One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Therefore, the bunch of crap some folks put out at a yard sale can be a real treasure hunt for some. Actually, we tend to put out good stuff. I went through the garage this weekend and found stuff still boxed up from the last time we moved which was still in the original boxes from when we bought it. Hoarders? Maybe. Future savers? Yes. So I got the stuff out this weekend and lined it all up and I started to make sales. Big time. I sold picnic stuff from Target, unopened stuff from Disney, a fish tank, a foot massager, some old stereo equipment, a bookcase. People are always looking for a steal so they’d make me an offer and we’d haggle. But a strange thing happened: boredom set in after an hour. I was bored. Bored. Bored. Dear god, waiting for people to drive by the house in hopes they’ll stop and buy stuff is like watching paint peel… so I got a brilliant idea. I grabbed a marker and a sign and said “pay a fair price and leave the money in the mailbox”… I suggested a few prices on items but that was it. I grabbed the wife and the kids and we went out for the day. Big mistake? Maybe. Huge social experiment? Yes.
So we went and enjoyed our day and I left all the stuff lined up there knowing I might never see it again but thankful that at least I’d never need to carry it back into the house. We drove by the house once during the day and saw several people including our neighbor checking out the merchandise. Wow! This was really working. A self serve yard sale. What a utopian idea. I must be a hippie… How much peace and love and yard sale earnings could there be! So we got home at the end of the day, and the table was gone and the chairs were gone and most everything we had left out there including an old stroller was gone. Awesome! So we sent our 8 year old to go grab the cash in the mailbox and she went up, and opened the door, and shouted “there’s nothing here”. Huh? “There’s no money”! And our big social experiment ended just like that. Maybe some people paid and left money. Maybe someone came by and stole the money. Or maybe I forgot the number one rule of yard sales: people are always looking for a steal. In the end, I had made almost a hundred bucks before trying the self-serve idea… And I even got someone to buy a used foot massager and some other stuff so you just never know what someone will buy. And at the end of the day, I didn’t have to bring one thing back in the house at all. I consider it a win-win even if some folks got a tremendous steal.
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