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The Dreaded Yard Sale

If you’ve ever had a Yard Sale at your home, then this post should help remind you why you NEVER EVER want to have one again.

Every year there’s a town-wide Yard Sale weekend in our small town. This past weekend was the designated weekend for it. This town-wide event is quite popular in our area as many of the residents participate. This year was no exception – there were over 60 homes registered in the event and hubs and I were one of them. Prospective purchasers came from far and wide – including Canada.

I’d been dreading this weekend and this sale for months. It’s not the first one we’ve ever had. It was our third sale in a seven year span so I know how they go. I know how much work they are – before, during, and afterward. Still, it had to be done.

This past winter while Bill was out of work on unemployment, he decided to delve into the land of eBay selling. He had quite a few collector-type items that he’d collected along the way in his travels (and was still collecting) – so he opened an eBay store and started selling. He did quite well with it, but come April when he returned to work, he still had a large amount of things that had not sold. That was when he informed me that he thought we should have another yard sale this year … and that was exactly when I started dreading the weekend that we’d have it.

But have it we did and once again I was reminded of the many reasons…..

WHY I HATE YARD SALES

 

crap for sale

 

1. “Hey. Does the back of this Kindle Fire pop off?” – this from a teenager who had my mint condition tablet out of its pristine case and was flipping it back and forth in his hands and trying to pry the back off with his dirty fingernails. “Um, no it does not,” I replied while trying to force a smile, “and I’d rather you not try to pop it off.” It ended up that “Mom” bought the Kindle for Junior … but not before she had properly haggled with me. It was already marked down at less than a third of what I’d paid for it. While Junior kept trying to pry the back of the tablet off (even though I’d asked him not to), Mom tried to get another fifty percent off of the already low price. In an effort to get Junior and the tablet out of my sight before he succeeded in destroying it, I finally agreed to take $10 less than what I’d hoped to get for it. … By now I’m sure the back is off the tablet and it’s ruined, but hey – I sold it and that’s their problem now.

 

2. “Why isn’t anything on this table priced?” – That would be because everything on the table was priced at $1.00 each … per the super LARGE sign that was taped on the very top front of the table. Wish I had $1.00 for everyone who asked that question the other day.

 

3. “Do you have anything good for sale?” – No, just crap apparently. Thanks for asking. Maybe you missed the 32-piece French lead crystal set and the antiques over there.

 

crap for sale

 

4. “Can I use your bathroom?” – I’m going to assume that if you go to a yard sale and ask a complete stranger to use their bathroom that the situation is close to becoming an emergency and that you really desperately need to use it. I get that and I sympathize. This question, however, couldn’t have been asked at a worse time. The yard was full of prospective buyers. My husband Bill and my step-son Cody were busy making sales. I was too, but I couldn’t find it in my heart to say “no” to the man. I told him he’d have to wait a minute because I certainly wasn’t going to just point him in the direction and set a stranger loose in my unoccupied house. Hoping he’d hurry, I led him to the bathroom and stood guard. While he was in there, I was busy wondering what shape the bathroom was in. Have you ever had a yard sale? Did you manage to find time that week to clean your bathroom? Neither did I.

 

5. “Let me give you my card.” – Salesmen, obsessed collectors, professional eBayers. I hate when they come to yard sales. “Do you have any of this or that?” they want to know. They don’t want the “crap” you already have out for sale. They want specific “crap” that you don’t have. Next they proceed to tell you that your prices are too steep for this or that … or too low for this, that or the other thing. That don’t want any of these items – they just want to brag about where they can find better deals on them. Then they swing back to, “You sure you don’t have any {fill in the blank}.” Heck, yes I’m sure. Believe me – if I had it I would have told you the first time and you’d already be on your way and out of my yard. Then they grin as if they don’t believe you. “Well here let me give you my card just in case.” … Gee, thanks ever so much. I’ll file it away where I’ve filed all the other cards.

 

salesman

 

6. Setting Up & Taking Down – Taking down is definitely worse than setting up a yard sale. Even though it’s tremendous work when you’re setting up, you’re filled with hope that all your “crap” will sell and be gone. When you’re taking it down, you’re filled with disappointment and despair. Now what? Do you just throw it all away or do you keep the crap, put it back in the house and try again next year? My vote is for tossing it all away and never ever having a yard sale again (bet you guessed that) …. but hubs and I are still battling it out. For now, until the battle of the insinuated “crap” is decided, it’s all out on the porch – so I haven’t completely lost the war yet. It’s not back in the house.:)

 

7. The inside of your home looks like a junkyard for over a week. – For an entire week before the sale, our home looked as though it had been hit by a cyclone. Every room was effected. I’d come home from work in the evening and our couch and nearly every chair would be piled high with boxes. Stuff was everywhere. When Saturday finally arrived, I was glad to see it get all moved out … but then another mess took it’s place. There were box scraps left behind, stray price tags, markers, and other items strewn about such as things that we decided not to sell at the last second. It definitely takes a second week (maybe even a third) to get your house back in order following a yard sale. Right now I’m not sure which I hate more – yard sales or the clean up they require.

