Monday, May 31, 2010

The Hick Chic Guide to Holding a Yard Sale

My first piece of advice would be, "Don't."  Like, you really just want to get rid of your stuff, right?  It's a long day in the sun for not much money.  But then I'm lazy and non-materialistic so maybe don't take my word for it.

Important:  Don't hold a yard sale in the country.  Few people driving by at 100kph will stop to see if you are selling anything they want.

Instead, have it at your sister's house!!  Sweetie lives on a nice crescent in town where about three other yard sales are going on.  Plus it's the big annual Mennonite Relief Sale and you're guaranteed at least five old order families stopping by with their wagons full of the spoils of their day.  (Honestly these folks scoop the bargains.)

If your sister happens to have a little feline visitor making regular stops in her garden, even better.

Doesn't matter who the cute little thing belongs to... she doesn't make disgusting piles in the flowerbeds or use Sweetie's deck as a scratching post so it's all okay!

Also useful: make the younguns run the sale.  Officially that is.  See, I stuck around to make sure all went well, but they were in charge of the cash.  They did all the greeting and smiling.  I sat in the shade and read a good book.  And petted somebody else's cat.  The upside is that the kids can use this cash for school trips and other things they need. Downside - not nearly enough.  

Annyong and Bucky were great though.  They didn't fight with each other and were very polite to anybody who wandered up, picked up a few things and shook them, then left.

(I can't believe we ended up with like, four boxes of books.  WHO DOESN'T WANT TO BUY BOOKS FOR NEXT TO NOTHING????  Geez, I took two books and two bibles home with me, and I was aiming to get rid of stuff! Books, people!)

Have enough supplies on hand for comfort.  Obviously you need tape and scissors and a marker and maybe some bags to send stuff home with people as well as water and snacks.  You also need sunscreen.  And hats.  And maybe bandannas to soak up the forehead sweat.  How about a deck of cards for those long stretches of boredom?  Not for me.  I don't get cards.  (It wasn't a Mennonite thing...)  

Speaking of which, I went down to the Sale to get some apple fritters.  Mmmmmm.  Also speaking of which, the old order families crack me up.  They have these homebuilt buggies with rubber tires, probably with pickup truck axles at each end of the buggy... they're loooong like cargo vans.  The team of horses are never all brushed up and groomed but incredibly fit.  The horses stop, a few people get off the buggy and come up to check out the goods.  The men wear straw hats, the women wear print dresses and amazing colourful bonnets.  My grandma made me one like that when I was a kid.  I was very un-Christian and coveted a bonnet like that.  I'd wear it.  I'm not kidding.  

When the last person is back on the buggy, the horses start walking.  They KNOW.  They know when everybody's accounted for.

By the end of the day, those buggies are FULL.  I mean, it's like the Beverley Hillbillies.  Not kidding.  Tables, blackboards, playpens, strollers, a box fan (clearly somebody's packin' some electricity at home) and the kitchen sink.  Seriously, one guy had a whole kitchen countertop including the double sink strapped to the side of the buggy.  The kids leaned their elbows on it.  

Also the seats are van seats.  AWESOME.  I would totally go parts chasin' in one of those buggies.  Lucky.  

But I am not a profesh yard sale haunter.  I'm even worse at holding one.  Anyways.  

So other than the above mentions suggestions, make the objects for sale look nice on the tables, make sure it's clean and blah blah blah.  

After twelve noon, everything's half price.  Auction the stuff if you have to, do two for one, whatever, just try to move the stuff.  

It's like this folks:  if we packrats don't want this stuff anymore, chances are nobody else does either.

Unless it's free.  We moved a few things out of the free box.

The kids each made about $20.  

As much as I would have liked to, I did not take the cute calico, with her half black tabby half orange tabby face, home with me.  


Sydney_bitless said...

We have one of those so called mennonite buggies. It's an old hay wagon with a bus seat bolted to it and a foot bar in the front and a tongue for a team. That thing has seen a lot of ground, good ol thing.

Heidi Willis said...

I love that you got to sit in the shade and read!!

And that cat's coloring is just gorgeous!!

pseudosu said...

I scored the sweetest banana seat bike at a garage sale around here lately. It even has rock n' roll lightning spinners inserted in the wheels, and is all chrome.

Running a sale sucks though. Long day.

Also, the kid is gorgeous and looks just like you. I would have hated that but in your case it's a compliment and hopefully she knows that.

Olly said...

Sounds alot like my last yard sale. My daughter was thrilled to get cash for stuff she didn't want anymore and rumaged thru her room half way thru the day to see if she could come up with anything else! As the afternoon rolled around I was giving stuff away and then when it was over NOTHING came back in the house. I loaded the rest of it in the trunk and hauled it to Good-Will.

Biddie said...

I miss those days. We used to hold a garage sale every year during the relief sale.
I love garage sales! Nothing better than a great deal on something that I just can NOT live without :)