Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Invisible Yard Sale

What if you gave a yard sale and nobody came? 

Does that mean your sale didn't exist?

Every October my town holds a giant yard sale. It's written up in the town newsletter and signs are put all over to alert both the denizens and passers-thru that yes, there will be junk, and a LOT of it. Ambitious sellers and buyers start early (8am) and the sale usually goes on til about 3 pm or so, depending on the weather.

Today it was partly sunny, about 59 degrees. So.

I had clothes to sell. A few weeks ago I cleaned out my closets in a fit of boredom, and had the brilliant idea to haul it out during this yard sale and try to make a few bucks. I was going to put it all in the poor box, but I figured I could always do that after the sale was over.

At 9 am I hung all the pants and sweaters and jackets and suits and shirts and skirts up for easy customer viewing. Actually it was great hangers fit nicely on the gutters above my garage.  Easy to see from the street but not too high in case you wanted to inspect the item more closely.
I do not live on the main road, but plenty of people were out and about, driving down my street in search of a parking spot, and there were plenty of walking and biking potential customers.

I put a sign out:      $3.00 suits pants shirts sweaters                              

I'd stop and check out clothes for $3, wouldn't you? I had 29 items total, all clean and hanging up there with so much promise. I had singles and change in my pocket, ready for those consumers with $5 and $10 bills. I had a mug of steaming hot tea to warm my little hands as I stood on my porch awaiting the masses. 
I had a long afternoon in front of me.
 When 12 noon came and went with not even a single person stopping to look at my wares, I went inside and broke out the newspaper. I could always see if anyone came up the driveway, and then go out to help them.
When the clock struck 1 I turned on the tv to watch the football game, with the sound on low.  I could always hear customers through the front door, and then go out to help them.
There was plenty of traffic up and down the block, and numerous cars turning around right in front of my house, but no one stopped to shop. 
I did see a woman turn her head as the car drove by slowly, so I know she got a glimpse of my garments. (That sounds kinda perverted, huh?) That was the theme: drive by slowly, look at the clothes, make a U-turn, then drive back up the block. 
I really didn't think my clothes were all that boring. Apparently they held no promise for anyone, as I could see people milling about on Main Street, but no one came down past my house to mill.  
At 2 pm I went outside, took down all the hanging textile chads and tossed them into the trunk of my car. I'm sure the recipients of the poor box contents will appreciate them.
Thus released from my yard sale duties, and a lesson learned (location, location, location), I settled in for a Saturday afternoon of college football games. 

I will support yard sales by buying, not selling, in the future. 



JayMonster said...

Yard sales are one of those things that I always swear I am not going to do again, and every couple of years I forget, have a sale, it is a disaster, and when all is said and done, not worth the effort.

Look on the bright side, you had a relaxing afternoon, and nobody wasted your time.No matter how much you sell something for, somebody wants it for less. So instead you could have stood there having to talk to people that wanted to give you a buck or even half a buck per outfit, and then go over it with a magnifying glass to make sure it was "worth" their 50 cents. Instead, you were just kind enough to air everything out before giving it over to charity (and now you can take the tax deduction as well). So in the end, you are probably better off this way.

Anonymous said...

Great story. Maybe we should have real garage sales. Hey here's my garage, it comes with a lawnmower a few spiders and all kinds of other sh** we couldn't fit in the house. I had friends who are really poor and they tried to sell their stuff same result. But you think if they're poor what kind of crap can they really sell to the garage sale savvy bargain hunters. I miss the old days when you could buy old record albums and such. Maybe there weren't enough women your size in the area. You know you're no Lane Bryant type. You're blogs are always a scream. Keep 'em coming

Andrea said...

Did you call my mother? She needs more "inventory"!!