No big shock. I live in the suburbs. My neighbourhood is fairly nice and just so happens to be right smack in the centre of a University town. I kind of love it, and I have to tell you until about a week ago I thought I knew the people of my town pretty well. Conservative. Polite. Respectful….and then I went and had a garage sale.
These, my friends, are my new rules for surviving a garage sale in the suburbs.
1. It’s Not Personal. Understand that when you are selling your wares at a garage sale and people drive up, merely glance at you and your “stuff”, and then drive away without so much as a haggle, it’s not personal. Yes, they are garage “saleing” and are looking to buy some crap, just not your crap.
2. Remember you goal. You are there to sell! You are hawking items that I am sure do not include the best of designer clothes, Granny’s China or incredible works of art. Price accordingly BUT leave a little bit of wiggle room! Why? Apparently, there is some unwritten rule that everyone who steps within in ten feet of a garage sale must ARGUE with you about your price. It doesn’t matter to the professional garage saler that you have done your very best work pricing fairly, that you think that brand new in the box set of books originally priced at $19.99 is a steal for $1.00, they will only want to pay you 50 cents! So leave wiggle room or be prepared to stand your ground. Umm, I might have done a little ground standing and ended up making a big fat donation to Good Will at the end of the day. I’m okay with that.
3. This leads me to rule number three. Stand Your Ground. Yes, you are having a garage sale, but you can still keep your dignity! That rude RUDE woman who wants the entire High School Musical Set and matching singing Gabrielle and Troy Dolls for $1.00? Sigh. I’m sorry but she can kiss my a$$. I’d rather see that sweet doll house go to charity than to rude pushy garage sale lady.
4. Love thy neighbour? I do, but my new rule; You don’t have to love all your neighbours. Need some examples?
One: I don’t love the guy who came back to my house half an hour after the garage sale was OVER to EXCHANGE a Barbie for something else? Um, this is not how garage sales work. I didn’t know I would need a no returns policy.
Two: When a prospective buyer shows up at my house, opened her car door and spat a big fat loogie on my front lawn, so massive that she, in fact, had to step OVER it as she exited her car, I decided I did not have to greet her with grace. Yep, I decided this was a lesson I was comfortable teaching my kids. When a strange woman from the suburbs spits on your front lawn, it is okay to break down into what can only be described as a sleep deprived, shocked state of giggle. I mean, who does this?
5. Rejoice. Rejoice in the purge. Yes, put all your crap out on the front lawn. Celebrate the cleaning out of the basement with doughnuts for the kids and coffee for yourself. Rejoice in the fact that even without trying you are making memories with your kids. Strange and quirky memories, but memories none the less. Rejoice that you will indeed make a little money! Accept almost every offer and then take the money and run! Some of the cash went to very nice bottle of wine, the rest is headed straight to our Disney fund!
I have always known the Suburbs was hiding some interesting characters. Turns out if your really want to meet them, all you have to do is have a garage sale!