Thursday, July 3, 2014

One Hot Mess, Vol. 9: The Yardsale

Let me tell you, there are few things more depressing than trying to sell your stuff.

I had diligently cleared out so much in the weeks preceding. I had been giving myself big, daily back pats for the solid effort that was I contributing to our family and our home and all that. I had even made some sacrifices. I had gotten rid of a few things I really loved, because they added to the clutter. A few small tables, a vintage sewing machine table, a sweet little children's school desk. I'm pretty sure the whole yard sale thing was mostly just me trying to compensate for dumping so many things I had paid actual money for and for tossing the few things I liked. My reward for all this hard work and these sacrifices would be a little cash in my pocket, and that would feel worth it. Perhaps I would even make a dent in the debt that is rugs. The damn rugs.

And so I got up bright and early and I hauled all my beloved junk to the lawn. And I made a sign and I sat in a lawn chair. In hindsight, I think one of the worst things about yard sales is the pricing. Because you impose make-believe value on all these things that you could have otherwise easily donated to the Goodwill for a small tax deduction. Suddenly, the box of old clothes that used to be worth $0 dollars is worth $5, the coffee table is worth $10, and that little vintage school desk with the pink desk top is worth $25 BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY IS and it used to be in your girls bedroom and all those memories!! And suddenly that pile of stuff is spread out on blankets in the sun and it's all worth so much. You even put little sticky tabs on each and every thing! With dollar signs! But then 4 people came. And the biggest sale of the day ($5***) was something that I wasn't even trying to sell but in my desperation sold it anyway. Let me tell you, it was not a smart/fun/fulfilling way to spend my entire Saturday.

At one point, Mary hauled most of the goods to the actual curb in hopes of drawing customers. A woman drove by and shouted "How much for the mirror?" "5 bucks," I said. And she literally threw her head back and laughed, "5 bucks for a mirror?!" as she sped off. UNCHILL.

 (Mary & Clemmy, curbside, washing the dust off of Christmas plates.)

Anyway, it was mostly really humiliating in a funny way, so don't feel too sorry for me. The children made $8 pawning their toys which was a whole $3 more than I made. I mean, if there is anything to feel sorry for me about, let it be that.



  1. Bummer. I never have that bad of luck with sales! :( Try Craigslist - you can list for free!

  2. This is why I am afraid to have a yard sale.

  3. My garage sales go a little something like that, too, every time. I'm not cut out for them, lol! My friend though...she takes it serious. It's not unusual for her to walk away with 500 bucks in her pocket. I joined her garage sale once and was able to make 70 bucks, but that's the extent of my luck with them, even if I do have quality stuff to sale! :D

  4. Yes! I had a depressing yard sale a month ago myself. It's such a let down, isn't it.

  5. I helped a friend who got profit hungry and lost sight of the fact that this was to get rid of things she no longer wanted. She had another friend to show up as security and he scared away half the people. Yard sales are such a mind game you play on yourself. That said, I always stop at them!

  6. Have you tried the FB garage sale groups? I have had a little success with them. Just look one up in your area. You just post a pic, and if you find a buyer, they pick it up! Almost ZERO work!