Sunday, September 02, 2007

truth in yardsaling

This post has been a long time coming. I am a dedicated yard saler. A "one man's junk" officianado. And here is a fairly comprehensive list of what annoys me:

1. Perma Sales. These are ongoing sales where they drag out the shit and leave it there, rain or shine, sheets of plywood on saw-horses covered with blue tarp and last fall's fallout. It is clear these people visit other yard sales, bring the crap home, reprice it, and this brings me to the next category...

2. Re-Sales. Often found in perma sales. People who have closed out an, oh, let's say, a christmas knick-knack store, and have all the twinky little shit nobody wanted anyway and the big thing is, they DO NOT sell it at yard sale prices.

Let's clear one thing up. Yard sale price: 25 cents. Period.

3. The ULTIMATE YARD SALE!!! When you finally find the place six miles later due to poorly placed signage, no parking and frantic traffic, you find three hot pink My Pretty Pony dolls with matted hair, melted christmas candles, a set of hot rollers and 8 track cassette tapes.

4. Antique Sales The price goes up. I take similar issue with Vintage or Retro. Anything plastic or avacado green or mandarin orange or chocolate brown is now retro.

5. Yard sales that are MILES from where you find the sign. Over the river and through the wood. Buy local.

6. Garbage Sales. Just like the name implies. They are trying to make enough money for garbage bags and a dump run.

7. Crack Sales. Scary. The people having the sales never make eye contact and cannot stop rearranging the tables. Do not come up behind them to ask a question. People come by in bad cars dropping off bicycles and firearms while you peruse the silk flower arrangements that keep changing.

8. TMI Sales. There is a balance somewhere between, "Hi, thanks for coming." and "Yes, the clothes belonged to my sister but she ran off with this guy who lived next door and I don't really have room to keep her stuff and her kids are in Louisiana now because we think the guy jumped bail." or, our favorite from the Vancouver area... while looking at a computer, my husband asks why there is an evidence tag on the case. "Oh," comes the reply. "We got the computer before we knew my dad was a pedophile. But he's in jail now. I think its okay."

9. Things people should not say at yard sales:

"It was sixty dollars new." Yeah. Well, thanks for the fascinating history report, but this is not JC Penney, and I'm not paying half price for the crap you'll be hauling to Goodwill at 5:05 today. 25 cents. Take it or leave it.

"I really hate to part with this." But you will. Say it with me: 25 cents.

"Yeah, it works great. Oh, wait. Hey, Honey, get me the..... " All together now: 25c

"Yeah, if you just fix the ____ it works great!"

"Its an antique."

"I was always going to fix, paint, etc."

"Oh. I guess it needs batteries."

10. Things people should not sell at yard sales:

Photographs. I've dedicated entire blog entries to this practice. It is like selling the souls of your ancestors to strangers.

Underwear. Need I say more?

Items made of wax.

Canned food.

Eighties chrome-framed disco art, specifically pink and grey calla lilies.

Broken shit (see above).


asia said...


msb said...

You hit the hand me down nail on the slightly used head.

Anonymous said...

too hilarious. i laughed aloud on the walk to lunch. i had two yard sales, one, i sold nothing and gave away a fifty cent plate; now I know why -- overpricing. second one, i sold my copy of Color Purple. too desperate still haven't replaced it...keep writing it's writing to me.