The yard sale

I have a love/hate relationship with hosting yard sales. They require a tremendous amount of work, your plans can be ruined by weather and you never really understand the whole pricing/haggling thing… at least I don’t. Although I’ve never gone to a yard sale myself I know there’s a sport to finding that treasure amidst the trash and haggling to get it for a bargain. I just can’t haggle. I figure that whatever price the owner placed on the sticker is what he/she thought it would be worth paying. So, in the wee hours of the morning as I sat in in my garage, cleaning, organizing and pricing items for sale I frequently heard my husband saying “raise the price because people will haggle.”

So I went on the internet to research yard sale pricing and to gain some insight into haggling. What I learned is that no one agrees on pricing. For everyone who said to price higher so you can negotiate, there was some other yard sale expert claiming you should simply price fairly.

I went with the fair pricing camp. Apparently though, everyone else in my neighborhood is in the haggling camp. I hadn’t even stepped five feet out of my garage to start placing items on a table in the yard before several people negotiated on paying half the marked price. The sun wasn’t even up yet and I realized I was out of my league.

So for two mornings I stood outside and watched people tear up on my lawn as they parked every-which-way, felt bad when I refused to let countless people inside my house to use my bathroom, fought off unleashed dogs who attempted to either jump on me with their muddy paws or pull items off the tables, and rehung clothes that were yanked off hangers and left on the ground. I also chatted with neighbors and made some new friends, smiled as people rejoiced at finding the one treasure they had been searching for and kept the hand sanitizer close by to keep my OCD under control while handling money.

As the yard sale came to a close and I started packing the unsold items in boxes, to my husband’s dismay, I took out my marker and wrote “items for 2012 yard sale.” I’m going to take haggling lessons in the meantime.

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