Friday, March 22, 2019 at 10:31AM
Esther Blumenfeld

How many times does a good friend ask you to spend a day in her garage? Well, it was a first for me. My friend, Paula, and I, have spent many enjoyable hours together. So, when she asked me to help her, and her daughter, Karen, participate in a neighborhood garage sale, I said, “Sure!” I really had no inkling what was involved, but I looked forward to spending time with Paula, and her daughter, who sends her MOTHER flowers on her OWN birthday. This is a young woman who could make a bundle giving a course on, “How to Avoid Being a Slacker Daughter.”

Paula invited me to bring some items to sell, so I grabbed some nicknacks, and arrived at the garage at 6 a.m. to help set up.  The sale was scheduled for 7 a.m. and trucks started rolling up at 6:15 a.m.

I quickly learned that for many people, “Garage Sale,” is just another sport. It’s not as violent as ice hockey—nor is it as benign as synchronized swimming. It was a windy day, so we set up in the garage. Early bird shoppers  look for specific items. They don’t want to chat!
They want items such as yard tools and heavy duty equipment that works.

One guy had a gleam in his eye when he picked up a set of extremely sharp knives. He said, “I know exactly what I’m going to do with these.” He turned to Paula, knives in hand, and said, “Can I get them for $3.00?” She quickly said, “Yes. Take them!” The look on her face made me think she would have paid him to leave.

At 7 a.m., the people who enjoy human e-bay, began to arrive in their extremely expensive cars. These are folks on a treasure hunt, who have the insatiable desire to see what other people are selling that they don’t want anymore. I suggested that we put out a sign, “My Dreck Can Be Your Dreck,” but my idea was quickly vetoed.

I learned that people go to garage sales for all kinds of reasons. Most of the time, garage sales are held by people with no sales experience, so people are looking for deals. I learned that if an item is priced for 50 cents, some fool will say,”Will you take 25 cents?” My reaction to that was,”No, but I’ll take a $1.00. These folks really like the “Free Box” and will take anything in there whether they want it or not.

Other people like yard sales for the sociability. They get to talk to people who would, under normal circumstances, not even say, “Hello.” I sold 10 pairs of unused socks to a woman who showed me her bunions.

Karen hung a necktie on the lamppost near the garage to garner attention to our sale. When the tie blew off the post, she picked it up, and asked a man,”Would you like to buy a tie?” Whereupon, he replied, “What! I’m not dressed up enough for your sale?”

I thought it fascinating when another man whipped out his jewelry loupe to see if he could strike gold—-not at 50 cents a pop, he couldn’t!

At noon we decided to pack it all in and shut down shop. In 6 hours, I had drunk 3 cups of Paula’s delicious coffee, made 3 bathroom runs and sold $31.00 worth of junk. Paula gifted me with a book on the Civil War and a unsold sunshade for my car.

Don’t think I’ll ever do another garage sale, but the experience was certainly worth at least $5.00 an hour.

Esther Blumenfeld

Article originally appeared on Humor Writer (http://www.ebnimble.com/).
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