me my books my blog keep in touch

I hate garage sales.

Garage sales suck…they really do – for everyone involved. It doesn’t matter if you are the buyer or the seller, nobody is going to have a good experience at a garage sale.

Why it sucks to have a garage sale:
As you all know, I recently moved. Pre-move, we undertook a giant clean-out, figuring that the fewer items we had to pack up and move the happier we would be. Definitely a good theory. Then, instead of just packing up all our unwanted items and generously dumping them on Goodwill, we got greedy and decided to have a garage sale. A friend of mine told me she had made over $1000 at her garage sale. Who wouldn’t want $1000 for their junk? So, we got up painfully early a few weekends before our big move and carried all our junk out to the driveway.
Then we sat there in the sun and watched people sort through our wreckage. As miserably bored as I was, I can’t deny that it was somewhat fascinating. The items I thought would go fast, like board games, sat there baking. A stack of baby blankets that I thought nobody would want were among the first to go – go figure. The part that was unbearable was the haggling:

Fictitious Garage Sale Customer: “How much for this brand new frame, still in wrapper with the $15 Aaron Brothers price sticker on it?”
Me: “$1″
FGSC: “Would you take 25 cents for it?”
Me: “Why don’t you take for of them for $1. I don’t really want to deal with coins.”
FGSC: “Would you take 75 cents?”

I’m serious! This is how my day went. People were haggling down to the nickel. It was ridiculous. And to top it off, at the end of the day, we still had a driveway full of stuff that had now been man-handled by every garage sale shopper in town. In the end, we canceled day #2 of our sale and donated the (many) remaining items.

The flip side – why it sucks to go to a garage sale:
Now, I know what you are thinking. If I know garage sales suck, why would I go to one? This is a very valid point, but there is a tractor-beam-ish draw. I cannot help but think one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I don’t go to garage sales often. I would say two a year, three tops. I don’t read the Penny Saver to see where they are and I don’t drive around looking for them, but occasionally if I am walking around my neighborhood and I see a big, handwritten sign promising treasures galore, I can’t help myself. I fell into the trap this morning. I spent a few minutes of my life looking at the piles of garbage that had been thoughtlessly strewn onto a driveway. I can’t deny it was interesting to see the items they were willing to part with – a florescent pink padded bra, a bamboo bong and a Jonas Brothers beanbag chair among them – but alas, their trash would have been my trash too, and I so I walked away feeling a bit sorry for myself that I had wasted my time and energy looking for the pot of gold that doesn’t exist and a bit sorry for these people who are going to spend the rest of this beautiful Sunday sitting around while people endlessly haggle.

Leave a Reply