We had our first (and only) garage sale on Saturday. We lost $960 (when you consider the gross profit of $240, minus hours invested, based on a very conservative freelance potential of $75/hour). We also lost something much more valuable than money and time. OUR RESPECT FOR HUMANITY. I have some words to the wise about garage sales, some of which involve profanity (and make me sound like not a very nice person):
1. People will show up at 7:40 and lurk like annoyed vultures, even when your cute sign says "8 a.m.! No early birds!"
2. People will insult your stuff. To your face.
3. People will switch stickers and try to steal. Even if the item only costs a dollar to start with.
4. If it rains, people will want a discount because stuff is wet.
5. The bitch-ass manager of the vintage store where you paid a lot of money for the clothes will come and buy them back from you at a fraction of the price. The best ones.
6. Craigslist is the new garage sale. Invite the jerks to paw through your stuff on a one-to-one basis.
Scene from a garage sale:
Confused man wanders up at the end of the sale and inquires about the rusty, filthy sad mountain bike. Its price ($20) has fallen off and truly may be too much. I say, "Dude, it's your lucky day. Five bucks." He laughs in a polite, confused way and keeps shopping. He wanders back to me and asks about how old the bike is. He shops some more. He comes up and asks about how long the bike has been sitting outside. How to take the back wheel and derailer off. Finally, I say, "Dude, it's free. Just take it. You can have it." And he feels bad and says, "I feel bad. I'll give you a dollar." I hate him so much in this moment. I say, with feigned levity, "Hey man, I don't need your charity. What I need is for you to get this bike out of here." At which point Maggie advises him, "Um, I think she just wants you to stop talking to her."
All of you, stop talking to me. Yes, fifty cents is fine. No wait — for you, forget it. I would rather give it to Goodwill. I would rather watch it rot in my living room, shedding paint, staining my floor, scraping me with its rusty scales than sell it to you. Now leave. LEAVE.