In a Garage by the Motorway

Last weekend I had my first. and very likely last, garage sale.

I did it because it got my kids to help clean out the house and part with some things they wouldn’t have parted with otherwise. I told the kids that I would keep a notebook and I would record whose items sold. They would get the money for any of their toys or games. The clothing money was mine. That was a huge motivating factor. The kids dragged out stuff they would never have considered parting with otherwise. The only point I stressed was that anything not sold would be donated.

We took out an ad, I took Friday off of work, we put up signs at the major street corners, got plenty of change, only included clean functional items in good or very good condition, clearly marked prices, and displayed things in an appealing manner.

20 minutes before our sale started, we had our first “customer”. So we quickly cleaned up and opened the garage. The disappointment that started with that first customer lasted through out that day and continued the second day also. Thank goodness we only attempted 2 days.

It wasn’t that we weren’t selling to every customer; it was that we had almost no customers. And the ones that bought mostly just purchased my son’s old toys!

One of my girlfriends told me that she had a garage sale earlier this summer and had the same issue. No one attending. She went on to say that she all junk but that the stuff I had out for sale was nice stuff. She loves to go to garage sales. She had a very hard time not buying stuff at mine. I could never have sold her anything, I would have just given it to her.

In the end here’s how the finances ended up.

Total Take $33.95
The Ad $19.95
The Monkey King $13.05
Thing 2 $2.00
Thing 1 $1.50
Subtotal $36.50
Our share -$2.55

And since I miscalculated and paid my son $18.05, we actually lost $7.55 after two – seven hour days.

It was terrible. Not necessarily the money part, but being stuck there. I could have done so many other things. So many productive things. One Saturday, my husband was home and was kind enough to watch the sale for most of the day. I stayed inside and cooked. Thank goodness he helped, I would have gone insane staying out there for the entire 2 days.

As I said, that was my first and last garage sale. It was painful. I always assumed it would be. But it was way worse than I could have imagined.

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