Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tackleboxes and Stickers and Sawhorses (oh my!)

So next weekend we are hoisting the giant metal door, dragging out the blue plastic tackle box that doubles for a cash register, lining the driveway with borrowed folding tables, and launching the weekend-long Bailey Boutique...otherwise known as a garage sale. We usually accumulate enough excess knick-knackery to justify a second-hand sidewalk shop every couple of years. If you've ever embarked on such an enterprise, you'll agree that it's a good deal of work. I think that sometime in the years in-between sales, I forget this tiny detail. Let me remind you that one week from today, I will be sitting in my garage, bartering with a frugal neighbor over the price of set of mismatched beer glasses. OK -- now ask me if I am even a quarter ready for this sale? Am I even sure where these beer glasses currently reside? Nope. I'm maybe 1/8th ready and that's just because John has placed his old camping/fishing gear on some shelves. Here are some of my current garage sale concerns.

* We don't have enough tables and may need to use sawhorses and an old door again. I didn't tell you this would be a classy sale, did I?

* Do I have enough stickers? Why did I spend ten minutes in the office supply aisle in Target trying to choose the "perfect" sticker? Colored or white, square or round, pre-marked or blank? Do garage sale patrons make purcasing choices based on sticker quality? Hmmm...

* How much cash will I need? Note to self: remember several years ago when you marked items odd amounts ($9.95!! But wait, there's more!) and you had no coins in the change box... In my case, the less math the better.

* Am I a callous friend because I am asking anyone who wants to add items to sell at my boutique to stay and work for a time or offer up a cut of their sales? As previously metioned, garage sales are hard work and mama needs some backup!

* Should I play music and if so, what kind? Songs about shopping might put people in the buying mood... maybe "Lost in the Supermarket" by The Clash. To avoid sticky fingers in the tackle/cash box I should probably avoid playing, "Take the Money and Run" by Steve Miller.

Lastly, I should probably actually do some sorting and pricing instead of writing about it. Hitch up the sawhorses!


  1. Having all that on your mind, I'll forgive you the typos in your post. ;-)

  2. Ha! Thanks for the catch. John is usually my proodreader and he is out of town this weekend. I fixed the errors, but have still done nothing toward the sale.... ;)

  3. You are a brave woman Angie. We've only hosted a few garage sales and I agree, the workload and mental stress are immense! Prep is important, but we simplify by not pricing things individually: instead put things on tables that say "Everything on this table $1 etc...). The only problem with this strategy is that you may need to remember what is on which table ;-). The more expensive stuff, of course, we priced individually.

    As for music, perhaps play subliminals with honesty affirmations? "I am honest." "I don't steal." "I pay for what I need and want."

    I"m suggesting this because at our last garage sale we had an entire family come in (grandma included). While a young girl diverted my attention at one end of the yard sale, grandma was filling her white shopping bags with goodies from the tables. I didn't say anything, thinking she was collecting everything at once and would pay us when they left. The trouble was... by the time I finished talking with the granddaughter, grandma was already half way down the street with the full bags of loot (I mean VERY full... and good stuff too)! What did I do? Nothing. I figured if they were stealing from a YARD sale things must be VERY bad for them.

    What bothered me was the bad example the elders were setting for their children and grandchildren, and the way they were using them. The really sad thing was I'd probably have given them all that stuff for a song... But I digress :-) .

    I'm sending my best thoughts for a successful and stress free sale! Oh, and I don't think it's too much to ask for back up for Mama!! Perhaps have them think of it as consignment duties...



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