Monday, May 20, 2013

Patience Is A Virtue, Or Good Things Come To Those Who Wait And Price To Sell

The sun was shining, the breeze wafted the scent of lilies-of-the-valley, and there was no threat of rain.  Birds of all feather sang in the trees, and every now and then we could look out the back door and see a mallard or two gliding by on the serene lake's surface.

My brother and I felt energized.  We had gotten all the tables out in record time.  Not a single item had been damaged in the storage shed over the winter; everything fit on the tabletops, and there was enough new inventory to freshen up the usual offerings that had seen several sales.  We voiced and affirmed our Goals:  This was The Year, I said.  It would be sold This Year.

At nine o'clock the gates opened and a steady stream of cars began driving through the lake community.  Here and there, an Amish buggy clattered by.  We chatted with customers, marveled at the lovely weather, joked about this and that, and did our best to encourage sales.  Suddenly, a woman returned after having had a conversation with me about my breadmaker (marked down from $15 last year to $10 this year!).  She said her husband wanted it.  I walked with her to the table and helped lift it and take it to her car.

As I returned to the table, a young Amish woman was paying my brother.  He glanced up at me with a careful smile, a very, very restrained grin, for in her arms rested...


It was all I could do to control my urge to break into a simultaneous peformance of the Halleluia Chorus and an interpretive dance demonstrating my extreme elation and relief, which would have looked something like a fist-pumping, twirling, leg-kicking, spasming victim of St. Vitus' Dance trying to escape a swarm of hornets. 

She looked smug and thrilled at her five-dollar bargain and walked hurriedly away, my her punch bowl cradled in front of her like a precious baby.  As if I would stop her!  HA!

Two other Lifer Items were sold quickly after that:  the Ghostbusters sleeping bag and a set of drapes and bedskirt, both of which had been in at least 5 sales.  (Never underestimate Blowout Pricing.)

I knew you'd all want to share in My Victory.  It's a Dream Come True!


  1. O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay! My heartfelt congratulations on finding a loving home for The Much Detested Punch Bowl. Honestly, I wondered if memory served me when I read the current price, because I could have sworn that in a previous post you were planning on raising the price again, just for spite, because it never sold. So I ran a search and found this: "I've had it with that goddam thing--I mean it. Next sale, I'm marking that puppy up to ten bucks. Fuck 'em. Poor little Amish woman, lol.

    So here's to blowout prices! It had to be worth losing a potential 5 bucks just to finally sell it. Ditto on the other stuff. I do believe that part of the fun of having those sales is all the camaraderie among the buyers and sellers and the happy fact that everybody feels like they got a good deal. :-)

  2. Ah yard sales. Love to see the stuff go! At one sale I held, however, both my father and my daughter started pulling stuff off the tables and stowing it away for themselves.
    Should have made them pay!
    Now you have has such success with your punch bowl, I have one that you could try to get rid of - it has cute little feet, too.

  3. Clearly I've not been reading long enough to know that punch bowl's long and checkered past, but it's obviously a coup that it finally sold! Do you get bonus points for selling to an Amish woman? ; )

  4. MsCaroline--That punchbowl has been in so many sales! I couldn't understand why no one wanted it. It was brand new. No bonus points, since the sale is held in Amish Country. They and the Mennonites make up a good portion of our clientele.

    Mary G--I know what you mean. My brother and I usually grab a few things of each other's that we find useful before the sale starts. This year I took a pair of fuzzy slippers, and he grabbed a collection of hotel soaps and lotions. Last year I took a huge glass vase for our wine corks.

    Ortizzle--You are correct; I had threatened to raise the price, but our theme this year was Blowout Pricing. We got so sick of putting out some of the same crap that we decided to knock down a lot of the prices in order to avoid packing a lot of it up and storing it. Teeshirts were down to 50 cents this year. LOL. Thanks for celebrating with me about my punchbowl with suitable joy from Jabberwocky.

    And we only had one crappy customer. Some old sour-faced woman who did not want to pay THREE DOLLARS for a brand-new pair of my mother's orthopedic shoes. She only wanted to pay 2. We said no, so she plunked them back down and wordlessly walked away. Holy crap. They were like 70 bucks.

  5. This is amazingly well-timed, as our neighborhood is having a group yard sale next weekend, and I have been hesitant about joining.

    So much work!

    For possibly so little payoff!

    And of course, I dread the people who try to pay you 5 cents for something you are pricing at 5 dollars.

    I just don't have the patience.

  6. Gina--We are pathological about reduce/reuse/recycle, and as a Retired Person, I have nothing but time (usually). I gather up things all year long and stow them in a spare dresser upstairs, then toss them in a box or two and drive down for the Bigass Sale. It is a lot of work to get everything out two days in a row, then repacked, but if you're only doing it for one day in your cul-de-sac or street, it's not too bad. I always look at it as Free Money. If I had merely donated it all, I'd be rid of it sooner, true, but this way, I can spend time chatting with the fam, enjoying the outdoors, and I earned $110 off stuff I would have tossed.

    Not too bad.

    You have little ones, though, and your time is more Precious. That's a huge consideration.

  7. You, my darling friend, obviously have a GARAGE, or an ATTIC, or perhaps a BASEMENT. Or, maybe, all three. GAH. I just choked from envy.

    We have two tiny storage spaces and a car port (meaning, a covered spot in our parking lot), so anything we do not want anymore goes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Punchbowl? I got one for my wedding, and I made my mother in law take it. She still has it. She serves trifle in it. I dislike trifle, though I love my mother in law.

    That's a weird, long winded, twisty, self-absorbed comment, no? Two glasses of wine. Sorry.

  8. I remember back when I was a kid, it seemed EVERYONE'S mother wanted/needed/coveted a punch bowl and matching cups. Your puzzlement over the wait to sell yours is equal to mine. Congratulations!!

  9. I remember back when I was a kid, it seemed EVERYONE'S mother wanted/needed/coveted a punch bowl and matching cups. Your puzzlement over the wait to sell yours is equal to mine. Congratulations!!


  10. Nance,

    About that sour-faced woman who plunked down the shoes because she didn't want to pay $3.00 for them..

    Do you think maybe she wanted them to be in her size? If they were Orthopedic, she was already having foot trouble,and wearing them two sizes too small would make anybody have a sour face...

    In closing I must say that you are such a heel, giving that poor old sole such a tongue lashing and acting so arch about it. You are definitely not instep with the AARP.

    You should have just leather alone. Can I persuede you to be
    kinder next time and slipper a Dollar or so so she can buy better shoes?

  11. Nancy--Oh, welcome back! And I'm glad to see you in Fine Form And Fettle.

    LOL. I promise to buckle down and be a little more "lace"ez-faire about making deals. Only for you.

    Rainbow Motel--Oh, thank you. That punch bowl was bought on a whim, and I never used it. Truly, I was astounded that it took so long to sell, especially in Amish country. Yet, they are known to eschew impracticals and fluff, so it was no surprise that a young married was the one to finally buy it. They are the purchasers of most pretty things.

    J@jj--Indeed, I have all three. Very common in the area. I, too, have a couple of highly impractical wedding presents from 32 years ago, my silliest being a silver casserole dish. What casserole is so precious, so rare, and so amazing that it deserves to reside in silver? I really want to get rid of that thing.

  12. I hardly believe what I just read! This is most excellent news! We could potentially do something similar (the neighbor across the street has regular garage sales), but frankly I'd rather play Words With Friends :)


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