The Pendulum Swung

Whereas yesterday was a wet, soggy day, today was a day of redemption weather wise and activity wise. Hundreds of people ventured forth down the driveway to the ‘big, awesome sale’. As a result, more stuff went back down that driveway toward their cars, bicycles and backpacks.  The weekend finished on a very strong note. Overall several thousand pieces of ‘merchandise’ were sold, some donated or gifted and great contacts established with ‘dealers’ ‘collectors’ or people who said ‘I know someone who loves this kind of stuff’. One interesting character buys in Oregon on a grand scale and transports it to California to resell at a price he figures is worth the transport South. Regulars seem likely given their frequency of visiting the site.

As Team members worked ‘the floor’ and wrapped purchases and bagged them for customers, myself and another Team member tore into the two out buildings holding a lot of stuff (a shed and the erected large canopy/TP). Boxes were searched and articles wrapped in old newspapers (1960’s) were assessed for immediate display (in one piece, not too dirty or dead spider/critter infested) on the table tops where open spaces developed. The merchandise flowed out. The only immediate problem was we pushed stuff out toward the tables but the items were not immediately marked. This led to a lot of ‘how much is this?’ That in turn leads to awkward moments while the decision is made re value.

It is better to figure this out in advance and not wing it. I will say there are plenty of aggressive garage sale goer’s that smell weakness if you aren’t comfortable in your decision making re pricing. Plan ahead but keep it fun if you can.

When it is crowded, and there are distractions, the person taking the money must stay focused. Any negotiated prices or multiple item pricing must be shared with the ‘cashier’. It seems once the multiple items are on the checkout table and the price set, more items appear. New negotiations ensue with the cashier along with efforts to reduce the original negotiated prices. It is fun or it is stressful depending upon the attitude of the buyer(s) and/or the cashier. Some buyers get rather pissy if you hold fast to a price, even after having given significant price reductions on other items. Price tag switching was taking place too.

This pathway to the backyard has seen one manner of chaos or another many times over. Rarely has it stayed open and clean. The tearing into the shed and TP results in piles of cardboard, bags of newspaper, broken items, plastic bins/lids and staged items deemed worthy of display. Can I say that not everyone agrees on what is worthy or unworthy for display? So, now we have a moderate mess. By the end of the next sale (next week: Thurs-Sunday) there will be a significant mess. With the driveway canopy and displayed fineries there, it is not so easy to drag and carry debris to a drop box on the driveway. Smaller loads carefully moved from the backyard to the drop box would be in order.

Earlier this week, I decided to buy 800 sheets of wrapping paper, each sheet about 30″ x 30″. Each sheet is cut in half. We went through those 1600 sheets of paper and we started into another box I subsequently purchased. Wrapping the glassware and bagging it for the customer is a nice touch if the staff is available during busy times. If possible walking the items to the car for people incapable of lugging the contents is a nice touch as well. There were a few oversized items we even delivered for buyers to their homes.

A successful first effort. Tomorrow is a day of rest and a renewal of effort will ensue Tuesday. I took down all the signs tonight. They are a bit damp, bent and faded. The signs were an overwhelming success. The next few days will be given to making new signs, freshening up those that survived the removal from telephone poles and consideration of how to best display the signs. I did note several locations where the signs had gone missing for whatever reasons. I will attempt to select different locations. 

Thank you everyone for the kind comments and emails and Facebook remarks. I sincerely appreciate the advice and do consider all the comments and tuck them away.

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One thought on “The Pendulum Swung

  1. You even deliver over-size items to buyers homes. Talk about good service! When I was a kid my Dad sold some twin beds to a neighbor for, I’m sure, a very modest price, and allowed her to pay for them “on time”, or on a payment plan. I always thought that gesture personified my fathers gentle demeanor and it feels like you are doing the same for all your customers. Very sweet.

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