Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says "Oh shit, she's awake."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'll knock your socks off...

It’s taken me several weeks to recover from the trauma of our yard sale. I can only now just start to review the events of that day. It’s over now, and Bill and I are $730 richer than we were before it started. I met some really interesting people, and some that flat out defied explanation, but I made it out the other side intact. GO ME.

After two weeks of cleaning out closets, the basement, the attic, and everything in between, we were ready to begin our foray into the wonderous world of yardselling. I planned everything meticulously, placing a post on Craigslist at just the right time when it would appear at the very pinnacle of the yard sale category. We placed ads from Tricia’s and Bill’s email accounts as well, so I’m sure our event was ingrained in the collective yardsale psyche of everyone within a 20 mile radius of Manassas. Our items were clearly priced, and priced to SELL. We had enough cash to make change, although I failed to come up with the requisite fanny pack to keep the cash. We had enough tables to display our sh$t in the most desirable and effective manner. We placed easy to read signs at all the major intersections. I even researched yardsale advice online. We were ready, more ready than I had been for the birth of my daughter, more ready than I had been for my driver’s exam when I was 16. Dammit, I would sell it all!

I had no idea what I was in for.

I was still setting up my priceless treasures on tables when they began to show up, like the zombie apocalypse. Seriously, we posted that we would start promptly at 7am, only to have people begin to dig through our stuff at 6:45am. Some of these yardsale aficionados even helped me set up. The early risers were mostly senior citizens, who not only wanted to buy our crap, but also wanted chat about things I knew absolutely NOTHING about. Still, they bought, with great gusto, excited at the yardsale “scores.” Several informed me that we had great junk. I was buoyed by their admiration.

My totally loyal friends showed up, with liquor and supplies to make margaritas. I love my friends. Only they realize the true value of drinking while trying to sell mountains of useless crap. We sat on the steps of my house, in complete awe of the ability of people to buy sh$t that serves no use, or purpose. The Latino population followed the senior citizen crowd. That is when I discovered Latino women will jew you down no matter WHAT the price is…

Latino woman “How much you want for these socks” (insert broken English here)

Me “They are a quarter a pair”

Latino woman (after long and thoughtful pause) “Ooohhh, that too much, you think? I give a nickel.

Me “They are BRAND NEW socks, with the tags! A quarter is as low as I am going.” Instantly I was sorry I hadn’t priced them at 50 cents a pair. Then she would think a quarter was a bargain.

She walked away. Are you kidding me? A brand new pair of socks for a QUARTER, maybe the best deal EVER. Screw her I’m not selling them for a nickel. I went back to my margarita drinking friends and took a slug of my ice cold delicious tequila-laden breakfast beverage. I could see her looking at me from the corner of my eye. It was ON. She would not wear me down. I would not yield to her nickel demands. Pretty soon she was back, this time with the entire BAG of white anklet socks…all new, all with tags.

Latino woman “I give you $5 for the entire bag.”

I knew there were about fifty pairs of socks in the bag. I snickered.

Me “Deal, yours for $5.”

She handed me a five dollar bill. HA! Suck it Bitch, I just got TEN cents a pair for those socks that you only wanted to pay a nickel for. I WIN I WIN!. I gloated, and nearly moonwalked back to Sherrel and Rich, who were obviously very impressed with negotiating skills. They shook their heads and refilled my cup.

This went on all day, well, at least until 2pm. Out of the $730 work of stuff sold, less than $200 of it was prices at $10 or more. That means we sold approximately $530 worth of crap for $1 or less…most of it less. I’ve never work so damn hard for my money, ever. But they wore me down, this relentless, bartering, yardseller crowd. In the end we sold about half of what we were trying to sell (you have no idea just HOW much we started with – believe me, it was a LOT) and the rest went to charity. It didn’t even come back into the house, which was my goal in the first place. I think I saw our house breathe a sigh of relief.

Will I have another yard sale? Well, given that most of the junk is gone, probably not. But should you decide to embark on such an adventure, I have a bit of advice for you.

1.Make sure you have friends present to keep you sufficiently supplied in alcohol.
2.Preparedness pays off, so do your homework.
3.Don’t let the population of Latino mamas lowball you. Don’t give in. Better to meet them somewhere in the middle than have them win.

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