September 21, 2008

Thoughts on Yardsales

Our collective household hosted a huge yard sale yesterday. Our house is located in a primo yardsale location, at the intersection of two major roads. With just eight signs posted and one listing on we had a tremendous turnout and off-loaded over 50% of our stuff.

Selling your things is always a reality check on taste. I kept looking at my stuff (I only had a few things for sale since I have so few posessions) and thinking, "wow, I have good taste." When people purchased my things I noticed they did so in bulk. Hardly anyone walked away with just one of my items, they always had at least two. That tells me that we have the same taste good and the items were going to good homes.

My housemate Jessica, Stacey's sister, was so funny when it came to pricing. People would hold up items and call across to her (she was sitting a safe distance away on the front steps), "how much?" She would take a good 30 seconds on every item, looking up at the sky, biting her lip, shrugging her shoulders and then coming up with a price. Stacey and I held our breaths each time as we hoped the process would quicken. But no, this was a historic exploration for Jessica. She was running through all the memories of the piece, where it came from and how much she still liked it. This process was particularly amusing to one customer who was charged $1 for old flipflops and 50 cents for a new frame. "How come the pricing seems reversed, wouldn't you charge more for the new frame?" No, said Jessica, "I still like the flipflops but I don't care about the frame."

The whole day was easy going. Easy setup, friendly customers, fast cleanup and a quick trip to Good Will with our leftovers. That's key. You have to bag up the stuff and take it away immediately, otherwise you start to have sentimental feelings and hold on to it. What I noticed about my stuff was last-in, first-out. I was happy to sell items I had just recently purchased. Hum. Commitment issues?