How to Plan a Maine Yard Sale
So I’m working at the A&P on Thursday, when I overhear a conversation between Amy Plourde and Stephanie Jackson that went something like this:
“How’d your yard sale go last weekend?” Amy asks.
“What a waste of time!” Stephanie replies. “First, we spend all day Friday getting ready. Then, we get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and haul it out to the driveway, while people with big vans and pick-ups cruise back and forth like sharks, waiting for us to set up.”
“Yeah, a lot of ‘em dealers! When they finally park and get out of their trucks, (leaving them running, mind you), they strut around like crows, picking stuff up, looking it over, then shaking their heads and putting it back down.”
“Oh, those early birds are tough!”
“Tell me about it! We thought the furniture would get snatched up quick. But no, we waited forever for a sale. First thing to go? A life size plastic lobster, for a dollar.”
“Jeez, rough start.”
“Honest to God! They wanted it for the lobster trap they got out in their yard. Guess their old one bit the dust. The guy tells me he puts a fishing line on it, hides in the bushes and then, when his grandkids go over to look at it, he pulls the line and makes the lobster wiggle. ‘Scares the bejesus out of ‘em! he says.’”
“Gotta admit, Steph, that is pretty funny!”
“In retrospect, yeah. But at that point, I wasn’t feeling all that charitable. By 10:30, we were starting to get mighty discouraged.”
“How late were you plannin’ to go?”
“Ouch! And it never picked up?”
“There was a steady trickle in the morning, but from twelve on, it was like a graveyard. At a quarter to 2:00, I told my husband, ‘I’ve had it! Go pick up the signs, and I’ll start packing everything up.’”
“So you had a lot of stuff left?”
“Two cars worth! We filled up the mini-van and the Outback. Thank God, they were nice at Goodwill. Came out and helped us unload everything. Glad to have it.”
“Well, at least you got rid of the stuff.”
“Oh, we kept a couple of the bigger things: desk, a bookcase. Going to sell those on Craig’s List, which is what we should of done in the first place. When we got home I says to my husband, you and I are taking a blood oath to never have a yard sale again.”
“Don’t blame you, Steph. Did you make any money?”
“Oh, hundred and thirty-five dollars! Can you believe it? All that prep, cleaning the stuff, pricing it, making signs, puttin’ ‘em up, haulin’ the stuff out, unpackin’ it, then packin’ it up again a few hours later. It just wasn’t worth our time!”
Wow, poor Stephanie. What a saga! Listen, I know a thing or two about yard sales. I’ve given you tips on how to have a successful yard sale over the years, but I’ve never really talked about the mental game.
Here’s the deal: If you actually think you’re going to make enough money havin’ a yard sale to justify the time you spend doin’ one, you’re delusional. Ain’t gonna to happen.
But if you think, I’m gonna to clean and declutter my house. (I don’t know about you, but that’s something I don’t usually get paid for!) Then I’m going to put it out in my driveway, see what I have, meet a few nice people, chat with my neighbors, maybe give some stuff away, all while nibbling on things I like to eat. (Warning: no yard sale should be attempted without chocolate!) Then I’m going to pack what’s left into my car and make a nice donation to Goodwill. Oh, and while I’m doing this, I find $135. Wow! Enough for Charlie and me to have a night on the town and then some. That, in my opinion, is a great day!
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
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