Yard Sale Vignettes

I had a yard sale over the weekend.

Remind me to never, ever, ever do that again.

Oh, sure I made a little bit of money ($375ish, to be exactish), and sure, I got rid of TONS of stuff, but having a yard sale reminded me of all the reasons why I gave up my career in retail.

Messy customers.  Bad hours.  Lots of hard, laborious, backbreaking work followed by periods of boredom.  Having to put on my game face every time somebody walked up.  Laughing at the jokes customers told that weren't funny, and nodding like I cared at every story they had to tell.  Long periods of time between bathroom breaks.  Lunch... what lunch?  Messy customers  - oh wait.  I said that already...

Anyway, it's totally reasonable to think that one might be inviting trouble when one puts up signs, takes out an ad in the paper, and basically invites people to come rifle through one's belongings.

But what the hell.  I'm a sucker for a dime.

My first customer of the day on day one was not impressed with my selection.  He asked me approximately 457 times if I had any "antiquey stuff."  Then he would paw through a stack of women's clothing and grunt with displeasure.  Then he would ask me again for some "antiquey stuff."  I believe that he believed that if he kept asking I would finally give in and roll out the cart of old doorknobs and antique knives and vintage dishes that I had been keeping from him.  Sadly, we were both disappointed, and he left empty-handed.

Also pretty early in on day one I thwarted a shoplifting attempt.  At. My. Yardsale.  A lady was looking at a purse, which she put over her shoulder.  She proceeded to wander around looking at other things for a few minutes, then waved all friendly-like, said "thank you!" and headed back toward her car.  My retail background and excellent customer service came in very handy at this point.  I considered tackling her, but instead I chased after her asked quite politely "Would you like to buy that purse?"  She looked confused for a minute, but then she realized what she had done and came back to pay for it.  Dirty thief.

Several times over the course of the two days, people who knew each other bumped into each other.  My driveway was like a class reunion at one point.  Anyway, my favorite reunion was between two people who used to work together.  The, ahem, gentleman had apparently recently experienced a death in his family, which the lady had heard about.  She expressed her condolences, there was much crying, hugging and back patting, and then the gentleman launched into a 45 minute tale of how his family was arguing over the deceased person's possessions.  Apparently, just last week, his sister-in-law, who believed he was claiming more than his fair share, had thrown a brick through his car window.  Sure enough, it was covered in plastic and taped with duct tape...

One man brought his tiny little dog on a leash, and the dog growled at all my customers.

Approximately 57 people (give or take a few) would see something of interest, whip out a cell phone, and call someone else to describe the item in great detail, all the while asking me questions about it and relaying the information to the person on the phone.

Many, many, many people commented on how neatly I had my stuff displayed as they were messing it up...

Every single person who walked up wanted to talk about the weather.  I was a Farmer's Almanac of information by the end.

Next year when I clean out my closets, it's all going straight to Goodwill.


  1. WHAT? Did you not read my posts about consignment sales?? I know they have at least one in your area, and in my not so humble opinion, much less trouble and more money made than a yard sale.

  2. @ Dianna - I totally think you are right about the consignment sales and there is a big baby/kids one in E'town every year. However, 85% of what I sold was adult stuff (My fat butt is down a size - yay me!) and most of the kids stuff was in terrible condition... However, I put aside a few things that I'm going to stockpile for next year :)


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