Estate Sale Happy Dance

estate sale tea party 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!

11 thoughts on “Estate Sale Happy Dance

  1. So glad your day even allowed for tea!!! I am sure that everyone had a great time and walked away with great deals. They are a lot of work but it is so wonderful when you see things going to good homes.

    • My Sister-in-law saw the pot, had tea in her purse (she is from Lithuania and always has tea and apples in her purse) and thought we need a tea party. She was spot on. It was a perfect reprieve during a slow hour.
      Speaking of pots, I brought the Wedgewood home and will wrap it up and ship it our on Monday. It’s so pretty! Good homes are the best.

  2. You almost make me want to hold one of these — not really! You’re a much better negotiator than I am, and I love your optimistic, positive attitude. Your friend is lucky to have you along for the fun! Wonder what the knife lady was going to do with that sharpener??

    • Me too, Debbie. Hope I don’t read about it on Twitter #knifesharpener. Garage sales are all about the good deal some people just take it a little bit too far. Thanks…My happy face is a lot brighter early in the game. . .

  3. You must have the patience of Job. I would not succeed at this task. Ten cents, no a nickel. I’m afraid I would give someone my two cents…….. Sounds like you really enjoy the process involved. Your friend is very lucky to have you!

    • In the morning when the day is young I do enjoy the process and my wick is pretty long, in the afternoon my patience thins but I’m too tried to care much so it all evens out. It’s fun. Thanks my friend is an almost 80 something character.

  4. Only one more day, so hang in. I think tomorrow you should get Cole and Paco to drive around putting out signs. You know, last day for huge estate sale signs!
    I wish you could get Carla to write about her garage sale experieince.

    • I’ll have to ask my Dear Cousin to write a guest post. Good ideas about the signs! I hope to sell out tomorrow.

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