Friday, May 8, 2009

Yard Sales

My garage was a disaster. Things were strewn and stacked everywhere to the point where you could barely even walk in there. It's not G's fault that he's a packrat, but some of it had to go.

So we decided to have a yard sale with all of out nice things that we didn't just want to give away (we were preparing for a benefit rummage sale). Then, we could control the prices, and keep our stuff if we wanted to. Right? Wrong!

Everything at the yard sale had reasonable prices. Especially for what the cost. I had some baby stuff (a jogging stroller, jumperoo, etc. + there was a drum head, weight set, aquarium (with all the stuff), bass guitar... you get the point). The cheapest thing was the jumperoo that was around $70 new. No one would just pay what we asked for it. I didn't want to even sell the jumperoo, but Gary insisted that it took up too much room. So I put $35 on it. Someone offered $20. I wouldn't take less than $25. It was in perfect condition. Everything worked. It was clean, and only used for a few months.

All the "negotiating" kind of put me in a bad mood.

Then, to top it off, my old youth pastor stopped by. Of course, he didn't know I still lived there or they wouldn't have been caught dead at m house. I was wearing cutoff jeans and a tank top. As he looked at me with his damning eyes I knew he was judging me, just for what I was wearing. He doesn't know I (GASP!) have a child out of wedlock (Or maybe he does, I'm not sure. I wear a ring though so unless he asked someone who knew for sure...)

Last time I saw him, 2 years ago at Ponderosa, he told me (again...) that God wanted me to only wear dresses. I told him I wasn't going to do that and he said something like, "That's just what the Bible says." Ugh.

His wife is really nice though, and she hasn't ever (overtly) done anything to hurt me, so I chatted with her for a minute.

Overall, we sold almost all of our junk, besides the weight set, because G was firm on the price, unlike with everything else. We made nearly $200, but only because G sold a few (of his many) fishing poles for pretty good prices. It's amazing to me what people will pay for fishing poles. G says they're really expensive new, so $20 for just a rod (no reel) is great. OK.

The next weekend it started all over. I spent several days at the church sorting through junk, pricing, and getting ready for the rummage sale. It was pretty much my project because the money benefits Toddler Town.

Later, someone went through and repriced stuff, making it more or less expensive. A good example is a really nice bat. G had priced it $25. Seems high for a bat, but new it was nearly $300 (We looked it up). It got lowered to $3. Someone got a really great deal. I know that if you want to make money you have to make stuff cheap, but some stuff is really worth the prices. Anyways, it was on Sat. from 6am-2pm and it was supposed to be a pancake breakfast too.

The pancake breakfast portion was pretty much a flop. 2 other places in town were having pancake breakfasts and the yard-sale crowd was on a mission.

It was the same deal. We had $1 for each piece of clothes. One girl had brought tons of brand new baby clothes, tags still attached. I would have been ecstatic to get some of this stuff for $1. And some people were. But one person was like... "If you want to get rid of these clothes you're goin' to have to make 'em cheaper!" Are you kidding? You just want them for free? Several people had that attitude.

One person had donated a $250 film camera in perfect condition. He had priced it at $10, and some guy got mad that he got charged 2.50 for it. He only wanted to pay "a buck." It even had a really nice case with it.

Stories like this continued ALL day. $10 for a brand new pair of shoes was too much (the rest of the shoes were $2), $2 for a pair of baby shoes was too much (even though I had just bought my baby some shoes at a yard sale for $2...).

Matt finally made a sign that said, "This is a fundraiser. Not a free-for-all." I think after his camera sold for 2.50. It was too close to the end of the day though.

Then, at the end of the day, we didn't want to have to deal with bringing all the leftover junk anywhere, so we bagged up the clothes for loving hearts (It was in good shape), and put the rest outside for free.

Then, all of the sudden, things that were overpriced at .25 when they were inside were essential items as people piled their cars full of stuff. People were like, "I have a question about this... "I was like, "It's free. Take it or leave it."

Then someone else was like, "Is there more inside?!" I was like... NO! You freakin' schmo. If you want to go inside, go inside and help for all that stuff you just piled in your car. I didn't say that, but I thought it.

Overall, I would say the day was successful. We made almost $900 for Toddler Town. We had to pay for shirts and some indoor/outdoor carpet so the kids don't hut themselves on the concrete. Then we put some into savings and we will use some for big toys (playhouses, etc.) for the kids.

Was it really worth all the emotional stress? Does anyone know any better way to raise money?

I don't mean to be a complainer, because I am happy that it went well. It was just a really stressful, super annoying thing, and I think most of us involved would agree.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, honey, that sucks! Yard salers are intense; I get too attached to my belongings to be able to barter like that. You gotta have someone impartial, willing to stand firm and be a jerk in order to not bargain. But on the bright side, you made a nice little chunk of change!



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