01 June 2010

Mom Tip: Garage Sales

     Thank you to all who wished us well and prayed for a good result.  The sale went well, as the weather was perfect every minute we were open, When we packed up after day two, we didn't have to imaginatively cram everything back in, and WE RAISED SOME FUNDS!!!

     Having bargained with God for the last two weeks like a prisoner awaiting execution, I can now present the:
CRAZYBELOVED GUIDE TO SURVIVING YOUR GARAGE SALE
1)Don't expect the people shopping your sale to appreciate your good taste.  Yes, they are going to walk right past the quality items you didn't really want to put in but don't need anymore, to get to a lot of stuff you know they don't need.  It's not personal.  It's business.  Smile and take their money.
2)Don't negotiate with a fool.  Some price negotiation is to be expected, but when someone makes a foolish offer, calmly look at them and say, "No."  Actually, this is the most fun part of the sale--watching the reactions when a person was trying to rip you off, or when they feel they must negotiate, but really want the item.  People who know the value of an item will respect it.  We even had a couple of collectors warn us that we had some items that were more valuable than we knew.  Yes, we totally marked them up.
3)Have enough help.  I have done every sale I have ever done, alone.  It felt like a punishment for keeping too much of the wrong garbage.  It was lonely, and the burn of making no money was multiplied.
4)Have fun.  We heard the cancer survival story of a lady who has been cancer free for 30 years.  A lady stopped by who was obviously quite beyond the outer limits of reality.  We saw young families seeking to make their homes better and share something pleasant with their children.  And simply exchanged small talk with neighbors and learned about the people in our area.  Many friends and well wishers stopped by; a party atmosphere prevailed.
5)Know ahead of time that this is a lot of back breaking work, and expect to get beat like a rug.  No.  Really.
6)Advertising makes a difference.  We left no stone unturned with opportunities for advertising, and I think that made a difference.

We didn't empty out their garage, and we didn't finish raising all the funds for our adoption, so we will be going again in two weeks. 

Thank you to all our friends who contributed time and merchandise and funds and happy spirits to our sale.  The money is great, but the love...  Oh, yes, the love.

CRAZYBELOVED VENTING HER FEELINGS GUIDE TO MIRACLES

     Adoption is the miracle.  What makes it a miracle is that you add together paper, ink, hard work, shameless begging, and an inordinate amount of money and mix them together and wait longer than it should take and for reasons only God can explain...sometimes this results in the shaping of a new family.  But not always...
     I recently heard a story of a family who had applied for a grant. They received that grant at a big "raising attention and funds" type event held here in town.  Before the event ended, an individual came forward and wrote a check for the rest of their adoption expenses.  A miracle for them, indeed.  We applied to that same organization for a grant and received a brief letter, two weeks after their own deadline, informing us that God had told them not to give us a grant.
     We have applied for another grant.  We will be having another sale.  We have a coffee fundraiser to focus some attention on, an idea or two for items to sell.  Anne knows how to set up a pay pal dealie, since our chip-in has attracted zero interest(however, this may be because so many of those who visit my blog are also adopting and have no cash to spare).  We know God is on our side because He started it.  He is going to glorify Himself by shaping me into a better person through the fight.
      I have always dreamed of a miracle.  Someone just walking up and saying, "How much is left?" and writing a check.  But see.  That one has been used.  Someone here in town already got that. If it happens to us now, it will be a "sometimes people just walk up to you and write you checks for your expenses".  Not that I would refuse it of course(by all means, do write the check if you are thinking of it), but we are discussing miracles. I can't win the lottery, because I don't play the lottery.  It is unlikely that I will receive an unexpected inheritance.  Those things are not miracles anyway.  I don't want that other mom's story anymore than I want her baby.  I want my story to be told and I want my son.  Not anyone else's.  I'm staying with God and not under the rejection of humans.  If I could think it up, it wouldn't be a miracle anyway.

Thanks Dana and Tom for holding our arms up while the battle goes on...

