HTT: How To Garage Sale

So this weekend I got invited to help out with my sister-in-law's garage sale.

It was one of those cool neighborhood things where a bunch of houses put up stuff for sale.

I can only assume it was everything I should have expected it to be, because . . . well . . . I'd never actually done one before.

I've been to a few. Those college years when you're looking for something to help keep your 32" off the floor, but that was the old days when you couldn't mount it to the wall. When I see garage sales I usually take a quick glance to see if there are any funky looking instruments that I can add to my collection, but when I do it always turns out that I already have one of those, or I didn't bring any cash with me.

I never bring any cash with me.

If you steal my wallet, the best you're gonna get is my Safeway Club Card, and since I hate Safeway, it doesn't have enough points on it to remove more than a few pennies off the gallon at the gas pump.

But . . . you know . . . beggars can't be choosers.

Anyway . . . it was an interesting morning and I thought I'd share a few insights for today's How To Tuesday.

First: People like to show up early for these things. And the logic is sound. Most of the good stuff is going to be gone before 8:45am, so this is not a Black Friday for late risers. I got to the party around 8:56 and it was pretty clear everything had already been picked over by some very discriminating eyes and my poor sister had that wide-eyed adrenaline look of a Starbuck's barista after a frappaccino rush.

Second: No matter how big the pile of clothes, women will go through each item, hold it up, tilt their head, and drop it back down in the pile. Every single woman under 65 went through that pile in just the same manner.

Every single one.

The older ones clearly didn't have time for such frippery. They were after table cloths and fondu sets.

Now . . . I don't know about you . . . but I have never been enticed by a pile of clothes.

When I see a pile of clothes (that's not of my own making of course) I just assume that a homeless person died, or my wife got distracted while folding laundry.

Neither example do I want any part of.

So, without much fan-fare, I am now ready to define the biggest difference between a man and a woman.

A woman will pick through a pile of clothes.

A man will not.

Not ever.

Third: People will actually steal things.

Sounds crazy right? I mean who steals a $2.00 official lanyard from Disneyland? But there you go. And I know exactly who did it. It was the gal who was looking at the lanyard, asked how much it was, actually bought $7.00 worth of placemats and table cloths, which I could only assume she slid the lanyard under the fold, and then walked away.

When she was gone . . . no lanyard.

However . . . since I have no real attatchment to such things . . . I could only smile and assume Karma will take care of the rest.

and speaking of attatchment:

Fourth: This isn't a swap meet, consignment store, or Ebay.

You're selling things under the assumption that people will pay you actual money to remove things from your lawn.

You're not selling things for a profit. You're not offering good deals on repectable items. You're litterally DONE with these things and would like to shorten your trip to the dump.

I saw the guy across the street trying to haggle a chest of drawers that he had priced at $50 and the woman wanted to give him $40 and he wouldn't take it.

I could just see the motor in his head doing the math. He had probably purchased it for $300 ten years ago, spent six or seven hours putting it together, and had moved it lovingly to three different homes and he just couldn't see himself dropping the price any lower then $50.

Me . . . I would've said . . . "SOLD and I'll help you load it in the car!"

Things got a little tense when I cut the price of a plastic playschool set of shelves with only minor damage from $30 to $15.

The set sold in exactly 5 minutes.

I promised my sister that if she was concerned about it, I'd happily give her $15 just so I wouldn't have to carry those pieces back into the garage. She let it drop, but only under the promise that I make her dinner and get her really drunk sometime this week.

Also, there was a video game/laser gun combo that every kid under twelve zeroed in on. My nephew, god bless him, priced the combo at $25 because he had looked for it online and found that it was going for $50 used on Amazon.

He felt confident that a 50% reduction in price would move the item quickly. It seemed perfectly reasonable. Fair. A good deal in fact.

Despite being the number one item on every family's perusal list, it never sold.

I have a sinking suspicion that my son will ask to borrow it, it will be played with for exactly 14 minutes and 28 seconds before ending up on the floor and eventually finding it's way into his closet.

At least it's not heavy.

All in all . . . the sale was a pretty good success. They almost made their $goal, lots of the stuff that I thought would never go . . . went . . . and we had a good time.

In fact, there was one item that I had my eye on, a tiny unglazed ceramic tea-pot that is used in japanese tea ceremonies, which was offered for free as we loaded things back into the house.

I'm kinda a tea expert, and love that shit, but I don't drink japanese tea cause it tastes like grass clippings and cotton mouth. So I let the pot be her problem for now.

Though, since I'm writing about it, it's still clearly on my mind.

It's a good thing she wasn't selling her congas.

I don't have any of those.

Anyway, if you are gonna put on a garage sale, get up early, price to sell, let karma do it's thing with jerks, and remember that a pile of clothes is like catnip to females who are still producing estrogen.

Still makes my head hurt though.

Girls are weird.

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