Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yard Sale Hell

What do you think about Yard Sales? I think going to one is a whole lot more fun than trying to make one actually work.

A few years back when we were still living in New Mexico Cindy and her good Friend Debbie decided to do a Garage Sale/Moving Sale to help Debbie get rid of some unwanted stuff she didn’t want to move to the new home she and hubby Russ had just bought and to also get rid of some stuff from our house that was cluttering up my Garage/ Work Shop, my Garage happened to get extremely cluttered when this garage sale idea was hatched between the girls, and to get rid of this clutter I either had to haul it over to Debbie’s or put it back into our house which would not be a good idea so after I got off work I loaded my truck and hauled boxes of stuff to the scene of the crime garage sale for the girls to unload, price, and dump sell beginning Friday morning and going through the weekend.

I stopped by the next day on my lunch break to see how they were doing and was surprised to see how busy they actually were, I spent my lunch hour helping them load things into peoples cars and was sad to find out that since I was so much help and was off work the next day that my help would be appreciated at daybreak, I showed up and immediately began helping to set up the merchandise, the day went quickly and most of the stuff sold, some of it was to one another but the girls split the profits and what didn’t sell was boxed up and hauled to our house to be stored for the next one they had already planned.

The day of the next one about a year later came too quickly and was planned to be held at our house this time, this meant I had to hide or either cover up everything that was mine and I didn’t want sold, Debbie showed up early and like a Drill Sergeant she began getting us lined out, Cindy was just as tough as she because they remembered how well the last one went, the only difference was this time they has Jimmy in the mix from the start, I got out my trusty staple gun and tacked sheets over all my tools and Nascar stuff in the garage which didn’t go over real good, not for covering up my stuff but for stapling sheets to the walls, I also got myself into trouble by marking out their prices and changing the numbers, the stuff they had marked .25 cents was worth about five dollars so I changed the prices marked on the box to three dollars and crossed it out and marked one dollar fifty cents below it for example, now they were getting a buck fifty for their quarter merchandise, I got myself yelled at until a man came up and bought the whole box, now I was in charge of pricing.

The sale ended with a couple boxes of odds and ends, you know stuff like doll heads, broken Micky Dees toys, missing pieces and other things that either didn’t work or had missing pieces, basically we had two boxes of stuff I was going to take to the trash when up staggered two women they were either drunk or high on something and began digging through these boxes, one pulled something out of the box and asked for a price, Cindy looked at me and I popped off actually looking for a laugh or for an offer that they would carry off these two boxes “Ten Dollars for everything” The lady looked shocked and I was waiting for something I didn’t want to hear when she reached into her pocket and handed Cindy a ten and picked up a box, the other lady says “Hey wait a minute” and pulled out a ten also and said “I want the other box” last I saw these two boxes of trash they were staggering down the street with their new owners who were so happy at the deal they had just got.

The last Garage Sale we had was at Debbie’s house, I was officially retired at this time and being on the crutches there was not a lot of loading or carrying I could do so my job was to price stuff and talk to the customers, I do love to talk with people and sold a lot of stuff in box lots to keep from selling a few things and keeping a bunch, I was less likely to recognize stuff of mine that needed to go back home or to buy stuff from Debbie because the reason we were having this sale was to get rid of things, Debbie got a little carried away when she hauled out her husbands favorite couch and chair to get rid of, Russ argued the point and set the price high in hopes that it wouldn’t sell because he really didn’t want to see it go, at the end of this one we were so sick of sales and said that nothing would be stored at our house for the next sale, Cindy found a group that picks up things from yard sales to sell at their place to help with a Drug Rehab program we all agreed and in less than an hour everything was loaded into the back of a truck by these fine young men and was on it’s way to their facility including Russ’s Couch which he was not pleased to find out about, he actually went down on Monday morning to pick his couch back up and was told that it was the first thing that sold that morning, and he had just missed it.

When we moved to California we had a whole lot of things we needed to get rid of, we talked about how much we could make by having a moving sale, we discussed how we would have to set up the merchandise for sale and not mix it up with the things we were packing to move, this discussion was made over and over as we laughed loudly and drove it all to the local Goodwill office and proudly donated it all, because it is much more rewarding to donate than to sell especially after you have had a few yard sales.


  1. First of all--you changed the prices? Without permission??? Oh, Jimmy!
    I have had a couple of garage sales in my life and with enough help (and maybe a hidden bottle of gin) I managed to make it through them and actually have a good time. These days, however, I'm with you on calling the Goodwill truck!

  2. I love snooping around at yard sales...but I hate holding one myself. Too much like work. Off to Goodwill.... the junk must go!

  3. "I also got myself into trouble by marking out their prices and changing the numbers, the stuff they had marked .25 cents was worth about five dollars so I changed the prices marked on the box to three dollars." GO, boy!

    You sound EXACTLY like me because one time I had a yard sale with a buddy of mine and he put 50 cent stickers on EVERYING! I'm like, "NO WAY...this is worth much more!" So, I reticketed them - HA!

    I think you and I should go into business as "yard sale pricers" because most people want to just give the stuff away.

    You're so right, putting together a yard sale is work. However, I've made some pretty good money.

    Fun post, my friend!

    Have a great day!

  4. Yard Sale Hell is correct if you're running one...did one for Scouts and we did one other one! Now, we pawn our stuff off on anyone who'll take it off our hands or donate it. Much less headache and more beneficial for all involved!

