Just about every year, Meghan and I have a yard sale — we’ve blogged about many of them. Last year we did it at my house and in that post I outlined some of the things that always seem to happen when we have a sale. This year definitely fit that mold, especially regarding the weather anxiety — we’d actually planned to have it the weekend before but decided to cancel when the forecast seemed iffy. Unfortunately, the forecast was just as bad for last Saturday. At about 6:30 AM on Friday Meghan put out a desperate cry for help on Facebook, asking if anyone had a canopy we could borrow. By about 6:45 a friend had replied and by 7:30 we were at his house picking it up. Crisis averted!
Even with the canopy we were wigging out a bit early on Saturday when it started pouring, but that tapered off and by the time we started setting up around 8:00 it was down to a light drizzle. This year we held the sale in front of Meghan’s neighbors’ house — we decided we needed a buffer zone between us and her crazy neighbors on the other side. The early rain delayed setup a bit and we were still not even close to open when 9:00 was growing near. We had to turn away a few early birds, although we were polite (as opposed to what we stated in our ad, something to the extent of not even acknowledging anyone’s existence prior to 8:45 AM). I did tell Annoying Jewelry Guy that I didn’t think we had any jewelry, even though I knew we actually did. (I felt pretty good about that until he came back later anyway!) Eventually we let people start to dig, even though we were still getting everything unpacked.
Meghan had kept saying how much stuff she was putting in the sale, and I even saw some of it at her house ahead of time, but I still wasn’t prepared for the sheer quantity. There was so much stuff and a lot of it was serious catch and release activity. Basically if you looked at the last couple of years’ worth of trunk shots and divided by half, that was a good chunk of our sale. She even decided to part with the Instant Pussycat Mix.
I was laughing at all the stuff she had in the sale that she had gotten from me at previous sales. There was a ’60s pitcher and drinking glass set that I think I put in a moving sale maybe eight or nine years ago, and now it was back. To be fair, I also had stuff in the sale that I had gotten from her in days gone by. I think there were shoes that may have passed back and forth a couple of times.
Somewhere along the line Meghan had also acquired a clothes hanging rack, which was awesome. This is something we hadn’t had at a sale in a while. We still had a lot of things laid out on the ground, but it was great to be able to hang up some of the nicer items.
This wedding dress was too long for the rack though. We had to find a home for it on a nearby tall branch.
I hadn’t managed to get a lot of stuff together for the sale — way less than one full carload. I know I could have come up with more, but I just ran out of time. Some years it is just like that.
Sadly, many items that I personally thought were awesome did not sell. Like this hi-larious toilet seat cover.
I do think that I had a moment of weakness while pricing, where I thought “I always price stuff too low. Some of this is good. I should up the prices a bit and see what happens.” You know what happened? That shit was still sitting there at the end of the day. Next time I am going back to make-everything-go-away pricing.
But I don’t think it was just the prices. We had a decent turnout, but it just didn’t seem like as many people as we usually get. We weren’t sure why, and then someone mentioned that they had gotten stuck behind the Fremont Solstice parade painted naked bike riders, who were setting up about a mile down the road. They start from a different place every year (we got caught up in their path while hitting sales a few years back) and this time they picked our neighborhood. Great! Karl even ran into them after leaving our sale and texted me this picture.
At least we weren’t screwed as bad as some friends of Meghan’s who were having a sale right across the street from their starting point — they said they had almost no shoppers.
One thing that we’ve never really had at a sale before was a big stash of ’60s men’s magazines. Meghan kept referring to the table of “vintage porn” so I decided it needed a label.
About ten minutes after making that, some guy bought the whole lot.
Some woman came by not long after that, saying she was hoping to find a father’s day present for her husband. I made a joke about the vintage porn already being sold. I don’t think she thought that was as funny as I did. She also passed on my other suggestions (including a box of decrepit video gaming stuff, vintage beer cans, and some men’s swim trunks).
Around 10:30 AM my husband brought my daughter over to sell cookies. She also had some of her old toys in the sale, and did pretty well. I think she ended up making more than I did! Once the treats were pretty much gone she amused herself by putting a price sticker on my car.
We had a bunch of friends stop by, which is always fun. Some of them even bought stuff! But around 12:30, we started putting more and more items into the free pile. It started to attract quite the crowd.
By 1:30 or so we had packed up a few things that were just too good to put in the free pile (which we will probably regret later) but had put most of it on the curb. It was really insane and Meghan bitched a little about how she had probably given several hundred dollars of stuff away. (She made almost $300 at the sale though, so all in all, I think it worked out.)
We left to grab some lunch. An hour later most of that was still there, so I put another ad on Craigslist saying “OMG so much free stuff come and get it.” I came back around 8:00 and it was down to a few boxes. Among the remains: the Instant Pussycat mix. I couldn’t let that go to Goodwill, so I rescued it. The odds are pretty good that it will end up in our next sale.