Out of the Woodwork

The Hoarding Cleanup was confined for a long time to the behind the scenes cleanup and stock piling of stuff for eventual sales. It was private save for here and to a few neighbors and family & close friends.

But once you open the driveway up to several hundred people a day you attract all manner of people. Mostly wonderful don’t get me wrong. But, the thieves, schemers, scammers, sneaks and caser’s result. While the sale is fun and exciting for those involved, for those of us behind the scenes digging and sorting and staging for later…we see and hear things those involved in the sale do not. 

It you are involved in the sale, the actual on the floor (so to speak) process then while it is nice to talk and visit, don’t cluster together and lose track of people that bypass tape, barriers, doors, signs. At least a dozen times a day someone is wandering into an obviously closed off area. Always innocent acting, they are men and women, older and hard. Everyone is gaunt, hyper, verbal and unable to stand in one place. You can’t see them if you are fawning over the baby, the puppy, the friend, the introductions. Someone needs to be in charge while being sociable but not overly immersed in distractions. No creeps then relax.

Suddenly the estate sale planners emerge, the real estate brokers, the renovators. Darn if I must not have stereotypical expectations of professionals, because none of these folks seem really professional or well put together. And, they are wandering everywhere but where the property is for sale. Pay attention to the crowd.

Tag switchers, slight of hand types, stuff fondlers with roving eyes, barricade skirters abound. I know, I know they are everywhere, but be that as it may, you are trying to be happy and outgoing with the 99% that are legit visitors, so have someone watching for these miscreants. If your operations are in back then keep the front doors locked. Do not ignore the obvious if the area harbors meth and heroin addicts or other low life scammers. I mean there is a competing element of shock by many also at the size of the sale and some knew my Aunt and are just now gaining admittance to the rear of the property to see the scope of the hoarding.

So all that harsh ‘what if’s’ and ‘let’s meet the asshole’ stuff aside, after two sales I surmise we have moved one third of the outside stuff. If I took the revenues and the typical price of most items moved, I would estimate in excess of 1o,000 items went down the driveway more or less. Maybe more. We did a lot of buy one get one free, then buy two get two free etc. Today we even did a sign the cowbell and announced 50% off any items for last ten minutes of the sale. So, it could be closer to 12,000+ items. We kept replenishing the table tops as items were purchased and did a better job of pricing the items before they hit the table. 

There is going to be a break for a few weeks to try and take care of personal concerns. During that time there will be a Team evaluation of the process, pricing, staging, goals, etc. There also needs to be a serious effort to move a large amount of accumulated garbage out of the back yard. We have boxed ourselves in. We will have to carry it twice as far to get it to the drop box.

Signage has been the most important factor in attracting visitors. Not postings. Secondly, has been a lot of word of mouth referrals…’you’ve got to go to this sale’ type remarks. We took down all signs tonight. Many are damaged from the removal process and the heavy rains. New signs will have to be made for next time. Many signs disappeared from certain areas….so I will have to do a better job of scoping out the signage every day during the sales and replacing signs, but picking a new location so as not to upset some fastidious property owner. I have tried to do this by picking poles not directly in front of homes, not blocking, not too many on one route. I use more arrows than signs to get them there. We shall see.

So, a good start after two sales. I would guess three more sales before we can really tackle the inside of the house. That will push us into late Summer. It all begs patience and adapting. A half full weekend re the hoarding woes cleanup and the ‘big’ ‘epic’ ‘awesome’ big top sale. 

Thanks everyone for the comments and support. Means a lot every time.


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