It was a mad house

The yard sale is done.  We drove up on Friday night when I got off work and spent a few hours setting up an additional tent that Lori bought (making four tents total) and taking some remaining things out for the sale.  We were way ahead of the game as Doug and Deb the neighbors must have been working all of the days since we had left.  There was an additional pop up tent since we had left the previous weekend and so much stuff was already set up.  Doug had make shift tables set up by using folding tables as legs and putting ply wood on top.  The tents were all connected down the driveway making for a huge covered shopping area.

They had pulled out a lot of the stuff we had priced last week and there was basically the storage units to pull out the next morning.  We stayed in a local hotel so we could get an early start and were up at 4:30 got ready and stopped for breakfast and were working on setting things out at 6:00 a.m.

The yard sale was advertised in the paper to start at 8:00 a.m but a guy wandered in at 6:05.  He got well past the doorway before I saw him and I told him we were not ready for people yet.  He gave me some line about driving from Banning and asked if we had tools as he walked on past me and into the garage.

I wish I could say that was when I realized I had to be firm with our boundaries but it didn’t come until much later in the day.  I did put a sign on the gate that said we were not starting until 8:00.  That really helped after that.  Doug and Deb walked across the street and started to help.  Viki, Mark and Emily who drove in from Irvine to help us got there about 6:30 and Gretchen arrived just before 7:00.  We continued to set things out and pull kitchen ware out of the sheds as people gathered outside the gate and paced and looked at what they could from where they stood.

I opened the gate at 8:00 and about the fourth person past me asked about a settee we had sitting there and I went to look at the price and Lori said it was sold…that lady just bought it.  The first one in the gate.

We were off.  Just as the last of the people waiting got through the gate we had two more friends arrive.  So we were ten against……20 within four minutes.  It did not slow down and it was crazy busy and running around.

My fit bit buzzed at 10,000 steps and it seemed like we had been working for hours and I actually thought it must be noon and I peaked in the house at a clock and it was 9:10 in the morning.  We had only been selling for just over an hour.

Vicki and Emily ran a separate jewelery sale inside the back room that had a door out into where the rest of the sale was going.  The jewelry and shoes were paid for separately in there and Gretchen totaled up and took money for everything else.  That is not as easy as it sounds as every single person there wanted to negotiate on already ridiculously low prices.

I am no good at that part.  I have been saying that all along and fully admit to when I had to have the sale in Washington to pay my property taxes that if it were not for Dale and Vivian I would have made a buck forty because I just can’t do it.

I was completely surprised at just how rude people are.  There was one man who Lori told you’re done you can leave now.  He wanted everything, for nothing and then complained about the condition of things or that he wasn’t getting as good of a deal as “that guy”.  There was also the woman I had to stop from going into the house.  She snarked at me that she wanted to see the house, I told her no and that it wasn’t for sale.  “Its an estate sale” was her response and that she could see cabinets inside.  I told her that everything that was for sale was outside and I closed the door and walked away.

Walking away seemed to be the only thing that got people to stop the barter cycle.  Ask a price, name a price, walk away except I wasn’t very good at it.  Lori ended up with Gretchen to state prices and collect.  People tried to get away with things like filling a box and “hiding” things in it or holding up something and asking how much and then showing up with four of them and claiming she had said a certain price.  She was great at saying “for one, you added three more”  If I negotiated a price I usually marked it on the item but found when they got up to pay they negotiated down even further.  Everything was already an amazing deal and things still in boxes but they wanted an even better deal.

I spent the day pulling more and more stuff out of the sheds onto the tables as things cleared out and loading up people’s trucks as they bought things.

Then the rain rolled in.  It rolled in hard and fast and we were covering things with tarps and pulling items in and we called it a day.  It was 1pm maybe 12:30 but all ten of us would have sworn it was 6pm.

We hung out and visited with our friends for a bit before they all took off for the two hour drive to LA.  Lori and I headed back to the hotel room, showered and went to a Sr. Hour dinner.  We went back today for the “non-sale” day as we had decided before it ever really began that we only wanted to do this for a day.  The “non-sale” day has its own set of stories….most of which show just how Lori is a much nicer person than I am.

But we just got home and I work in the morning so I’ll save those stories for tomorrow.

3 Responses to “It was a mad house”

  1. Flo Says:

    Wow you guys are amazing and strong. I do not like to do garage sale because of the dishonesty of people. I do not have patient for their BS.
    I am happy thing are finding new homes and you guys are getting closer to close this difficult chapter on both of your life.
    Love flo

  2. Katherine Says:

    Always amazes me how rude people can be. There’s definitely a second-hand-sale culture that I’ve never been able to stomach. It’s all about besting people and it seems to bring out the worst behaviors. Can’t wait until you guys are done with all this stuff. Hugs.

  3. lorip623 Says:

    It’s a fabulous psychological study on people and things. I have my theories about people that are “in mass.” Their personal lives come out very clearly. Maybe that’s how you can tell what a person is like — take them to a yard sale and see how they respond to “things.” heehee
    We are almost done — the rest goes to charity this week and then we begin on the actual house which is the creative part.


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