Saturday, 20 August 2011

Four weeks: Day 6 -- Garage sale!

We did it; we had a garage sale.
Was it worth it? Uh, no, probably not. We made just $130. The sale lasted for four hours, as planned. Plus all the prep time buying change (no, we didn't need to do that, in hindsight); buying price-tag stickers and a fat marker and foam board (could have skipped all of that); making and posting signs (probably worth doing); and setting up (unavoidable).
Dollars for time, no, it wasn't worth it.
But did it get stuff out of our basement and into the rest of the world? Yes, oh yes!
Could I have done that without the garage sale? Sure. But would I have done so at the same pace? In all honesty, probably not.
I learned a few things.
If you're going to go to the trouble to make signs, make more than 4.  More signs probably would have meant more traffic. Our traffic was pretty light. In that regard, it might have been prudent to wait until September.
I also learned that price-tags are optional.
We priced everything in advance, which took a long time. Then I spent the first two hours of the sale worrying that the prices were too high. My husband and father-in-law said no.
Then my girlfriend and my mother-in-law showed up. They told me to take the price-tags off. While my mother-in-law was speaking from her church-sale experience, where profit is not a priority, my friend had just made $300 on her garage sale. So I took the price tags off.
We did sell almost everything, within our intended four hour period. And yet, perhaps my father-in-law was right; perhaps our asking prices were not too high. After all, had we started with lower prices we would not have sold any more things -- we sold almost everything as it was. Had we started with lower prices we would almost certainly have sold for less. So in the end, perhaps our asking prices were appropriate. And yet, if I did it again I would probably skip the price-tags, if only to save time.
Of course, I probably won't do it again.
Awesome thing: almost everything went.
We are left with the two "big-ticket" items, because we didn't want to let them go for low prices. A nearly-new tent, that's now listed on-line. And a cradle which, once we reassembled it, tugged at my heartstrings until I didn't want to let it go. It was the only child-related thing in our sale, and it didn't sell.
We are also left with one burden -- a big, heavy, scratched TV stand, which we literally tried to give away.
We sold everything else except for a handful of flower pots, books, etc., which my father-in-law took away to donate to the church bazaar.
The best "sale" of the day wasn't a sale at all -- it was someone taking our tube TV after I put a big "free" sticker on it. This saved us a drive to the dump and tipping fees. Sadly there is no market for a good quality, working, tube TV. Funny how perspectives change.
I was also very happy to receive $25 for two large, heavy framed pictures, which will look pretty in someone else's home.
Best of all, there's now so much room to move in our basement. 
There's still plenty of clutter to bust, but I am definitely on a roll.
We are grateful to two good friends who helped us out. I'm grateful that my mother-in-law didn't get too upset that we sold a vase she gave me for Christmas a few years ago. And I'm hoping that I didn't alienate everyone with my garage sale angst, in which case it really wouldn't be worth it at all. Oh, dear. I think I need to take another walk in that more-spacious basement now. 

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