Monday, February 24, 2014

Or Best Offer

Oreland has an “online yard sale” website. Never participated because I still have fresh recollections of many “real” yard sales we have had. We had these every couple of years, because we never learned.
Participants are doing a booming business! More power to them!

We would spend the night before dusting things off, labeling and pricing. We were sure everybody was going to LOVE the assortment of costumes that were donated to us for our theater and we couldn’t use! Who wouldn’t kill for a giant bear suit?  My collection of second-string cookbooks including The Canadiana Cookbook, (which, if memory serves, had rather too many recipes featuring maple syrup) was also up for sale. As the evening wore on, we became greedy and started to price things higher and higher. My mother’s wedding gifts--sterling silver platters so heavy they could double as murder weapons? Ka-ching! Sterling is worth a fortune, isn’t it? The Madame Alexander dolls? $50 each! No, $75!! We went to bed with visions of dollar signs dancing in our heads.

In the cold light of dawn, we set out our card tables and arranged our bounty.  Everything looked a bit shabbier than it had the night before, but we were optimistic!!

As the hours crept by, we were reminded why we always did so poorly with yard sales—our stuff is either no good to begin with, or so badly maintained as to be almost worthless.  In late afternoon, the giant bear suit would go out on a table marked “Free.” My Canadiana Cookbook found a home with my wonderful Canadian neighbor, who most likely purchased it out of pity. No one wanted the Madame Alexander dolls; NO ONE wanted the tarnished sterling silver platters.  In the end, we’d wasted an entire day and made just enough money to get a takeout pizza (no extra toppings) after we lugged things back inside.

My sister C has always made a bundle at her yard sales, perhaps because EVERYTHING she and her hubby Rob own is in mint condition. It seems Julie is a chip off that block, because she’s registered on the yard sale website and is doing very well. The old rabbit pen, costume jewelry, never-opened nail polish (yes!)—all have been snapped up quickly. Jules urges me to sell online as well, and the other day I rounded up some things to photograph and post. Haven’t done it yet, because I’m sure our every knick-knack bears the Seyfried curse and will languish, embarrassingly unsold, forever.

Paris stationery set! $5 OBO (who am I kidding? I'll never get to Paris!)

Someday I’ll go for it and mark down the few items we have that are worth anything, just for the thrill of a successful transaction.  And as we sit counting our cash in our empty dining room (table and 8 chairs! $20! OBO!) we will figure out if we made enough money to go out and re-buy our own table and (8) chairs, which will no doubt have been marked way up by a savvy yard saler.  We will not pay a penny more than $200! We have our pride!

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