Junk in My Trunk

What doesn’t kill you … makes you tired. I participated in a 20-booth garage/tag sale last Saturday. Enough said. Notions, facts, and criminal acts follow ….


One week home purge. Not a hoarder, should be a snap. Closet #1: filled to the brim with shit belongings. (Could I be a hoarder?) Filter through 800 pounds of baby clothes, shoes that pinch, purses (I wondered where these were), lacrosse sticks and everything in between. Meh!

Would find myself spending way too much time evaluating items. Oh, this is eldest daughter’s first C on a paper. Hoarder, hoarder! Three hours into it, everything went to sale, trash, or Goodwill. A combined 40 hours later, I had my items for the sale. To tag with prices. Another 10 hours and everything was ready to go. Except me. Because I was half-dead with exhaustion. Oh God, do I really want to do this? God: “Yes, you have no $.”

Load’em Up and Move’em Out

At the bright and shiny hour of 5 am, it was time to load the massive amount of sacks and boxes containing my trash/another’s treasure. Whoops. I drive a car that accommodates me and a bottle of water.

 Immediately sent up smoke signals. After promising my Cooking Partner all sorts of “favors” in return for transport, he loaded everything in his truck and we were on our way. (I do not intend to provide any “favors”; it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.)

Madness and Mayhem

My sales associates, Partay and the Tamster, were staging our booth when I arrived. We had the best “stuff”, we had the “best” booth, we were all going to retire on our take. The gates opened and mayhem ensued. Sharing:

  1. My parents, always supportive, arrive to check on the situation. Cooking Partner and Daddy (shut up, he’ll always be my “Daddy”) start talking about fishing. I pipe up and say, “CP caught and ate mackerel last week”. My father laughed till he cried. CP just cried. Holy Mackerel – no one eats that! Then my father got on the “had to walk 100 miles roundtrip in the snow to get to school/couldn’t roller skate on gravel roads” poor stories topping it off with, “We were so poor we didn’t have garbage.” Blah, blah, blah. Cooking Partner took this cue to excuse himself. My dog would be crossing and recrossing his legs, waiting for a restroom break, which CP would provide. Afterwards, he took off to go catch anything but mackerel.
  2. The first customers at these sales are always professionals. They sweep up the good “stuff” so they can sell it themselves. They also pay the “big bucks” ($1) because it is the beginning of the sale.
  3. Time does not pass, period, when involved in this sort of enterprise. I was looking for my car keys when Partay said, “Where do you think you are going?” I said, “Home, it’s over, right?”. Her reply, “NO! It’s 9:15 am!” Gag.
  4. There is a criminal element working these sales. A man distracted the three of us (not difficult to do) while his accomplice made off with some of our best “stuff”. Note to garage sale criminals: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when we find you. And we will find you.
  5. After about three hours, it’s crying time. Every single customer approaches us with items clearly tagged $8, $15, etc. and offers $1. At first, our response is “The tag says $8!” But they beat us down, repeating “$1” until all three of our heads explode. “Just take the whole bloody booth … for $1”. We are so over and so out.
  6. Do not bring your dogs to garage sales. Especially if they are puppies who eat garbage while you are yakking. Because they hurl brown foam. Brown foam does not help sales. Thank you very much.
  7. These “happenings” are very good for people watching. Seen: perky pregnant moms scheduled for delivery in three days, man in pajamas, and scores of folks in need of dental attention. Oh, and there’s always the couple who haggle you to death, then make off with a huge haul in their Mercedes. Really.

Once it was over, we had accounting and payout. I made $1 and change. I looked and felt like this:

I’m still in recovery. If you want to have a garage sale, contact Partay and the Tamster. Don’t ask me or I will cut you.


35 thoughts on “Junk in My Trunk

  1. I just did this with a consignment sale. Hours and hours of work and only a $100 and some of my shit stolen to show for it. Used to be, I would have paid $100 not to have to do it. Dang recession.

  2. I was laughing through the whole thing but “brown foam” sent me over the edge!
    I hate having yard sales for all the reasons you mentioned, but sometimes they are a necessary evil. Hopefully you won’t have to be a part of another one for a long time.

  3. This is why I avoid my wife’s garage sales like the plague! If you remember, the last sale we had, I wandered out to discover her selling my balls! (golf) So, you actually had jerks stealing your stuff? How low can you get! Glad u survived in one piece and are back in Blogville. And, in case you were wondering….(lean in real close so I can whisper…..closer….cloooooooser….pssst! Yes! you are a hoarder!) 🙂 Have a great day Izzie!

  4. So…what you’re saying is…it didn’t go well? Thanks for my morning giggle!

    I’m so glad you’re back!


