelming, more manageable.