Yes, after a couple of delays it really happened: Meghan, Leslie and I had our sale. It was really fun, and I am also really glad we got it over with.
I’d gotten my piles of stuff priced and ready to go about a month ago when we’d first planned to have it … then when we had to postpone it I just left everything in one big heap in my basement. Then a few days before the sale I got on a roll and gathered up a couple more boxes of goods. I really got re-motivated to get rid of stuff and I probably would have come up with even more if I hadn’t run out of time. (Not too worried about it; there’s always next time …)
Friday morning we crafted our Craig’s List ad (featuring the word “craptastic” and threatening early birds with steaming hot coffee poured down their pants). I had some hot-pink posterboard left over from our last sale so I made some signs. My 9-year-old niece was at our house and wanted to help, so she made some too, even though I just wrote about how kid-made signs can be a sign of a not-so-good sale. We put our signs up around the neighborhood on Friday night, proudly noting how much better ours were than everybody else’s.
I was planning to get over to Meghan’s house around 7:30 on Saturday morning, but it was closer to 8 when I actually got there. As we hauled all our stuff out to the yard, I started freaking out a little about how much we had, getting a little worried that we wouldn’t be able to get everything set up in just an hour. Thankfully we have done this so many times before that it actually went pretty smooth. We tried to keep things more or less in their own “departments,” like this purse area (and some of the clothes area) shown here.
There were a few early birds, but most of them were cool and backed off (or drove away) when we told them we weren’t ready yet. There were so many sales around that there wasn’t a huge gathering of vultures circling around ours. We did have a big freebox set up on one side of the yard to try and keep people entertained. By 8:45 about five or six people had gathered around, doing the thing where you kind of hang back on the sidewalk a couple feet away craning your neck out to try and scope out the goods without being too annoying. At that point we were more or less set up so we just decided we were open for business.
We had a little extra ambience from Meghan’s next-door neighbors, who were having an art show in their front yard. They had a few paintings up on easels and were just kicking back, waiting for someone to come by who just happened to feel like dropping a thousand bucks on one of them. No, I am not kidding. You can see the easels in the background here (this is about half the yard of our sale).
The neighbors were playing reggae music pretty loudly from a stereo they had for sale out front. This was a bit irksome. Meghan kept saying “I wish they weren’t crazy so I could ask them to turn that off.” I just kept thinking that as far as unasked-for music goes, it could have been a lot worse than middle-of-the-road reggae. Thankfully someone did buy the stereo after a couple of hours.
A lot of friends came by and kept us entertained (and even bought stuff) and we had a good stream of people coming through for the first few hours. We forgot to take an “after” picture, but I think we sold more than half of the stuff we’d put out. Around 12:30 we started slowing throwing more things into the freebox and by 1:30 we were actively packing stuff up, saving a scant few things for another sale or purpose but putting most of it out on the curb. It is always kind of funny to see people totally going nuts digging through a pile of free stuff and getting all excited about things that they never even would have considered buying for a quarter. (I’m not judging – I’ve been guilty of this myself plenty of times.)
After counting all our money (and trading a bit between ourselves for the stuff we bought from each other, of course!) I ended up with about $85, Meghan made about $200 (she always seems to make the most money at our sales) and I think Leslie had $65. If you divided my take by the time I spent preparing for and having the sale, was it worth it? It’s not a really great hourly rate of return, but it was worth it to me because I had fun, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, and I sent a lot of stuff off to good homes (or at the very least, out of my home).
On Sunday Meghan and I each took down some of our signs (because we are good yard-sale citizens) and I grabbed the dregs of the free pile to take to Goodwill. And now we are done! Until the next one, anyway …