I’ve started several posts recently, but my brain activity is too random and unfocused to string sentences together. If you cracked open my skull to look for brains, you would find only a disorganized swirly jumble of the the following words:
New house PACKING sod and sprinklers ONE MILLION DOLLARS mortgage approval furniture chocolate LIGHT FIXTURES puppy fence Benjamin caramel doctor appointments PUPPY moving truck new socks CLOSING DATE Ellie’s molars cheese sticks grocery list BLINDS AND TOWEL BARS The Daddy’s birthday water meter township taxes PAINT COLORS appliances carpet cleaner rental agreement and a small sign that reads BRAINS NO LONGER LIVE HERE.
The good news is, our garage sale went really well, far better than I had expected. True, setting up the thing was miserable; I was out there for hours, hemming and hawing and moving things around, but in the end it was pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself. I had things set up in zones – there was a baby stuff zone, a toy zone, a mysterious manly hardware-type-stuff zone, a clothing zone, etc. I held the sale with my friend, and we felt quite smug on Friday morning when we had an initial rush of customers. But then it rained. We managed to entertain ourselves by buying each other’s stuff, which isn’t really the best way to optimize earnings. Then we got hungry, so we spent the rest of the morning’s profits on having lunch delivered. We couldn’t go inside and MAKE lunch, silly – what if a herd of demanding customers came?
In my garage sale ad, I had said that if you came to the sale and told me a joke, I’d give you a discount. People were intrigued by this offer, and I heard quite a few jokes. Quality varied, however, and I’ve forgotten most of them. One was about an elderly couple sharing a single pair of dentures at a restaurant – I remember that one. The best were the jokes that kids told me, because I could tell they had practiced on the way over. Ellie likes to tell this old standard, with a twist all her own that she thought up at the playground:
“Mama, why did the chicken cross the road?”
“To get to the other SLIDE!”
*collapses in giggles*
See there, how my mind just wanders off topic, willy nilly? We were talking about the garage sale, and now I’m telling you about Ellie writing her own jokes. I’ve really got to keep it together. Speaking of keeping it together, did you hear about the leper who laughed his head off? (Yeah, I remembered THAT one.)
Anyway: Things didn’t really pick up until the second day. Shoppers were confused by my off-the-wall strategy, which was to agree to whatever price they suggested, then lower it and throw in extra stuff. It would go like this:
“How much for this stroller?”
“What do I have it marked at…$15?”
“Yeah. Will you take $10?”
“Absolutely! And I’ll throw in that baby blanket too.”
“Oh…well, thanks! I’m also thinking about this baby gym.”
“Sure thing! I’ll give you the stroller, blanket, and baby gym for $7.”
“So I get all three things for $7? I thought we started at $10???”
“We sure did…tell all your friends!”
I considered it a volume discount. My goal was to get the stuff out of my garage, and for the most part it worked. Despite my pre-sale angst, I really liked holding the sale. I got to sit outside all day and chat with interesting people who told me jokes. AND I made around $350, even with my loosey goosey “sales strategy.”
One thing that surprised me was that none of my kids’ Halloween costumes went. I was selling them for two dollars. TWO DOLLARS. These are nice costumes, too – I don’t skimp on Halloween. For example, look at this picture of Benjamin in his very first costume when he was four months old:
You said, “Awwww!” didn’t you? If you didn’t, you’re dead inside and should seek counseling immediately. But really, TWO DOLLARS. How is it possible that no one bought this freakin’ adorable fish costume? On the first day I was cool about it, but on the second day, I started pleading with people to please, PLEASE, think of Halloween, think of the children, get an early start, don’t you know anyone who needs a costume for their baby or young child? Perhaps the crazed look in my eye drove them away. One lady humored me and tried to contact her friend by both phone and text, but alas, no luck. Her “friend” intently ignored her, which in my opinion is her loss. Hmph.
Anyway, want a fish costume? $2. And if you buy two, I’ll give you both for $1. And I’ll throw in a waffle iron and a subwoofer. Tell all your friends!