16 September, 2006

Liveblogging The Great Yard Sale Experiment

5:30 am

Mornings are cold. Do people not understand why God gave us beds and Saturday mornings?

6:15 am

We have all the heavy stuff out. Will anyone give us $20 for the seed spreader? Will anyone give us $1 each for the backyard tiki torches? The suspense is killing me. Either that or the fact that it is COLD and I am OUT OF BED.

6:55 am

Tim makes me take down my handwritten "All Sales FIRM until 1:00PM NO negotiations" sign. In his words: We can act inhospitable. We don't have to look it, too.

7:15 am

First Sale! Yahoo! Dude gave us $5 for the fireplace stand. I hope his dog doesn't pee on it. Not that that's happened before or anything

7:20 am

HOA board guy who is responsible for the sale came by to check on us. Is he running for public office? If I get a 4/C brochure in the mail, I'll know for certain. He earned my ire by looking at the various old Macs for sale and asking "Are you into computers?" Not that it's a bad question. But why did he ask Tim and not me? Like I wouldn't be into computers? Dude, if you're running for office you just lost my vote. Oh, and way to scare off the day's first Old People Sale Hobbyists.

I tell you right now, if the greatest joy of my retirement years is trawling strange suburbs for someone else's crap please shoot me now.

7:30 am

More sexism. Where is Gender Parity in the world of yardsales? Our neighbour just asked Tim how he got roped into this. Tim is the driving force behind this. I go along for the sweet green cash but he's the one whose been running through the house all week trying to find stuff to sell. He even tried to price Quinn at one point. Maybe it had to do with the fireplace set being peed on.
World of free people: Women can be computer nerds and men can dig on having a yard sale. Billy can play with Barbies and Susie can play baseball. Was I the only kid who got a copy of "Free To Be You And Me" by Marlo Thomas et. al.?

8:07 am

I could never be a prostitute. This business of standing outside waiting for someone to give a paltry sum for something they could get a better version of somewhere else is not my cup of tea. Still holding at $5.00 profit. Right now that makes our wages roughly equivalent to one of Kathie Lee Gifford's little sweatshop children. If Tim buys our neighbours' telescope we'll actually be $5.00 in the hole. For those of you not into story problems that means our neighbours want $10 for the telescope. Why do I feel as though they've been using it to look into our windows, and now that it's for sale is only because they're burnt out on our nudity. Again, I could never be a prostitute.

8:28 am

I'm promoted to Management! That means I can sit in my office and goof off while someone else does the grunt work. I will occasionally poke my head out and give Performance Evaluations but there will be no raises this year as times are tight for the company.

9:32 am

Well. We've downsized. As usual, management is the first to go. I was offered a position out on the line, which I've grudgingly accepted. I am apparently a very bad retail clerk. Sample dialogue:
Random Guy: How much for the DVDs?
Me:(silently in my head) Can't you read the big sign?
Me: (outloud) $3.00 each or $10 for 4
RG: I'll give you a dollar each. That's what I can get 'em for other places.
Me: Good for you. They're $3.00 each or $10 for 4
RG: I'll give you $20 for all 16
Me: (silently in my head) Get bent.
Tim: No thank you.

The good news is that we are up to $21 profit...no thanks to my curmudgeonly sales tactics.

10:56 am

I have no understanding of what people want at a yard sale. What hasn't sold: my Spirit of Nashville posters. My brand new leather photo albums and scrapbooks. What has sold: skeins of yarn at twenty-five cents a piece. Really, people? Really? You want old yarn?

We're doing very well with the English-As-A-Second-Language crowd. The bulk of our $45 intake has been from either Spanish-speakers or a couple of indeterminate Eastern Bloc origin. The Eastern Bloc couple wanted me to break $100. I was sorely tempted to point out that if I had change for $100 I would not be sitting in my garage on a plastic adirondack chair all morning to sell yarn for a quarter.

11:36 am

A Faith Based Conversation
Me: Well, are you at peace with your Lord? We just broke $50.
Tim: I'd be more at peace if He'd come down and buy something. Do you think the Lord needs a Party Chip & Dip tray?

