The big garage sale extravaganza is over. After 3 weekends of hard labor to prepare the merchandise and stage all of our glorious crap, the big day finally arrived. Sister and I took a vacation day on Friday so we would be completely ready to face the crowds of bargain hunters on Saturday.
We advertised this as "the garage sale of the century" and the bargain hunters arrived in droves. Sister and I were dressed in proper attire for the event. You have to be easily identifiable as the bosses if you're going to make the best deals and the most money. Sissy and I exuded an "in charge" vibe with a touch badass thrown in, if I do say so myself. We were decked out in jeans, old concert t-shirts, cowboy hats and fanny packs. Ok, maybe we looked more like tourists from Texas, but people got it that we were running the show.
The customers dove into our merchandise and had arm loads of goodies in no time. It was amazing. You'd think we were giving it away for free. Actually, that is a pretty close to what they wanted to pay. One of the hottest items were the dozens of extra-plush, nearly new, (freshly washed) terry cloth bath towels. These weren't ours. We have a friend who's aunts neighbor died and she had a closet full of really deluxe towels in different color palettes that she would change around to suit her mood. We agreed to sell her stuff and take a cut of the proceeds. Every two minutes someone would hold up a towel and ask "how much?". "Two dollars each", I would reply thinking about what a great deal that was for such nice towels. Anyway, the reply from the prospective towel purchasers was always the same. "One dollar" and it was a statement, not a question. I was advised by many customers that they sell bath towels at Wal-Mart for only $2.50, so our towels were overpriced. I have watch too much QVC to let them get away comparing those towels with our fabulous, luxurious, dead-lady towels. I sprung into action and held up one of our towels then wrapped it around me to show how large they were. I then challenged them to feel the sumptuous thickness. I had to do this demo a bunch of times during the day, but we got two bucks for every one of those damn towels.
Garage sale customers are a breed of their own. One thing you can be sure of when you have one of these sales is that you will go through a laundry list of emotions. You will feel charmed, annoyed, sentimental, pissed off and amused. The folks that come to these things range from those who truly need basic household items, to the swap meeters who resell your junk, to recyclers who love other peoples used stuff to nut cases who don't need anything but love bargains. It is that latter philosophy that got sister and I into our current situation. Oh yeah, there's also the scrap gold guys who come around, look at your costume jewelry through a loop and leave in a huff. Love those jerks. One man even asked me if there was any real gold on the table. He was too lazy to look! I couldn't resist; I told him, in my best blonde "Clueless" voice, that I had just sold the bag of stuff that had 14k on it to someone who was just here. He left in a double huff.
Then there are the people who pretend they don't speak English. I had one lady who brought me a pile of clothes, many still brand new, and wanted to know the price for all. I counted out 25 hangers that I took from her. I was calculating in my head and trying to be fair. Even though the tags were still hanging off much of it, this stuff doesn't fit us and neither sister nor I are going to slim down 10 lbs to be able to wear any of it. That was the original plan. "Twenty dollars for everything," I said with a smile, thinking that she would be over the moon excited about all those new clothes for so little money. "Too much," she said with a scowl. She then flashed all the money she had, $15, and tried to get me to take it. I could see that she was playing me, so I made her take out some items and I took her money. She came back later and bought the other stuff. I felt triumphant as a business person. Then she pulled out a bag with two items from the first round that she wanted to exchange. Who does that? I let her. By then I was exhausted. She won.
There were so many neighborhood residents who came and told us how amazing our sale was. We sold lots of things to locals who will give our treasures a good home. We made a lot of people happy and all in all it was a very fun day. We got rid of so much stuff. Was it worth it? Was it a success?
Well, we made an impressive four figures. The pile of garage sale inventory is infinitely smaller, covered up and ready to go for when we do it one more time next month. My sister has her garage back and her car is happy. I need to mention that the friend that was going to help us bailed on us and we had to hire a helper. Also, after three weekends of manual labor our old bodies were in pretty bad shape, so we each had a long massage on Sunday. We were too tired to cook, so we ended up eating out most of the time for the last three weeks. So, was it a success? Hell yes! We made a little money and got rid of a ton of things we don't use. Best of all was that the two sisters got spend time together. We didn't whistle while we worked, but we yakked up a storm. We talked about everything and everyone and planned out all the great fun we're going to have in this life. And don't tell anyone, but each of us got to buy some fantastic things that we couldn't live without. The dead lady didn't just leave nice towels.