I love Tuesdays 'cause I feel like someone is asking my opinion at Parenting BY Dummies

79 comments:

  1. Glad you had a good yard sale...our last one was a bust. We might try again.

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  2. Your first and second tips cracked me up! You know, I've never had my own garage sale, but I've put a few things in a friend's. Pricing is so difficult because my stuff is great! ;)

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  3. Well said! Visiting from SITS. I gave up on garage sales, myself!

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  4. I'll stand with you in agreement for that funding! I cannot provide it, but I can pray with you for it!

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  5. Must show this to my mom! :) Love it! Congrats on being featured on SITS! (:

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  6. Garage sales are a lot of work. In addition the newspaper ads in the community paper(a must), signs, permits (you must have a permit where I live), etc. it can get expensive. That's why so many people where I live in New Jersey have MULTI-FAMILY garage sales. You have a much better chance of attracting buyers.

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  7. i keep thinking i'll do one but never get the courage to do it.

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  8. I'm stopping by from SITS! Happy Friday Potluck Day. Thanks for the garage sale tips!

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  9. Great tips for a garage sale..haven't had one for a long time.Visiting from SITS.

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  10. Congrats on your sale! I have a bunch of books and other stuff I should be getting rid off, but I'm not ready to let go... not yet!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  11. Great tips. I'll keep those in mind for our future garage sale. Definetly not going to let my hubs negotiate, he'll give everything away. lol. Congrats on SITS potluck!

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  12. Great tips - and so true! I have had my fair share of garage sales!

    I feel your frustrations! If I had the money, I would write the check for you, but I don't. I think that adoption is a wonderful thing. It is something that we once considered for a long while! Good luck to you! Keep up the faith! I will be praying for you!

    Congrats on being a SITS potluck Friday pick!

    Thanks, Anna from Motherly Law

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  13. oooh, garage sale tips!!! Awesome!!!! love it love it!
    Anyway, I'm visitng you via sits! Happy Potluck Friday and congrats on being featured today!
    Newest follower :) It's great to meet you! I look forward to getting to know you better via blogging! Have a great weekend!

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  14. Great Garage sale tips!
    Stopping by from SITS for your potluck day!
    Congrats!!

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  15. great tips. I need to get on my sister to have her garage sale for adoption funds too. She's been talking about it for ages.

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  16. Great guides. :) I don't have sales because no one can find our house. LOL

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  17. I only did one garage sale. I had a lot of stuff, but very few people. I guess I should have advertised it in the paper at least. I was very disappointed at how little I made--I think about $100 only and I had lots leftover.

    Congrats on your SITS day!

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  18. Look at you getting a SITS mini-feature!! Aren't you lucky?! ;) I had to come and say hello to my sweet friend!

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  19. I'm doing a yard sale in three weeks. I do this every year and every year I think I'm insane for doing it in the first place. Last year we only did it for 5 hours on a Friday and it was my best sale in 5 years. SO..it's a Friday sale and this year we're advertising. We (my mom and I) have so much baby/kid stuff to rid ourselves with...I'm hoping to get enough money to go skydiving. :)

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  20. stopping by from SITS.

    I will be praying for you to raise the funds quickly.

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  21. 'Don't negotiate with a fool'. That is just perfect - not just for yard sales, but as a motto for living. Thanks for the tips! Makes me want to host a sale sometime soon. Lord knows we've got enough junk...ahem...treasures to flog.

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  22. Love the garage sale tips! And, as for your adoption process, maybe, justmaybe, being picked for SITS day, will lead to other avenues. Just think of all of these new prayers getting sent to heaven in your name! I know that you are now in my prayers. :) Blessings!

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  23. I love it! It is so true that you can't argue OR negotiate with crazy.

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  24. Great garage sale tips. We need to have one around here.

    You always meet characters when you hold one. I remember my mom trying to sell some decent brass light fixtures at the garage sale. A guy who as a hobby smelts metal stopped by and began to give us tips on how the light fixtures (I think they were priced at $1 a piece) were priced too high because there wasn't that much brass in them when you went and smelted them down or something as if the only reason one would buy a light fixture would be do smelt it down. Anyway, we sold them later to some woman who probably had no intention of smelting them and was quite happy with the good deal she got.

