Sunday, May 25, 2008

Junk In The Trunk

Saturday morning necessities: coffee, sunglasses and/or hat, change in your pocket.

This Sat. I was so excited to go yard-saleing because my sweet friend Kelly came along with me! I need to make a couple additions to my principals, one of them being, it's always more fun to go with someone else! I don't think I've ever talked about my history with yard sales, but my friend since forever ago, Heather, and I started going when we were in high school. It was a new found love for me, since my family never really did much yard saleing. But Heather was a pro. And she taught me to love traveling down those Pitt County roads to find whatever treasure we could. So, I learned early, it's always better with two. That way, you can ask each other's opinions, and have fun together, and also...there's strength in numbers. Which brings me to my second addition...

Don't Let Price Tags Intimidate You.

So, you know, yesterday turned out to be really pretty in the afternoon, but not so much in the morning. It wasn't really "yard sale" weather. And, actually, many people moved their sales to Monday, since it's Memorial Day. (So if you missed it on Sat., you still have a chance to go on Monday!) But Kelly and I still went, and were having fun even in the sprinkles, and getting some pretty good deals (which you'll hear about in a minute).

It's not very often that you meet grumpy yard sale hosts that are stingy and unwilling to deal. I mean, if you're buying their old junk, usually their pretty cordial. Well, we met Stingy Man this weekend. We came to one house, and there were a lot of fun toys. And especially a lot of little girl toys. I start looking, and realize that there are Groovy Girl dolls and accessories, Littlest Pet Shop playhouse and accessories, Little Town toys....I could go on, but for those of you without children this age, you would probably lose interest in this post. I saw that the toy prices were high, with stickers noting that each "set" is $5 and then the accessories another $5. WHAT?! Ok, maybe for a couple of sets, I would pay $5. But not for just one set. Not at a yard the rain....on Memorial Day weekend. So, I start to gather a few things together, and make an offer for a couple of the sets, asking $10 for for a few sets plus a box set of puzzles. The stingy man looked like that was the worst offer ever, but he looked at his daughter allowing her to make the decision, since they were her old toys. She kind of reluctantly said yes.

SO THEN, I started to look through the books realizing that I had missed some fun ones. He had said paper backs were .25 each, and hard backs were $2 each. (OK, just fyi- $2 per book, at a yard sale is not a good deal.) So, I pick out 6 paper backs, thinking that I'll take a few off his hands, and I ask if he'll take $1 for the stack (instead of $1.50). Again, he acts all offended, and says "I'll take $2!" Dude, you just went more than the asking price. That's not whatcha do. If people take more than one, you make the deal a little better. Since they are taking your junk off your hands, and paying you for it. I said, "Well, if they're a quarter each, and I only have 6, that comes to $1.50. But I'll put one back, and give you $1.25." And that's what I did.

So then, when Kelly went up with her pile, it was supposed to add up to $10 at their price, but she got it for $5. A much more reasonable price. I think I wore him down.

I tell you this story to let you know that sometimes you have to be on your game. Now I realize for the more timid ones, this is hard to do. But you do not want to be taken advantage and pay way more than you need to or want to. If they won't come to your price, than they probably won't end up getting rid of it, and it will be their loss. Most of the time, you can tell them what you are wanting to pay, and usually if it's reasonable, they'll be happy to take it. Unless they're stingy man. I think this may have been his first yard sale. (When I told Randy about it, he said, "It's probably because he remembers how much he paid for all of it." I laughed.)

So, yes, there is strength in numbers, but also just remain confident about what you feel comfortable with price wise. It's your game - you're the buyer!

So I ended up doing pretty well getting some fun new things for the house. Here are my favs...

River loving her new pet shop toy - yay!

big old decor things for anywhere (I paid $10 for both!)

Yes that is Calphalon - like new, and only $15!!!

pretty new candelabra to put up

fancy finials ($10 for all of these!) ( these are the things you put on the end of curtain rods)
i love these fun big lanterns that can go anywhere - inside or out! $2

We piled it all in, and loved every minute of it. I meant to get a picture of my trunk, with all the junk in there, but maybe that will be next week. Hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend!!!


Sissy said...

I would just about sell my soul for those Calphalon Pots. If I offered you money, would you take it? lol. I have been looking for nice, new pots and I am a pot snob... I want professional pots like those and they are so pretty.

I think I just drooled on the keyboard.

And Melissa, I live in Gboro...ya gotta take me one Saturday!

kelly said...

i was happy to be your yard sale partner. it was a fun time despite the rain and the cold and the stingy man. a few more principles I think you should include:
1. When they are giving away sweet tea, it is always a good sign!
2. Allow sellers to give you a brief history on their junk...i mean, stuff...but don't necessarily follow their fashion tips (i.e., embroidered pants)
3. When you come up on a sale and the seller says, "Well, I meant to get all this stuff out (points to a garage piled high), but I just didn't get to it"...don't count on finding your prize purchase there.
4. and last, but certainly not least...don't violate the yard sale bargainer's code of ethics by coming back up on the price you have just bargained them down to just because you feel sorry for the seller who is just a little girl. probably trying to save money to by a new bike with her earnings...or adopt a puppy...or maybe help her family move from that creepy house!

Suzanne said...

My question is :) How do you keep going yardselling, and your house is neat and not cluttered.

Do you have secret yardsales avery few weeks? lol

melissa said...

you all make me laugh!

sissy, i'm sorry to say, but i also love Calphalon, and have wanted some for quite some time! but i'll keep my eyes open for you! and you can totally come along any time!

here, here, on the additions, kel!

and suzanne, you made my week saying my house isn't cluttered!!! ;)

carly smith said...

i love the title of this post...haha! ok, saturday will be week two for us going sale-ing. yes, the hubby came along. and suggested we go again on saturday. miracle of miracles. we came up empty handed last week, but i have faith for this weekend. you keep me inspired! :)