Estate Sale Day Two

so tired

Here I am tired, taking pictures with my number one niece. I’m not tired because of the estate sale that I barely do anything at. I’m tired because my kid has been waking up at 4:40 am demanding doughnuts for breakfast. Those stupid doughnuts. Her Grandma bought her a box and I don’t think she’ll be happy until the entire box is gone. Which it is now. I let her eat five mini doughnuts in one sitting because I was not going to get up and cook eggs before five am. But that’s another blog post.

Anyway, I just wanted to come here and say that yesterday’s sale was just as successful as the first day. I realize that making three-hundred bucks in a day is not that big of a deal. I can make that in three hours doing graphic design (IF I could ever work for three hours straight that is) but in garage sale language that’s big time.

back-room money counter

While the money is nice and getting rid of the stuff is even nicer, what really left a lasting impression on me yesterday was all the stories that came with the money. My mom really got to meet her neighbors. I mean really got to meet them. They’d come into the living room, poke around through the dishes and towels, buy a few things and then sit and talk. We heard story after story after story.

Some people had lost their homes, some people had lost their wives. Some people shop garage sales because they’re boycotting big box stores. Some people are crazy collectors and will stand in one spot for ten minutes trying to remember the exact lines to a show tune that a certain plate reminds them of. Lots of people had lost their jobs. Some people had lost their dogs. Some people just wanted blankets for their dogs. Some people didn’t speak, some people didn’t speak English, some people spoke too much. It was like a slice of America walked through my mom’s new living room and we got to make friends with them.


Most people have big yard sales and estate sales when they move out of their neighborhood. My mom is having one when she moves in. It’s not conventional but it sure is good for welcoming yourself to the neighborhood!

P.S. More estate sale stories on cc’s blog! I never did get to tell about our wolf-whistling, Thelma-and-Louise-inspired sign-posting adventure. Good thing she did.

A smashing success! Who knew!

move 'em out, close 'em up

Surprise surprise! Today’s estate sale was a complete success. It was really really really weird. We put up the signs and people just kept coming and coming and coming. I don’t think more than twenty minutes went by where people weren’t milling about buying things. At the busiest point there were twenty people in the living room at one time. It was a bit of a zoo actually.

Do you have any money?

Pots and pans and dusty picture frames flew out of here like they were going out of style. Towels and kids’ jeans were also hot items. Everybody bought things. You were right Lori, people will buy junk. My mom is reading this over my shoulder as I type and she is telling me it is not junk. I think she’s half right. Anyway, it was amazing. I think we made $300…which, sure, won’t pay any mortgage payments or anything but is a lot more than any of us expected for a garage sale on a THURSDAY. Who goes to garage sales and estate sales on Thursdays?!!

I guess a lot of people do.

I’m not sure if it was the very effective signs I made (cough cough) or the fact that estate sales are more popular because people like milling through dead people’s stuff or because there’s not much else to do out here in the sticks on a Thursday. But I think it had a lot to do with the location. While my Grandpa lived on a small cul-de-sac, the connecting street is quite a main thoroughfare. All the other sales we’ve held were at my mom’s house which really was out in the dusty sticks. I think we got a lot of traffic here because there just plain was a lot of traffic.

The lunch crowd was crazy. People dressed in their doctor’s-office smocks were buying up all sorts of things. I’m thinking a lot of family members are getting used teacups for Christmas this year. The sewing supplies went fast too. People are getting crafty when they are poor. Maybe this downturn in the economy was just what we needed to get back to basics.

Of course we only charged ten cents and five cents for many things so naturally they flew out of here. But it was good. So gooooood! Freeing! And don’t worry relatives, nothing antique or valuable was sold for five cents. The good stuff is still marked with market values and we’ll hold onto that until the end. We might even break out the old ebay passwords and put a little work into getting top dollar.


Or maybe I will be the one ebaying stuff since I was basically useless today. I refused to make change (I hate doing math on even the most rudimentary level). I know nothing about bartering and most of the time I just watched my kid and drank coffee. Which is very important of course. I also took pictures because I’m the official documenter of such things.

book shuffler

I think I herded a few people away from trying to buy things out of the kitchen (where we kept things that weren’t for sale) and maybe got my mom’s attention when somebody needed a price but other than that, I wasn’t much help. I didn’t stop that one person who stole the stopper out of a wine decanter though. Can you believe it? Someone stole a glass stopper. How rude. I guess some thievery is to be expected.

"Eba eyes"

I’ll have to sick my daughter with the evil “Eba eyes” on them next time. Maybe I should make her in charge of greeting people and checking receipts. Just kidding. I’m keeping my daughter next to me. Stopper schmopper—I’m too afraid of someone trying to steal her!

the face of mischief

The kids have actually been very very good. They had their own store set up in the back and made quite a killing selling happy-meal toys. Unfortunately, a lot of those toys are magically back in the house with them but all in all they did a good job being good kids. We took them (and us) out for pizza as a reward. That’s a tradition in our family: we always buy pizza with our earnings. We figure after we inhale that much dust and burn off that many calories lifting things and being on our feet all day, we deserve it. Usually that’s all we can afford with our earnings but this time there’s plenty for pizza and some. Which is really really cool.

If the rest of the sale days go as well as today went, I might have to reconsider my position on junk.

Nevermind, that’s just crazy talk.