    At the same sale someone else came up and asked how much we wanted for a bag of old towels that my mom had in the garage. She had only saved them as rags and hadn't planned on putting them out for sale, but accepted an offer of $5 for them.

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  25. Love the list.... I heart garage sales.

    Stopped by from SITS. I'm off to read more of your posts. :D Have a great day!

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  26. Good garage sale tips! I would add, be ok letting something go for less than you thought you would get for it... you're just going to throw out or donate it if it doesn't sell.

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  27. Sounds like you had the perfect attitude for your garage sale - and I'm envious, as I don't know if I could go through a garage sale, I think I'd just lose it with stress! And I hope you get your adoption miracle.

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  28. Great tips.

    Ugh, I hate when people try to say, "I'll give you a dime," for something that's already 25 cents. I definately say no to that.

    Stopping by from SITS.

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  29. Funny this is up today, because me & my mom are having a garage sale tomorrow.

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  30. I LOVE doing yard sales- it's like owning my own little store for the day. I really need to take your advice on #2 though, I'm a horrible negotiator- my husband got so mad at me at our last sale. I hope your able to raise the money you need for your adoption!
    Visiting from SITS.

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  31. Stopping by from SITS.

    I haven't had a garage sale, but I should.

    We'll carry you in our hearts.

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  32. I haven't ever done a yard sale. Good tips! Thanks!

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  33. Enjoy your day as a featured blogger - I can't ever imagine holding a garage sale but admire anyone with the fortitude to do so!

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  34. Thanks for the tips! Totally using them.
    Our street is having a well-advertised sale weekend soon. I think that might help get people to the area. I am also thinking of getting my kids involved by hosting a little bake-sale/sweet tea stand for them to run. I know I am making more work for myself, but I wonder if the food might make more money than the stuff....

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  35. I love going to garage sales. I like having them too so I can get rid of stuff and make a bit of money. You do get to meet some interesting people going to sales and having sales. Stopping by from SITS!

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  36. I've never had a yard sale, but you make it seem manageable! Thanks for sharing!

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  37. I have a friend that's having a garage sale this weekend and I am totally forwarding this to her!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  38. Girl look at you. I'm so excited you were featured today and it brought attention to your adoption. You are going to have that little boy here before you know it. Keep the faith!

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  39. great tips and thoughts! stopping by from sits, anne
    www.anniebakes.net

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  40. Nice tips! I need to have a garage sale before I move but it's just going to be so much work. :-(

    Stopping in from SITS. :-)

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  41. Ha! I love the "don't negotiate with a fool" perhaps that would also work as general relationship rule?

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  42. I had a yard sale two summers ago. It STILL feels like yesterday. Those feelings of exhaustion and hilarity are a little too visceral to ever go away...

    I might be ready for another one in, oh, five years.

    Maybe.

    :)
    Keely

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  43. I dislike garage sales immensely, that is what Salvation Army is for, they even pick up for the painless ridding of stuff you no longer want. ;)

    I hope you raise the funds you need.

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  44. Stopping by from SITS. Enjoyed reading your garage sale tips. You sure learn a lot about people when you have a sale...sometimes more than you wanted to know!

    Good luck with raising money for your adoption!

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  45. OVer from SITS

    Excellent tips! I once had a garage sale and only one person showed up. I learned my lesson to never have a sale on a Sunday!

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  46. congrats on being featured! never personally had a garage sale so these are some great tips!

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  47. I think it really helps to be located in a high-profile area. People on major streets have killer garage sales. I need to hit a few sales myself...our home was flooded, so we're rebuilding and we're going to need lots of new stuff.

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  48. Happy SITS day! I love your GS tips! I am a fellow garage saler myself!

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  49. My favorite thing - helping others find treasures! Great advice!!

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  50. Great tips! Hope you earn the money for such a wonderful cause.

    Congrats on being featured in the Friday Potluck today!

