Would you take 50 cents for this?
It’s yard sale season. You might know it as garage, tag, rummage, or everything-but-the-dog (well, okay, the dog, too) sale season.
I’m not a fan of these anything-above-40-degree events. Why? Because I’m involved in an all-weekend, community-wide yard sale this weekend. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me and I’d rather go to an insurance sales convention than prepare for and endure one of these “popular” pasttimes.
Buyers can be ruthless. They arrive at least one hour before the beginning of the sale and are peeved that I’m still in my PJs, trying to calm myself while pricing the last 50 itmes I didn’t get to when I called it quits at midnight. They scan your possessions with hawk-like accuracy, having watched every episode of Antiques Road Show and Pawn Stars. If they find something worthy to swoop in on, they feign disinterest. “Will you take 50 cents for this?” they offer, never speaking directly to me. “But it was my grandmother favorite urn and she’s still in it.” Patina is mentioned as if it’s supposed to mean something–a Russian urn expert, perhaps? “It’s not worth more than $1.00 and that’s my final offer.” “Okay?” Hey, I’m still half asleep and my grandmother had many favorite urns. They’re gone 45 minutes before the sale is supposed to begin. Okay, most buyers aren’t like this, but I remember these.
Other sellers make me look bad. Their shelves are organgized and labeled better than WalMart. They even have Friendly Associates to greet people an hour before the sale starts with coffee and homemake snacks. Everything they’re selling looks brand new. I think they went out and bought it at Walmart just for the yard sale. They have official cash boxes delivered by and Brinks Security trucks and can make change for a $2,000 bill. And they seem relaxed.
I don’t know the value of my stuff. Not true. I don’t care about the value as I am putting little yellow stickers on the sea of stuff that has become my living room. I will care when some astute yard-saler negotiates my grandmother’s urn down to 50 cents and it goes for $5,000,000 at a Sothebys auction. I’ll only know because some well-meaning friend who keeps abreast of these things will mention, “Hey, Lorna, I just read a story about a rare urn that can be traced back to Jesus. Didn’t you have an urn like that in your house?”
If you don’t hear much from me this week, now you know why. I’ll be sorting, spiffing up, pricing, and displaying the things that don’t fit in my life anymore. Hopefully most of my stuff will find a good home. If not, I hope the local Humane Society Thrift Shop has more room than I do.