Thursday, May 22, 2008

Online Yard Sale

I'm not a big yard sale guy...never really stopped at one, and never had the inclination to hold one. My Grandma loves yard fact, most of my Christmas presents growing up came from one. I still remember fondly my "New Kids On the Block picture book" when I was 17. My better half pretty much feels the same as I do. It's far too much work and bother for to spend an entire Saturday for 78 bucks.

BUT---last summer there was an event called a "neighborhood yard sale." For the uninformed (which I was), this is where many of you and your neighbors each have a yard sale. Supposedly it brings more business from the yard saler shoppers, as they can hit many sales in one shot. (From now on, I'll refer to them as GOATS--Garage and Outdoor Aficionado Thrift Shoppers)
My wife thought it might be an easy way to get rid of a few items that we didn't use/need....and after much discussion, she talked me into it. I told her that I wasn't going to sit out there all day, and if someone wanted to "dicker" on the price, that she would have to take care of that.

From this experience I learned a few things about GOATS. They wake up at roughly 3:30AM in preparation of hitting the best sales 15 minutes before they actually open. This is in hopes of finding a new cat porcelain statue to add to their collection.
GOATS are never happy with the price displayed. I don't know why anyone puts a reasonable price on an item they are selling, because they will be offered roughly half the price every time. I'm convinced that you could put a hundred dollar bill for sale for 75 bucks!! You would then promptly be offered 40 dollars, or 50 dollars if you throw in the handful of stuff they've found in your sale.
GOATS have no shame. This is a true story, and very embarrassing to all involved. Last summer, on a Saturday (not neighborhood yard sale day), we were cleaning out our garage. Bikes, boxes, kids toys, lawn tools, etc. were all strewn haphazardly across the grass and driveway. As I was sweeping, a car stopped in front of our house. A lady came out of the car, and casually started opening boxes and going through all our items. I was so morbidly embarrassed, I went into the backyard to let my wife deal with the fallout. Needless to say, the lady was embarrassed, my wife was embarrassed...terrible. So, we decided to to clean up as fast as we this wouldn't happen again. Well---it did. Another car stopped shortly after. They at least had the decency to ask if we were having a yard sale before driving off sheepishly. (Or GOATishly)
Anyhow...after dickering with the GOATS on items such as "remix of 73 disco hits", baby clothes, and other useless items...I think we made under 50 dollars. That was completely not worth any of the effort I went through.
I now have the rule that I will not sell anything for under 50 dollars. It's not worth mine nor their time to complete the transaction.

But---I have been using an avenue for years that cuts out the GOATS. (I thought) Craigslist is one of the greatest inventions on the Internet today. I won't describe it in detail, but basically it's a free local classified ad web-site. It's awesome...especially in larger cities where many items are posted every day.
I've bought and sold on their for years. But recently, as more GOATS have gotten Internet's going south. It doesn't matter what I sell, or what I ask in the price--the person who comes to buy the item will always want to offer me roughly half what I'm asking---just to see if I'll take it. It's almost like Craigslist has turned into a hook-up site for GOATS. I sold a truck for a good price on Craigslist. I had multiple offers--sight unseen--the first day. Well, the guy who got there first was so upset when my wife wouldn't come down on the price. (I wasn't home from work yet) I almost kicked his GOAT-butt.

Will I have a yard sale again?? No. There are people who need my donations far more than I need 78 dollars and a GOAT headache. And we're still working on getting the internet and electricity hooked up in my town, so many here haven't discovered Craigslist yet.


boisebyufans said...

Never tried Craig's List, but I made $16.00 at that neighborhood garage sale!! You did much better than I did. Is this a secret blog because I have had to read practically every update to figure out that it is really you. Dan thinks I'm an idiot because he says it was obvious. Tell your family hi from us!!

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