Last week I decided we needed to have a yard sale this weekend. Busy schedule this summer, you know, has to be done right now! So for a couple nights last week we swept through the house and gathered items into a pile, then cleaned and priced (the Internet is soooo handy when it comes to certain items we were clueless about what to charge–for, say, the working replica of a 1950’s public pay phone– and this one yard sale website had great tips for people who haven’t had a yard sale in many years), placed a couple of free ads about our sale, stuck out some brightly colored signs and we were in business.
Of course, I did suffer through one terrible toss-n-turn night filled with yard sale anxiety dreams, partially because I felt like we were selling bits of ourselves, but mostly as a worry of being judged by our crap stuff. “Ohhh, I can see why she needs to sell these teeny wetsuits….” (I was also probably experiencing some qualms about selling a few “collectibles” aka special gifts from my parents over the years that just looked incredibly out of place in our House of Funk–an amazing feat in itself considering our Decor Ecletic– so were carefully packed back up in their custom made boxes and guiltily buried in the basement.) But I was soon put at ease by Nathan who told me we were already better than the potential buyers (who were lower on the consumer-chain) because they were coming to buy our crap stuff. Joe reinforced this notion by telling me they were all parasitic scum. Said in robust English Monty Python-style accent: “Good morning, Parasitic Scum!” “What? 25-cents? Piss-off, it’s 50-cents! Bring out the cane!” It certainly helped me the morning of the sale when encountering my first finicky looky-loo who walked up to peer intently at the 10 or so books I managed to pry off the shelves, then turned and walked away with a curt thank-you. Every time I said ‘good morning’ it was followed by the silent “parasitic scum,” which made the entire ordeal much more bearable. I highly recommend it.
My favorite part of the entire process, or at least the part I had the most fun at, was marketing. I sort of took the Archie McPhee’s approach and tried to make the ordinary sound enticing, such as describing the hand-me-down circa 1970’s lamp from my parents with the night-light in the bottom globe portion as such followed by a bright and bold “Funky-Town!” Or a bag of brand new untouched cat toys loaded with catnip suggesting “Whack your cat!” Both which sold, by the way.
It also occurred to me that the Utilikilt would be the perfect money-holder/changer for a yard sale. But, I suspect because of the chaffing humidity, Joe chose to go with shorts and a waiter’s half-apron instead. Almost, but not quite as cute as the kilt…He was the money-man sale day, while I was entirely support staff, supplying Joe with food and drink, then crouching down inside the house near the window so I could hear the yard sale banter. The most intriguing being the guy who was interested in Nathan’s skateboard. For his bulldog.
What didn’t sell ended up being directly donated to Goodwill, and our basement now has a nice clear section, well on its way to being the rec-room/work-out area of our dreams. We made out okay, selling about two-thirds of our wares, for a little over a hundred dollars (we priced to get rid of things and make room in the house, not to make money) and one barter for an acupuncture session. Not bad for a few hours of (Joe) dealing with parasitic scum.