The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Why We Will Hold Yard Sales No More Forever

Yard sales are a lot of work. They involve moving a lot of heavy stuff out of the house and into the driveway, yard, etc. Let me just say, lots of items are heavy as all get out when you have them in large numbers, be they books, or videos, or stuffed animals or whatever. There is pricing involved, and checking where and for how long signs may be placed before the sale and how soon afterwards they must be removed (do check on this, it's important). Once you know where and when the signs can be placed, they must be placed and removed, and weather may shorten the number of hours they are in place. Then there's the fact that the "treasures" you have will actually have more emotional value to you than practical value to others. You're going to be working hard for long hours getting ready and then spend many hours more questioning your sanity waiting for folks to show up. As the hours wear by, the "drive-by" "scrutinizers" (is that a word?) get increasingly hard to handle with a calm and pleasant attitude ... their faces seem to get more pursed and judging as the hours roll by ... but that's likely a subjective observation more than objective reality. One thing that was a delight was posting the yard sale on my Facebook page and having an old friend show up. Catching up with her was a delight! That I highly recommend.

At the end of the day, the money just isn't worth the effort in many cases. And most of the items are still sitting in the driveway or the yard waiting to be lugged back inside in defeat.

Then there appear to be certain prevailing ideas about what might be found at yards sales that are pretty weird. I think far too many people have watched far too many episodes of antiques shows of various sorts. I was asked if we had antique sheet music, records, coins, and other expensive items really not common to yard sales in my experience. Lots of folks who did come wanted to haggle on prices in the $1 and $2 range, which to a degree I understand, but come on, nobody's spending or making a fortune here on these already deeply discounted items. It's fun at first, true, but toward the end of the day, this haggling loses its charm.

For me and my family, we'll get rid of our excess clutter in other ways. The vintage media (i.e. video cassettes) have gone the way of all things (and no, Disney movies with black diamond labels really aren't worth a fortune ... if they were I wouldn't have them, trust me on that). The books will be donated to several libraries to see if they have better luck selling (books turned out to be the surprise best sellers of our sale, by the way). A lot of other items will be purged as well. Time to let go and move on. In fact, that is one great advantage to the yard sale. By the time it's over, you just want all that stuff gone and large trash bags are deployed with all emotional attachment shattered over the course of that one long day.

Dang, we had more movies on VHS than I thought!
Those things weigh a lot! 
If you want to hold a yard sale, go right ahead. Do not let me discourage you! Plan well, wait for a multi-family opportunity, and have a great deal of stuff for people to look at. See if you have better luck drawing families with children. We could have used a whole lot more of those. I wish you luck.

Here's a great article about thinking twice before holding your yard sale:

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