My dad has always been an eloquent orator, known for his articulate and expressive way with words, describing any context perfectly. Years ago, when I was a teenager, my family decided to rid the house of unwanted items (aka "junk") hoping to make a little money off of it. So, we held a Yard Sale one Saturday for a few hours. Throughout the advertised timeframe of our yard sale, people of all types would stop by, look around, maybe buy some things (or not), and take off to the next one. Once traffic slowed down a bit, my dad stepped out of the house and voiced to all of us, "It's a special breed of people that come to these things." No sooner did he make that announcement, he realized that not all the customers had left, and probably out of embarrassment, quickly returned back inside, leaving the rest of us to deal with the humiliation. Of course we never let our dad live that day of embarrassment down. And it still lives strong to this day as we decided to try and redeem ourselves with another yard sale over the weekend.
(not our sign) from Google images
Being more involved in the preparations this time around, especially in the actual selling of items, I began to realize that there was more truth to my dad's words than I realized. What is it that draws people to a yard sale? Why are they even awake (and dressed) before 7am on a Saturday morning?! Is it the counteraction with the bargaining that drives them? Or is it the actuality of getting something for practically nothing? Vehicles raced to our street, taking no heed to parallel parking, or any form of orderly fashion. Drivers shuffled out, some leavig their doors ajar or kids screaming from their car seats. These were the ones looking for something in particular. The others listlessly browsed the sticker-priced items, haggling the prices, or pretending not to speak English (I foiled their plans when I responded in their language). My favorite of the whole morning was the gentleman dressed from head to toe in black leather, with a 10" knife sheathed and strapped to his leg. Even a concealed weapons' permit wouldn't apply since the weapon clearly was not concealed. But my initial intimidation of this man was quickly abated once he turned around, displaying, under his arm, a yorkie adorned with a red ribbon. The man didn't buy anything, but seemed satisfied just discussing his family of yorkies, their behaviors, and future plans.
Although our yard sale was somewhat successful (aka we made money off of items that would have otherwise gone to the D.I.), I still have a hard time displaying my "junk" and asking for money from people to take it off my hands. I guess it's the circle of life. There are instances where the Yard Sale setting is very beneficial. We know of a woman who held a yard sale to fund their invetro fertilization process. During the same time our yard sale was happening, a fellow blogger was holding a Bake Sale (after a yard sale the day prior) raising funds to finance a necessary and very expensive lung transplant for the little girl of a friend of hers. It was sobering to see the pictures of this sweet baby connected to IVs and oxygen tubes and to learn of her plight with a birth disorder. At the same time, we were uplifted by the strength of a community come together, providing homemade cookies, cupcakes, and Argentine empanadas (seriously sooo good!) all with one purpose in mind.
So, where do you stand with yard sales? Are you the type that plan your route every Saturday morning, searching for a bargain? Or do you stay away from them as if they were the swine flu?