    • Wendy! Freshly Pressed! My, my you’ve been a busy and popular girl while I was offline. So happy for you! I need to read – just did a quick friend check before post. Coming over to your place for a spell. x iz

  5. Oh wow, iz, sounds like bone-numbingly hard work. I was hoping you’d be able to retire and fly to London for that drink. Next time?
    Sunshine xx

    • Oh, Sunshine, I’m just glad it’s over! Yes, I CAN fly to London for drink because the night before the sale, I went to a gold show and came home with enough for a drink or three with you in London. Will schedule soon! x iz

  6. I need a little nap after reading this, will come back to comment …

  7. I’m sorry that someone stole your stuff. That stinks! And that you didn’t make as much as you wanted. =(

    • Oh, thoughts, really could care less – just glad to get out alive. And, like I told Cin, went to a gold show (take all your broken, unwanted trinkets) and scored. Win!

  8. No dogs at garage sales… Got it….

    Too funny.

  9. You can only bring your dog if you are selling him. Which is horrid. So you will be sold instead and dog gets profit (if any). Do you think that is a good rule? Hahahaha!

  10. you have the most amazing things happen to you. It’s like golden nugget stories. I’m just sorry you have to live through them sometimes!

  11. All feng shui’d cleansed out yet?

    Thank HEAVENS our subdivision has declared it uncouth to have a garage sale. (But split rail home-on-the-range looking fences are de-rigeur. I don’t get it either.) Except that it means we have to schlep all our crap once a year over to a friend’s house. Sure would be nice to be able to “stage” in the garage, & shut the whole shebang down when I felt like it. (or felt like a refill on my bloody mary)

    Speaking of which: Lessons learned:

    ALWAYS have bloody mary’s handy. (This is not optional.)
    Someone MUST do a chicken-biscuit run. (or other horrifyingly delightful non-daily breakfast fare) If they come back without hot sauce, they’re fired.
    NEVER pre-price stuff. Who wants to spend hours marking items as 25 cents when you’re just gonna haggle anyway? We play the “whadya gimme for it?” game and I swear we get more $. (Nevermind more sanity from not dealing with the damned pricing, which is priceless.)

    Dang, whoda thunk that they need to allow bullet formatting in comments fields?

    • Sister, you’d best pour me a Bloody Mary right now! Wish I’d had you and all your sales smarts with me that day. My dad did the sandwich run but forgot to get chips. Bless his heart, I can’t eat a sandwich without chips! Good grief!

  12. Oh Izzie! You are too funny. I like the part about changing mind. Very clever. Also like the mackarel fish part. LOL. Hm, seriously, now that I read your account, I don’t want to do any of this. Sounds too stressful. Ah, but I did pack to go on a short trip. Chat in a few days. Prob blog from location…maybe.

  13. Holy mother of pearl, I hate having yard sales. You have my sympathies.

  14. I am an expert at getting people to my stall… three tips:
    1. Have a child blowing bubbles from the back of the stall – everybody stops because it’s cute and then you can explain the proceeds are for their college fund or for shoes or whatever. Better still, get them to explain. Plus, children are less likely to eat brown foam and vomit. Bonus.
    2. Encourage a range of relatives to stand around looking excited and say things like ‘Oh La La! This is such good value!’ under their breath in audible whispers. The crowd makes people think there’s something to be bought.
    3. Have some great music on if nobody else is – even if it’s quiet. And wear a great hat or a feather boa to get people stopping and looking!

    I am the QUEEN of boot sales as they are known in the UK (and bric-a-brac, braderies etc in France) French people, like Moroccans, price things at three times the price they want and then let people bargain for them. Most people go to a third and will be argued up to about 45% – either way it’s more than you wanted!!

    Love from the Born Saleswoman of Tatt.

    • Lady Justine – you’ve got this down to a fine art. We need you here. Your suggestions are great but problematic for me. 1) My children are taller than me, much better dressed, and if they have bubbles, it would be from burping up champagne, 2) my relatives would terrify the most courageous of customers. We did have great music, which of course provoked dancing which is why the criminals could make off with all but the cash box! Like I said, we need you here.

  15. This literally made my morning. I love when writers take a totally maddening situation and make it so hilarious for the readers. 🙂 I too tried the yard sale sale thing once. Once is all it took. Thanks for a great post!!

  16. Looove this post. I sympathize most with people shaking you down to the $1. I once had a little yard sale with my friends and her neighbors. I had priced a dress at $8, and this little old lady jerked it off its hanger (and it was hanging very neatly), wadded it up, walked up to me and said, “I’ll give ya a quarter for this.” I said no, and she’s the one that got mad at ME! Seriously?!

  17. You’ve captured the exact way I felt and happenings when I tried a garage sale (right down to the hagglers who drover a way in their mercedes). Was so not worth the time and aggravation.

  18. I’ve found it’s easier to just haul it all to Goodwill.

  19. No shitsky! Why I continue to forget that … oh, my bank account balance, $1.17. Glad you’re back!

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