My family has been trying to host a Garage Sale for well over a year in the hope of parting with some of our excess crap. We had excuses up the wha-zoo as to why ‘that weekend didn’t work’ but last month we finally bit the bullet and had the bloody thing. Huzzah! We were able to offload $500 worth of furniture, clothes, electrical products and miscellaneous doo-dads. It’s so true – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Speaking from personal experience, the humble garage sale is something we all dread committing to for fear it being more trouble than its worth. It’s true – to make it worthwhile you do need to be organised and have the time to prepare for your morning/day in the trenches. However, good news peeps! L&A will have a ‘How to Host a Garage Sale’ list available later in the year with all the steps you need to be thumbing through a fist full of dollars by days end. With the assistance of this list, you’ll be able to hold an annual or bi-annual sale with ease and move on your unwanted items.
The last garage sale I held was when we packed up our house in Pirie before moving back to Adelaide. I had completely forgotten about the ‘characters’ that love to spend their Saturday mornings digging through boxes of junk looking for any Picassos that might be lying around. There were some crackers that we encountered on the day, so I thought you might enjoy a giggle at their expense.
The early bird gets the Stradivarius
My ad specified ‘strictly 6am’ to kick things off and sure enough there were some die hards ready to rock’n’roll at 5.20am and all uber prepared with their trailers, vans and trucks (I finally put them out of their misery at 5.45am). They were older chaps so there was no army rolling under the door but they came close. We made our first sale of the day before the garage door was even fully open – an old park bench with a missing slat. You could tell these guys were lifers – they do this every weekend rain, hail or shine. Mr Park Bench even came back 30 minutes later with his wife in tow.
Storage Wars meets American Pickers
Our next customers could have been the characters straight out of these shows. A husband and wife team armed with torches both on the hunt to find any Hope Diamonds we had lying around (sorry guys). They each assembled their own armful of goodies and then chided each other’s find as to who got the better deal. It was interesting that they paid for their purchases separately; perhaps you need to give your spouse a budget if this is your weekend pastime?? The other duo had an old fashioned tag team approach, egging each other on to buy more and running back to the car to grab an extra bag of small change….works for me.
Welcome to Hagglesville
I’m not a born haggler, but I know some people live for it. What I don’t get is when people want to haggle over shrapnel….I’m literally taking about 20 cents. All the books and DVD’s were 20 cents each and one dude wanted to beat me down. We had a copy of ‘Carol’ by Patricia Highsmith for sale – a current new release at Dymocks for $19.95 and 20 cents was too much for this bloke. Seriously, get out of here matey! To be honest there wasn’t much haggling going on because I know we hit the mark with the pricing to start with. It really took the stress out of the day.
3rd Times the Charm
Another old guy was interested in a wooden DVD rack and nosed around it for 10 minutes. He then drove home to grab a tape measure. Apparently it was 10mm too wide…and then he left. 10 minutes later and he was back and bought it anyway along with the dustiest pair of mens loafers you have ever seen. I noticed the zipper on his trousers was being held up by a paper clip so I shouldn’t judge.
The Caped Crusader
My favourite giggle of the morning was almost at closing. This guy parked his car, got out, donned a black cape (on top of his jeans and t-shirt), did a lap of the garage, wished us good morning and left. My sister and I turned to one another and literally went ‘whaaaaa!!??’ at exactly the same time. I still don’t know what to make of this one, but more power to you buddy.
Despite all our procrastination, I am really glad the garage sale is behind us. So many of our unwanted possessions have found new homes (and won’t be going to landfill just yet), several local charities have new donations for their shelves from the unsold wares and we made about $500 for our mornings work. The big trick is not for me to race out and buy a new pair of shoes with my share of the cash but to put it towards something worthwhile like the upcoming car service. My dad made a good suggestion as I was counting the monies – when you bring something new home e.g. a saucepan, a juicer or a new pair of boots throw something away (or repurpose it for donation or sale). This will certainly help to minimise the build-up of stuff. Clearly I need to practice what I preach J
So, are your family garage sale guru’s?? Have you had a ‘Caped Crusader’ attend one of yours?? Head over to the FB page and share any amusing garage sale characters you’ve had the pleasure of meeting with us. Until next time peeps.