Successful Garage Sale? You Be the Judge.

garage saleWe have a lot of stuff in our house, but that’s what happens when two pack rats marry each other. We are starting to hit max capacity, so that means one thing — garage sale.

I’m not so good at the whole garage sale thing — negotiating and dealing with customers are not my bag. But in addition to being a pack rat, Matt is also a natural-born salesman (So much so that he followed someone down the street to another garage sale to let her know about the floor matts we had for her car. And of course she bought them.). So he handles the selling and I handle the merchandising and security.

I’ve found there are two types of garage sale shoppers. First, there are the hunters. They are on the lookout for very specific items. For instance, this weekend’s hunters were searching for jewelry, perfumes, old cameras, video games, Zippo lighters, and gold (aren’t we all?).

And then there are browsers. Some browsers buy, but most don’t. And whether it’s real or imagined, it feels like the browsers are judging my stuff.

The browsers take several forms. There are the thorough browsers who inspect (and often touch) every item on display. There are the speedy browsers who practically jog up and down the driveway, quickly scanning everything along the way and hightailing it out of there because there are many more garage sales to hit. There are the friendly browsers who say hello and chat about the weather. Then there are the frosty browsers who don’t say a thing or make eye contact. Maybe it’s because they can’t look me in the eye when they’re dismissing my personal items.

But the browsers who made me feel the worst are the drive-by browsers. They slow roll by the house, taking a quick glance at the items in the driveway. If they don’t like what they see, they floor it and head on to the next sale down the street. Talk about a snap judgment. I know it’s not rational, but for a split second, it hurts my feelings.

But on Sunday morning, Matt and I were the ones making the snap judgment. A car pulled up across the street from our house. Two potential customers! But the two women stayed in the car. For almost a half hour. Bags were being passed back and forth. The two women never looked up from what they were doing. Matt and I started to think there was a drug deal going down on our quiet suburban street. But they eventually got out of the car and came across the street (turns out they were hunters for 60s toys). Our guess is they stopped to eat breakfast. They were breaking bread, notbreaking bad.

Not too long after that, we wound the garage sale down the weekend. While we were successful getting rid of some stuff and making some money in the process, I can wait a few years before we have our next one.

P.S. – On the Saturday of the garage sale, one of my former classmates posted on Facebook that it was 25 years to the day that we had graduated from high school. I can’t say I remember what I was thinking about on the day of my graduation. But if I had any thoughts about where I would be in 25 years, I’m sure it didn’t involve a garage sale.

19 thoughts on “Successful Garage Sale? You Be the Judge.

  1. Jen says:

    I was about to post the same thing about the breaking bad reference. ha ha that was classic! We’ve had a few garage sales in the past and I can side with all of this. We even had people show up BEFORE we starting putting things out. The early birds. Craziness.

  2. Michelle Longo says:

    I had a garage sale in early May and it was exhausting and awful. But I got rid of so much stuff it was worth it. I said I’d never have one again, but it turns out I have more stuff I don’t want. Sigh. I’m so with you on this.

  3. says:

    My grandmother and mother were consummate garage sale browsers. Up with the dawn, gone with the wind, home by ten. My husband and I are both pack rats, and we have a pact. If we’re done, we donate it. No yard sales, ever.

  4. mamarific says:

    Garage sales give me hives. We’ve only had one, and the money we made was not worth the effort & dealing with the crazies. But what to do with all the stuff…

  5. blainecindy says:

    Oh my, this is hilarious! I loved how you described the different kinds of browsers. Why? Because I’ve been guilty of being every single kind at one time or another, depending on the day! It is so true what you say! And the breaking bread/breaking bad reference – too funny! Good stuff!

  6. Heidi says:

    Glad to hear you survived. I hear you on the browsers. Awkward and depressing. Glad to have emptied out a lot of the garage now so we don’t have to have another one for a while.

  7. blogqueendiane says:

    I’m a long-time garasge sale shopper (who occasionally holds my own garage sales to get rid of “mistake purchases”. Loved your blog post. Very cute, and right on the mark!

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