 

8. It’s hard to get good help. – As I mentioned above, this was the third yard sale that Bill and I have had since we married. During the first two sales, Bill and Cody would start out strong. They’d be right there beside me at the beginning helping with sales, answering questions, pushing sales, bagging things up and taking the sale money. As the day, however, would progress they’d lose interest. They’d get bored and they’d wander away and almost completely vanish. Luckily, my sister Leslie would join me and happily pick up the slack. Leslie, however, now feels like me. We’re yard saled out. We don’t mind going to a yard sale now and then … but hosting them – no thanks. So I told Leslie about the sale this year but I wasn’t going to ask her to help me – and I didn’t though I was worried how I’d manage it all if my extra help (Bill and Cody) vanished again. As luck would have it though, they didn’t. Both Bill and Cody had a lot at stake in this year’s sale. A lot of the items for sale were theirs. So they stayed. And wow! They were everywhere. They were charming and all smiles and they were all over this sale all day long – talking to the customers, making conversation, taking in money, and counting it every few minutes.:)I really didn’t need to do much at all this year … and it was great! … Just it case it, however, hadn’t gone that way my wonderful sister Leslie showed up unexpectedly anyway. Yet another reason why I love her so very much. She’s always got my back.:)

yard sale
9. Early Birds – It never fails.  Whether you start setting up at 8:00 AM or 7:00 for a yard sale that’s been widely publicized to start at 9:00 AM – the early birds arrive. They swoop in – in flocks – while you’re frantically trying to get things unpacked and organized. They fondle everything you take out of each box and place on each table to be sold. They reorganize the items you’re so rapidly trying to organize. They follow you around and watch your every move – looking hungry as they desperately hope that the next box you unpack will be be the one that holds a treasure – one that they’ll be the first to see and have a crack at. They shift from foot to foot – like you’re taking too long to set up – yet they ask a lot of questions and make a lot of conversation never realizing it seems that all of this hinders your progress. The early birds hang around until everything is unpacked and placed out for sale … and then they settle on an item or two to purchase and try to rob you blind. Will I take $1.00 for this $15.o0 item? Um NO! I just spent the last 30 minutes tripping over you while I tried to get set up. I prefer Late Birds. Show up at 2:55 – five minutes before the sale is scheduled to end and you just might get that $15.00 item for a real bargain of $.25. Ten minutes after that… you might even get it free.:)

 

Romeo
10. Romeo had to be imprisoned in doggie jail all day. – Our little dog is a very friendly and nosey little guy. He loves to visit old friends (down the street) and meet new ones when and if they arrive here for a visit. Romeo is almost always happy. He is very much loved and properly spoiled and we truly believe that he loves and enjoys living in our home, yet he never misses a chance to escape whenever an opportunity presents itself. This past weekend’s yard sale provided two such opportunities. Bill, Cody and I were in and out of the house frequently during the sale – carrying boxes out, getting a drink or grabbing a bite to eat whenever we could. On Saturday, strangers flocked to our yard on a continual basis. Romeo wanted to meet these new prospective friends. He wanted to see what all the commotion was about. Twice when the porch door was left open just a little too long, Romeo made a run for it. Out the door he went. He was down the steps, out in the yard and heading down the side of the street in a flash. His legs are short, but he can really dig in and run like the wind when he gets the chance. His ears fly up (just like the dog in the picture below) as he begins to run and then as he picks up speed and momentum, they fly backward and lay down flat against his head facing his tail. It’s quite a sight to see him run at full speed – like his very life depended on it – and we got to see that twice this past weekend. …. And then I got to see Cody during the first escape and Bill during the second, take off running at full speed to go retrieve our little 4-legged escapee. That too was quite a sight. Wish I could have caught it all on video tape.:)In the end, poor Romeo had to be jailed in his crate. He didn’t get to meet any of our new stranger friends … and he never managed to make a sale. He did, however, provide the best yard sale entertainment of the entire weekend and for that I truly thank him.

 

yard sale

Romeo looked just like this when he escaped and ran down the road … because someone did leave the gate open during the chaos of our yard sale last weekend.

 

So what are your yard sales like? I’d love to hear from you!:)

 

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Marcia Shaw Wyatt

Author/Creator at Blogitudes
Hi! I'm Marcia Shaw Wyatt - the creator and author of Blogitudes. I'm a married, full-time working Western New Yorker. I'm also a daughter; sister; step-mom; and aunt. And I'm a writer. I created Blogitudes to publish a mix of things that I like to write about with hopes that you'll find my posts both entertaining and uplifting. To learn more, please visit my About Me page, and if you have questions, please drop by the Contact Me page. Thank you much for stopping by today! I'd love it if you'd leave a comment! :)
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