Friday, August 31, 2012

Hey Mister, Ya Wanna Buy a Duck?


"SPECIAL DEAL":"Barely used television set formerly owned by a little old lady with weak eyes. These few words began my descent into the lure of garage sales." 

Since then, if a sign reads FIRE SALE or ONLY ONE TO A CUSTOMER, I am hooked. Today I bought five snow tires for the price of 6 but it came with a picture of snow. Because of this weakness my own garage is overflowing with other people’s discards. The stuff is actually next to my car which is on blocks next to the broken refrigerator and the malnourished goat running wild. I myself will have to have a sale to get rid of my terrific finds. 

From my previous experiences, I have some advice if you, too, want to get rid of junk-oops-treasures.
  • In the beginning…buy a house with a garage. Unpack what you can. Leave the rest for when you have time. This will never happen. Immediately you’ll have valuable items to sell at a later date.
  • Check newspapers for patio and probate listings. 
  • After your partner screams at you for buying another piece of crap, you can put it away for your own big sale. Some other lady will love it. Her partner will be furious thus you can attend their divorce sale, buy back your stuff plus theirs.
Advertising is essential. Place signs on utility poles outdoors, not on your bedroom one, unless you have a lot of traffic.
  • Be sure to print in bold letters TOPLESS SALE. It will bring an abundance of people with mustaches and some men, too. That headline is not a lie. Surely you have empty jars and pots without covers.
  • A description of the object must entice the customer. 
Example: the backless broken chair with three remaining QUEEN ANN legs can be turned upside down and then offered as a genuine antique “Bagel Server” from a Queen’s Estate to be used for special events.
Leave one item unmarked. When asked the price, say “IT IS NOT FOR SALE”. People will plead. Stand your ground. They’ll hound you.
  • “I’ve just driven from Argentina for the sale."
  • They will claim “their astrological prediction for this day insists they purchase a leek-green loveseat like yours, lest they come to a dire end”.
  • Wait a beat… then relent and sell it to them for a ridiculously high price. 
This helpful information is culled from my own experiences. I fell for all of the above, so you are learning from someone knowing the ecstasy of being a customer at every flea sale where I actually bought fleas, and the agony of not being able to find room for another “find” unless I asked my kids to move. It is not an easy decision since they are only in their forties.

I love yard sales. I’m going to scour the ads because

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