Saturday, August 23, 2008

Waste of A Day

It was big yard-sale day at the old Petch House. I was out of bed at 7:00 AM and hauling stuff out in to the yard by 7:15. Ninety percent of this junk I was trying to off-load was the last remnants of the things left by the tenant whom I booted out of the garages she rented for 15 years. It was just junk and this was junk that mostly would not be considered treasure by most people. It was plain old, garden variety junk.

I didn’t put price tags on everything, instead I grouped things in the yard by price-point and then had signs like “$5.00 each or 3 for $12”. I don’t think that worked too well because no one took advantage of the volume discount.

I had 4 or 5 good sized boxes of small kitchen items, little inspirational plaques, and tacky little knick-knack items that I was desperate to get rid of. There was nothing really the matter with most of it, it was the shear volume that was the problem. There was just so much of it and because none of it was really broken I felt bad about just dumping it.

I laid out a piece of plywood and dumped everything on top. The sign that accompanied it read “Fifty cents each or 3 for a dollar”. After the first wave of professional yard-sale goers bought less than $2.00 worth I slashed the price to “Twenty-five cents each or 6 for a dollar”. I don’t think I sold more than $3.00 the rest of the day. I have 3 boxes that will go to Goodwill and then another 2 boxes of stuff that I don’t even think they would take. That ended up going to the dump.

I had another large sized milk-crate over-flowing with small, articulated toys. These are kind of the size toys you might get in a Happy Meal or something. There must have been more that 100 of them. I dumped them in a pile with a sign that read, “Ten cents each or 3 for a quarter”. I sold exactly thirty-five cents worth of them in 6 hours. Kids wouldn’t even look at the pile. These will go to Goodwill, if they will take it.

I sold about half of the stereo equipment, even some that was not operational. My highest priced item was $4.00 and I still ended up dumping a half a dozen speakers and 3 boom-boxes. I held on to the 2 vintage reel-to-reel players. There is a shop in town that deals in this sort of thing, so I’ll see if he wants it.

I was able to get rid of some of the large items, which was nice, because they cost more to dump. There was a big, heavy, but rather cheaply made wooden bed frame that I sold for $10. It was basically 2X6 lumber nailed together and stained. I sold 3 large mirrors and some tools, including a belt sander {cough!}.

I had a kids bike listed first at $20 and then at $10 and no one even looked at it. There was also a food dehydrator and a newer electric water cooler that supplies hot, chilled, and room temperature water. It was marked at $30. A few people commented on the good price for the item, but no one bought it.

At the end of the day I made about $150, but I spent $24 for another dump run. There is still a pile of stuff which I’ll try and pawn off on Goodwill on Monday. With that I’ll be done with it. My big fear was that the woman whose stuff this was would show up during the sale and make a big scene. She only lives about 3 blocks down the street. I pictured her wallowing around on the plywood scooping all of her little crappy knick-knacks in to a pile while she screamed, “Don’t touch this! Its all mine! Mine!!!”.

She didn’t show up, but after the sale I was at the dump getting rid of those things that I couldn’t give away and that I deemed unworthy for Goodwill. It was really odd that as I was pulling out she was pulling in. This is the first time I’ve seen her since I evicted her. As I drove away I couldn’t help but wonder if she backed in to the same stall I just vacated. If she had she would have seen a big pile of her old stuff that I had just dumped. It was a weird coincidence seeing her there.

I’m glad this whole thing is almost over. I made about $125, but right now, it really doesn't seem worth it. It would have been much better if I never had to deal with it in the first place. I am out of the garage rental business for ever!


Jennifer said...

Sounds like our yard sale... made about the same amount of money, too.

Of course, everything we set on the curb with a free sign during the sale left... which was AWESOME.

Jayne said...

Sorry you didn't do better on your yard sale. Coincidence, your running into your former renter? Hmmm...Maybe she was stalking you and followed you to the dump. Hee hee.

Greg said...


The last garage sale I had I left the few smattering of items that didn't sell on a piece of plywood with a sign staked in to the ground marked "Free". I then walked to the market a few blocks away to get lunch and when I got back everything was gone including the plywood and the sign!


Judging from all of the worthless crap she had in the garage maybe she was going to the dump to pick stuff and not to throw things away. {*Shutter*}