12:18 pm

Celebrity Sighting!!!!
I swear to you. Principle Skinner's mother was just here!

1:11 pm

There's no way I'll make it to Smyrna in time. We're still going full-tilt boogie. Which means one person every 5 minutes. Man. I wish I'd held on to my management position. Then I could duck out early.

At 8:00 when I didn't think anyone would buy anything, Tim told me it was "a marathon , not a sprint." I didn't know he meant that it was like the ORIGINAL Marathon where you die at the end.

5:15 pm

The end of the line. We packed all leftovers at 2:18 and headed to IHOP. In 15.5 years of marriage, this was one of the few times where we ate without lingering. We both realised that this was the first food we'd had today. Banana-Caramel French Toast? Thumbs up! Thank you to the man who bought our seed spreader. You also bought our lunch!

We came home and fell straight into bed. Not for hot passionate lovemaking. It's not as though the old yarn and dye-sub printer were huge aphrodisiacs. We were exhausted. I cannot believe we worked this hard for $138. I'm not even going to do the per-hour math.

Both the seed spreader and the tiki torches sold. We had to go down to $10 on the spreader and throw in half a bottle of oil on the torches, but they're all gone. Sayonara!

The good news is that I still have all my Spirit of Nashville posters--and they'll be making their way to an eBay near you. Unless you are a newly-married demolition contractor. I'll spot you 2 as a (relatively crappy) wedding present.

11 Comments:

At 9:03 AM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Kathy T. said...

You are too funny! I'm thinking about gathering stuff this week because my sweet friend in M'boro is having one and says I can throw in my junk, too. I dread it, but I have SO MUCH junk it's got to be done. Bleh.

 
At 9:18 AM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

So what exactly got you promoted, huh?

 
At 9:36 AM, September 16, 2006, Blogger John H said...

sheesh..just moved to management and already sticking it to the working class salt-of-the-earth types.

Yard-sale laborers, shed your stickers, jettison your blenders that only work on one speed, your air-flow popcorn poppers and your 1993 computer monitor that no one will buy. Revolt..

grasp those once-used fondue prongs and STICK it to managment..

ummmm, you got any good furniture at this sale, Kat?

 
At 1:34 PM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Ivy, the Great and Powerful said...

It's OK, you can be late to the blogger meeting! :P

 
At 1:49 PM, September 16, 2006, Anonymous tom said...

I'd like to get a list of the DVDs you've got for sale. I'll take some off your hands at full sticker price.

 
At 6:11 PM, September 16, 2006, Blogger dailydiablogger said...

We missed you but I gave you a virtual shout out.

Loved your live blogging.

You rock.

 
At 7:42 PM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Kerry Woo said...

Yup, we all lose our minds and have lapses in sound judgement by hosting a yard sale... like eating at Shoneys, swearing that it will never happen again...

Did you sell your Macs? If not, what kind are they as I might be in the mood to fashion some aquariums out of the cases....

Here's a thought - why not haul over all your stuff to the Mothership - we could show up there to buy your stuff!

 
At 11:36 PM, September 16, 2006, Blogger Short and Fat said...

My crap must be better than your crap. We made $400 between 8 and 3.

 
At 9:45 AM, September 18, 2006, Blogger Pink Kitty said...

Did I ever tell you about how much I hate yard sales? The time return for profit margin is absolutely nil.

I can do better giving it to good will or (in the case of DVDs) sticking it up on amazon.

Meh.

Did you have any yard sale trolls? I had encounter with one and I was about one breath away from telling him to get off my property or I was calling the cops. He was completely insulting and rude. If it hadn't been for Elena's much calmer head, I probably would have hurt the guy.

I hate yard/garage/estate sales. After my one experience, I declared my life a yard sale free zone.

 
At 10:34 AM, September 18, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

what do the spirit of nashville posters look like? will you post pictures or could I find them online if I weren't too lazy to look? :)

end of my word verification is "zexy." just thought I'd share :)

 
At 10:37 AM, September 18, 2006, Blogger Amy said...

just scrolled thru your comments...sounds to me like you should do a blog sale as a follow-up :)

 

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