  5. I love going to yard sales, but hate having them. Too much time to invest. Also, since I now live in the middle of nowhere, I doubt anyone would show up. Much better to give to Goodwill or Salvation Army.


  6. Good Morning Betty,

    "First of all--you changed the prices? Without permission??? Oh, Jimmy!"

    See what it got me, I was in charge of pricing after that, should have just sat back and watched huh :)

  7. Hey Marlene,

    I'm with you on sending it to Goodwill now, it's a whole lot easier and actually more cost effective.

    Glad to have you stop by hope to see you again soon.

  8. Sounds like an idea Ron,

    We could just go around and price the stuff for folks without having to worry about the rest, I think I could handle that Ha Ha

  9. Good Morning Suzicate,

    Yard Sale Hell about sums it all up, I was actually thinking of a title for this one when Cindy popped off "Yard Sale Hell" so here we are :^)

    It's a lot of work and I really don't think the money is worth it in the long run.

  10. Hey Spot,

    I'm like you I'd rather go and look at the stuff than to sell it myself.

    When we left New Mexico I think Goodwill was going to name their store after us due to all the stuff we brought them Ha Ha

  11. Our neighborhood sponsors neighborhood-wide garage sales about twice a year, and we hate them.
    Our streets are already too small to have an endless stream of traffic running through, there is already only enough room for one car at a time to pass...and I feel like it just gives 'outsiders' a perfect opportunity to scope out our neighborhood and look at all the open garages without looking suspicious.
    If we have stuff we don't need, we just donate it, just like you did.

  12. Joe,

    I can just imagine a neighborhood wide one, it was enough work with just two families and like you said the amount of traffic really isn't worth it.

  13. I'm totally in favor of donating! (only if they pick it up) *cringe, sweat, tremble...

  14. I love going to garage sales, but not alone. I don't think I would ever try to organize and have one myself. I don't have that much patience.

  15. Hey Ms A,

    I am with you on that one, even better if they pick up :)

  16. Melissa,

    Where we lived before I retired from a utility company so I knew all the streets needless to say I got to do all the driving to the garage sales, haven't been since we moved here but it just may be worth a try to check it out, I am always amazed at the things you find.

  17. I have threatened divorce and vowed to move to Uganda if we ever even consider another yard sale. Part of the problem is that my wife is a yard sale maven and organizer...and the work she requires of all of us in preparation is truly daunting. Like you -- I figure donation is the only way to go.

    My first time to visit and I already find a kindred spirit.

  18. Hey Jerry,

    I'm proud to have you stop by, I just came back from your place and think I will follow along.

    I agree with moving to Uganda if I ever have to put on another garage sale, and yes donation is the way to do it.

  19. Jimmy I don't think I could ever have a yard sale because while I like giving things away and I don't mind parting with things I don't like to know is getting my cast-offs. It is hard to explain why...I know it sounds stupid but it is how I feel. My friend Shelley goes every weekend to yard sales and and picks up all this good stuff for a dollar and then turns around and sells it on ebay for a whole lot more. She is making money hand over fist this way. But to me it seems like a lot of work.

  20. We had a big yard sale when we moved from our other house into this one. Whatever was left I had The Kidney Foundation come and pick up. I was NOT hauling that stuff over here. And you titled that SO appropriately!

  21. Well I was addicted at one time. That was how i spent my weekends. Going to yard sales. Now I can't even think about going I already have too much stuff. My husband hoardes car parts. He has a restored 71 chevelle and a 69 chevelle project. I have parts in my living room!!1 GRRRRR.Now he is looking to get a 69 camaro. Lor help me!LOL

  22. Hey Susie,

    I have known people who have done this same thing, I am like you in that it would be too much work to go buy stuff at yard sales to turn around and sell on ebay.

    If it works for them I suppose, just not for me.

  23. Thank You Peg,

    I'll have to give Miss Cindy the credit on the title Ha Ha, I thought it fit too :)

  24. Good Morning Cindy,

    Yes I can see that going on a regular basis would gather you up too many prized posessions, my Step Mom does the same thing and the good deals she finds just causes her to bring more home.

    Restoring more than one car would gather up a lot of parts too, it's hard to get rid of them once you have found them Ha Ha, I bet they all are nice I wouldnt mind having either one of them :)

  25. I'm not fanatic about it, but I don't mind browsing at them. You never know what you'll find. Like cheap craftsman tools, that you can trade in for free at Sears...

    I feel a yard/garage sale post coming on...

  26. Jimmy,
    Oh you had to bring up yard sales and MOVING stuff. LOL. I really don't want to deal with the sorting, packing, and organizing I have to do.

    I think you learned a lot about sales and rewards, which is a good thing.

    I didn't mind garage sales. I was super poor the last one I had with my ex-mother-in-law. It was a BUSY one. I ended up selling couple of shirts for $3.00, people everywhere, I gave him change from a $20.00 dollar bill. As he was driving away, I thought, man this feels strange. Yeah, it was strange. It was a COPIED $20 bill! Just a photo copy cut out. He just made $17 bucks off a garage sale.

    I was REALLY mad for about two seconds, then I thought....Lord maybe he needed the money more than me, if so then I'm glad it happened.

    No more garage sales for me. :-) I might lose too much money. HA.

  27. Hey Pat,

    That is actually how I put my first toolbelt together, buying Craftsman tools at yard sales and then turning them in for replacements, actually haven't thought of that in a while.

  28. Yes Angelia you have a job ahead of you don't ya Ha Ha It'll be worth it.

    I bet that man spent more than that one 20, good attitude about it though, I'll stick with donating too.


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