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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Yard Sale Musings

So I had a few commenters from my Friday post acting rather surprised that I would whip together a yard sale in less than 24 hours.  Well, this leads me to believe that yard sales are handled differently in different parts of the country.  In these them parts of West Los Angeles, yard sales can and often do happen in the spur of the moment.

Short on cash for your morning latte?  Throw a quick yard sale!

Need on few bucks to pay this month's gas bill?  Open your garage and let a few things fall out on the lawn.

You get the idea.

Every single weekend in my neighborhood there are people cruising around looking for yard sale deals.  Our street is actually quite popular for yard sale looky-loos so I know that without any planning or advertising, I can get a nice stream of traffic to my junk sale.

Which makes me think if there are any yard sale techniques I can apply to this blog as to get a nice stream of traffic here on a Saturday morning....hmmmm. Maybe throw a virtual yard sale?? That's a thought.

Moving ON....

I woke up Saturday morning earlier than usual so I could open the garage, set up a table and throw out some crap.  Wouldn't you know there was another sale going on down the street so I didn't even need to post any signs.  Brilliant.

Before I could even drag out an old lampshade to its place on the display table, there were cars pulling up and people streaming out. (Yeah, maybe that's what this lil' blog needs, a lampshade.) My neighbor actually came out and saw the lampshade and said "Why are you getting rid of this?  It's so cute!"

And you know what?  It IS cute!  But you can't get all emotional when it comes to yard sales.  I've learned that the hard way.  Which is a story for another time.

This impromptu sale wasn't the biggest sale I've ever had.  This was, for all intensive purposes, a pretty small sale.  And I knew that. I wasn't making any excuses.  I wasn't claiming this was the be all and end all of yard sales.  It was a few piles of crap that had somehow wiggled their way into my heart over the years.  But as we all know, one man's trash is another man's treasure so I KNEW this stuff would sell.

As I continued setting up, people would walk up the driveway and ask, "Do you have any tools?" "Do you have any stereo equipment?" "Do you have any TV's?" "Do you have any musical instruments?" "Do you have any jewelry?"  

Well, my answer to all of these questions this time was "No."  There was not a high-dollar item in sight.  Folks were polite when they walked away but I could see their disappointment.  Scoring high-dollar items for cheap is what makes these "yardies" tick.  

One particular woman walked in, surveyed my crap and stood at the front of my garage peering in hoping I would pull out the entire garage for her to sift through. She stood with her arms outstretched and looked around at the stuff I had pulled out and said "Is this all? Is this ALL you HAVE??"

"Yes," I replied.

"Well, then, you got NOTHING!  You got NOTHING!" she exclaimed. And with that she turned around, shook her head in disgust and walked away.

Funny thing is, I felt a little "hurt" when she called my stuff "nothing." It was far from nothing to me.  Some of this crap was actually tough to part with.  But you know what? My "nothing" earned me around $110 in about 3 hours of work! That made the "hurt" go away a little quicker.  I'm sure if I told her what I made, she would've thought twice about insulting my crap. I'd go as far to say she probably would've wanted my "nothing" if she knew she could make $110 off of it!

Overall, I say not bad at all for a last minute yard sale.  Wouldn't you agree?

As you know, I'm heading out to Jackson Hole for a little hang with an old college soccer girlfriend from my USC days.  Three days, three nights alone sans kids.  So I have some friends helping me out this week with posting.  Check it out.  There's some good stuff to discover.  My $110 will go nicely towards my drinking money. Just as I had planned.


  1. Woo hoo for you Lee! That be plenty of drinkin' moolah!

    Have fun and a terrific time! We'll be missing you and waiting for your return with lots of embarrassing stories to share with us!

    heh heh

  2. Good for you!

    That woman is a BAD shopper. And rude, too.

  3. i like the idea of the virtual yard sale.

    you are going to have such a great time. don't forget to come back to us!

    nice work on the yard sale. i remember during one of mine, a big fight between the man that found the pants to the velour adidas sweat suit and the woman that had her hands on the jacket. i think i ended up getting more than what i had paid for it originally!

  4. Eh we're suckers for yard sales. We've been on the way to an appointment that we're already late for... stopped, turned around, went back to the yard sale on the outside chance that they've thrown Grandpa's Gibson out on the pile and stuck 10 bucks on it.

    So far they haven't.

    Congratuals on your liver lubricating fund.


  5. Have a wunnerful time drinking!

  6. My brother's inlaws are "yardies" they go every SAT weather permitting, not to mention they would take my nephew whenever he was around.

    Well now he gets my bro & sis(inlaw) to take him. He finds stuff & then sells it on ebay, and what's best he actually saves some of it, so he can help pay for his college when he gets there. (he's just tuned 13)

    Oh & happy drinking, but I do hope you will be skiing too??

  7. Brilliant! I have only had one garage sale in my life and I worked on the darn thing quite awhile. I'm having one with my subdivision in April andmaybe I'll take your approach!

  8. Have a great ladies vaca! They are the best! And Jackson Hole nonetheless...I am jealous! Have fun boozing it up with the gals! :)
    ps don't forget the know buzzed photo's are on tops of must have photo's lists!

  9. So impressed. Is it because you live in a big town, do you think? I could work both Friday AND Saturday ALL DAY and maybe clear $50. With TONS of crap! I'm hauling my junk to LA the next time I need some cash.

  10. OMG...I am so impressed with your yard sale! Have fun in Jackson Hole...I am so jealous:D


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