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If I Were King – Garage Sales

June 9, 2010

If I were King of the Land, there would be some strictly enforced garage sale laws.  Summer is here and with it comes garage sales.  Apparently most people have no concept of courtesy or honesty. Individuals are as bad as the big corporations when it comes to the instinct to snow job the potential customer.

First of all there has to be some sort of minimum standard for the right to write “Huge Sale” on a sign pointing to your garage. If you have a ping pong table covered with baby clothes, a card table full of rusty tools, a couple 13 inch TV sets from the 1970’s, and a seized outboard motor from 1957, you do NOT have a “Huge Sale” and calling it such should get you sued for false advertising. But people seem to think if they don’t put “Huge Sale” no one will come.  Face it, if you don’t really have enough stuff to make it worthwhile, don’t bother having a sale.  Which leads us to…

Multi-Family Rummage Sale!  Just because the neighbor gave you an old Mix-Master to get rid of, that doesn’t give you the right to call it a Multi-Family Sale. The concept here is you’ve got as much stuff as if 4 or 6 or however many families who were going to have individual sales got together and dumped all their crap into one garage.  Not that among 4 households you managed to find enough stuff to just barely have a sale.

If you sale is over, take down the sign!  Nothing frustrates me more than following all your signs to a sale that closed 2 hours ago. Or yesterday. If you’re done, go get all the friggin’ signs. And for Pete’s sake, put the HOURS on your signs.  Put 9-3, and the DAY! “Sat” will suffice for Saturday if you’re not up to spelling it out. And if for some reason you sell all your stuff by noon, TAKE THE SIGNS DOWN!

And another thing: Don’t put a sign on the corner of the paved county road pointing down some dirt road that says “Sale Today 9-3” with an arrow, and then have your sale 8 miles from that sign after following 5 more signs.  Put the miles ON the sign, so if I don’t have a half hour to kill tracking down your “Huge Sale”, I don’t wind up getting there all torqued off.

Oh, and quit trying to sell me garbage.  No one wants a flashlight with corroded batteries in it. No one wants a doll with no legs. Throw that crap out.

And while we’re at it, don’t try to sell your stuff at eBay prices.  If you want to get eBay prices for your stuff, put it on eBay.  When it’s on eBay you’re selling your stuff to millions of people world wide, you’ll be lucky to get a couple hundred at your rummage sale. And just because someone sold a left handed nostril inhaler with your state motto on it for $86 on ebay, doesn’t mean the guy down the block will pay that for it. He’d probably just throw it out.  But the “I can get ______ for this on eBay” mentality is a topic for a separate article. And yes, people are at your sale looking for stuff for a nickel that they can resell on eBay for $86 dollars. Don’t feel like they’re ripping you off.  It’s a lot of work to sell that doodad on eBay. If YOU wanted to set up an account, get verified, take pictures, write descriptions, sign up for Paypal, pay the various fees, pack and ship the stuff, deal with goofy buyers, and all the rest you too could sell it for $86 on eBay.  Just remember, the guy who bought it from you for resale has to WORK to sell it.  If you don’t want to do that kind of extra work, don’t try to make that kind of money.

Take some time to think about your shoppers and try to make your signs and advertising accurate with information that actually helps them find your sale and know what to expect!

Good idea to check your spelling before putting signs up

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