Estate Sale Tea Party—We took a brief break for tea…so civilized, don’t you think?
The night before we were ready to throw open the garage door to welcome our crowd of buyers to Project Estate Sale, the dear friend I’m helping informed me that she didn’t think anyone would come to the sale. Covered in 25-cent, 50-cent and one-dollar price stickers, surrounded by a house overflowing in treasures, and tired and achy from three 10-hour days of setup, I told her they would come. THEY WOULD COME. And they did! Opening day was a success.
Before I tell you more about the sale, I want to share a garage sale tip with you. If you ever have the opportunity to reach into the opening of an antique gumball machine that is half full with gumballs and pop one into your mouth…DON’T. They might be very hard, very old, and have a flavor like what you might imagine mothballs would taste like. Do I speak from experience? Why do you ask?
Shortly after the sale began, we were deluged with customers. Looking at my dear friend, I mouthed, “SEE,” and did a little happy dance before I went forth to deal with a customer who informed me that 10 cents was too much for a Christmas doodad. What the heck—I accepted her offer of five cents, and we had a deal. While I was busy negotiating 10-cent deals, my friend, walked over to tell me her customers did not like her attitude. Always the problem solver, I told her that I would trade her my 10-cent wheeler-dealer for the customers who did not like her attitude. Problem solved! My haggler did not mind her poor attitude one bit, and my friend’s customers were delighted to be treated in the manner they were accustomed to whilst shopping at fine neighborhood estate sales.
International bargaining: A Polish-speaking man spent 45 minutes trying to talk me into lowering the price on a hall tree that I knew was already very fairly priced. I refused time and time again, learning that bargaining crosses every language barrier. The best part was that the entire time he was focused on negotiating with me, his wife was buying one thing after another. He walked out the door with the hall tree at the sticker price, followed by his wife carrying three shopping bags.
Garage sales make you think. One man asked, “Do the lights mean something?” as he picked up an authentic stoplight. I enlightened him, and when he drove away with his newly acquired stoplight, I patted myself on the back for making our streets a little safer. The knife sharpener went home with a woman who was excited about all the different ways she could use it. I did not ask.
People are funny, but overall our customers have been terrific so far and have happily forked over cash to turn our treasures into their treasures. My goal for today (day 2) is to sell the Christmas dishes. The objection yesterday seemed to be that they could only be used once a year. Today, I am ready to overcome their objection by insisting Christmas dishes can be used as everyday dishes because we all know every day should be a Merry Christmas sort of day. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!
Odd Loves Company!