    -Aimee

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  51. great tips. we are planning on having a garage sale soon. Prayers and best wishes to you both in realizing your adoption dream. I really pray you get the funds you need!

    stopping by from SITS!

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  52. Great tips, and enough to discourage me from having one. :)
    My dd is begging to have a yard sale, we will have to think about it.
    Enjoy your Potluck Friday!

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  53. Those are some great garage sales tips!! Hope you can raise enough money for the adoption. Visiting you from the SITS site.

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  54. Great tips. I hope the money comes to you some way quickly. Stopping by from SITS.

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  55. Stopping by from SITS, great tips, thank you.

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  56. Thanks for the tips! Keep up the good work :)

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  57. Great post! I hope your adoption journey goes well!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  58. Thanks for the great tips, I'm going to implement some of these!!

    Register and follow me as well @ MommyReview.com
    Can't wait to read more
    xo Randi

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  59. Stoppin by from SITS! Congrats on your Potluck Friday.

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  60. Great tips on garage sales! I've done plenty! I need to have another one.

    Happy Potluck day!

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  61. Thanks for the awesome tips! As a teacher, I'm always looking for bargain finds for my classroom

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  62. Congrats on the yard sale and good tips. I suspect we will never have a yard sale where we live since our driveway is super steep, no one would want to climb it to get to our stuff! And if they did, well I'd feel so guilty I'd just GIVE them the stuff LOL

    Visiting from SITS

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  63. My last yard sale was awful. We're doing it again in July - I'm praying it goes better this time!

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  64. Those are some great tips!! I have never done my own garage sales but I remember my parents having them sometimes as a kid. They still go out looking almost every week too!

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  65. Wonderful advice for having garage sales. I've done two in my life, and really didn't like it. I like going to them, but hated having them. I'm hoping your adoption dreams come true. Patience is key, and if it's meant to be, it'll happen. Peace. :)

    SITS visiting.

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  66. I found you through SITS. Great tips for a garage sale and they are so true! lol

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  67. Thank you for the tips! My husband keeps wanting to have our annual garage sale, and I keep putting it off - UGH!

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  68. Thanks! I'm always overwhelmed at even the thought of hosting a garage sale. Our neighborhood does one once a year and that is my one chance to get rid of the junk. I usually fail.

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  69. Very happy that your sale went well! yeah for that! Happy SITS day :)

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  70. Best of luck on your adoption.

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  71. #1 so true!! My mom is the worse.

    When she has a garage sale she prices stuff like it is gold.

    When she is shopping a garage sale she says 'what do thes people think they have here? Gold?'.

    People are funny with garage sales!

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  72. Good tips. Also remember that we see our own stuff emotionally...we see it new like the day we bought it, but buyers see it as it is.

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  73. Stopping by from SITS. I also like the person that turns up 30 minutes before the official start time to snatch up the items that you thought would never sell. You're right, some people have no taste! Thanks for sharing from a Garage Sale survivor.

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  74. Great tips about garage sales! I haven't had one of my own for several years, but I do remember how much work was involved.

    I can certainly relate to your waiting and dreaming of a miracle, I'm waiting on one myself. Don't give up on getting your miracle, God may send it in the most unexpected way, one that can only come from Him.

    I'm new to SITS and found your blog on their website. Congratulations on being featured!

    Stop by and visit me when you get a chance:

    http://learning2hear.wordpress.com/

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  75. Good tips and boy am I gonna need them. At the end of the month we are moving back into the cottage we've remodeled. We have 3 storage units of things that have been in there for 4 years! Stopping by from Sits and was touched by your adoption dilemma. Two of my kids are adopted. Keep trying — my prayers are with you.

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  76. Saw you on SITS. Cute tips!

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  77. My sister-in-law adopted and it took many years but her daughter finally arrived and she is such a sweet blessing. Praying for your son and your miracle!

    Stopping by from SITS!

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  78. You managed to talk about something heavy and light at the same time. Brilliant mix of recycling things you no longer need by having a a garage sale and welcoming someone who needs a new home. Beautiful, SITStah!

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