THE GREAT GARAGE SALE…part of The Great Move Series

garagesalegraphicOur Great Move continues…

I  have packed more boxes and made more repairs to things that were either broken or needed to look better.  Part of the moving process is to seriously purge whatever is no longer needed, desired or could be a deal-breaker.  The procedure has been three-fold.  Whatever is touched goes in one of three categories:  pack up and include in the move, throw it out or save it for the garage sale.  Yesterday was the garage sale.

This was my first garage sale.  It was my last garage sale.  It is all a bit too exhausting, but worth the effort, at least once.  Gagage sales have a culture all their own.  The people who attend them regularly are very much a part of the culture.  This is a species of humans obsessed with garage sales.  Their entire week is devoted to monitoring the garge sale advertising media for the upcoming Saturday’s list of garage sales. They  accumalate a list of locations and times and by Saturday morning they have developed a game plan as to which ones to “hit” and in what order. This is almost a science if not a finely tuned, well honed procedure. 

From my end, setting the bait was quite easy.  I Googled “where to advertise garage sales” and up came the usual list of a gazillion choices.  I selected one and one only.  Its service was free.  What I did not know at the time was that this particular website was linked to others with the same mission.  Within seconds of completing my sign-up with the website I began receiving e-mails from other website “welcoming” my advertising.  Eventually, I must have had 4-5, maybe more, websites advertising my upcoming garage sale…all free.  And, likewise, the garage sale attendees immediately sprung into action.  

I began receiving e-mails requesting more details beyond what appeared in my ad.  One person suggested I call her back at the number she provided so we could discuss her needs exclusively–I assume they were needs related to what I was selling at my garage sale.  Another person was willing to give me $50 if he could come the day before for a private showing.  Every day my e-mail was peppered with questions and requests. Fortunately,  I walked away from advertising for a minimum three-day run in the big city newspaper that wanted $80 for the opportunity.  Hey, I had gotten plenty of publicity for $0.  Beware, however, not all respondees follow through.  I  had several interested in buying out an entire category of goods, my radio collection for example, who failed to follow through, let alone even show up.

Thursday evening before Saturday’s main event, I held a “prep party.”  Two incredbily generous friends joined Rosemarie and me for dinner after which we attacked all the goods that were stacked up in my livingroom.  These all needed to be sorted, dusted off and priced.  I had purchased a “Garage Sale Kit” on amazon that provided lots of signage with stick posts, a “how-to” booklet and a gazillion little round neon-colored price stickers.  It took us the rest of the evening to complete the task.  Eveything was placed on tables set up in the garage. Then, come Saturday morning, all we basically had to do was carry the tables out onto the driveway.

Several things to be prepared for:  people arrive early.  Have a barricade set up to keep them out so they aren’t in your way while you are setting things up.  Next, be prepared to haggle.  No one wants to pay the sticker price so consider that tip when you set prices from the git-go.  Also, depending on the size of  your sale, be prepared to have enough people to help you.  There will be large surges of customers to deal with and you will definitely need others to help you if you want sales to go smoothly.

And finally, expect all kinds to people to show up.  Some are perefectly normal…others not.  Some will spend an inordinate amount of time on various items and eventally leave without buying anything.  Others will talk on forever, telling you their life’s story and expect a free therapy session in return, regardless of what you know about therapy.  And, oh yes, you will never sell everything so make sure your wonderfully committed friends stay afterwards because you will have to clean up and decide what to do with all the leftovers.

Okay, garage sale done…Monday the rug cleaners come…Tuesday I reseal the driveway….Wednesday I install a new timer to replace the broken one that dictates which part of the sprinkler system waters which part of the lawn and for how long. The list continues but I am forever getting closer to the goal:  putting the house on the market!  Carry on!

*****

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About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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