Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Stuff Nobody Wants

Okay, I am back again for a sequel to yesterday's, "The Things We Keep" to talk about the things NOBODY should keep. Or try to sell.

I just got done reading my daughter Amy's blog. And I must say that I feel her pain. She is lamenting the fact that people have NO IDEA what to charge for their own junk because of their misguided perception of what said junk is worth. How we over-estimate the value of our beloved belongings!

From the seller's perspective, I understand. There is nothing quite as humbling as taking two full weeks to debate whether or not to put your favorite shirt (of the past 4 years) on the garage sale heap only to discover that there is not a soul alive who will pay 25 cents for it. Seriously? I see it hanging there, all forlorn and unloved in my garage. I think I will just snatch it back into the comfort of my own closet again even if it doesn't fit...

Between customers today, I calculated the value of the clothes off my back, based on current garage sale rates:

-khaki shorts (worn three times counting today) $0.50
-white polo (worn twice, including today) $0.50
-leather flip flops (worn to a frazzle) $0.00
-underwear (you don't want to know) $0.00

This means that everything I have on my body is worth about a dollar--IF I can find a buyer, never mind that some of it was brand-new last month. According to how other sales went today, I'd guess the novel I am presently reading is worth 50 cents because it's hardcover and brand-new. The picture frames holding our family photos would bring about a dime apiece. The comforter on my bed--maybe a dollar--two if I could find the zipper case it came in and throw in the bedskirt, blanket, pillow shams and sheets. Our stereo could fetch $3 if I can prove it works perfectly. Each of our favorite DVDs are worth roughly $2. I might expect a dollar for my lightly-used blender, a dime for my trusty toaster, a quarter for my George Foreman. My good towels? Nothing.

On the other hand, someone was happy to haul away our monstrously heavy, 32-inch TV for free, along with our old dining room rug with gum in one corner--also free. This Saturday, we will put everything on the curb that did not sell the previous two days with a sign stating, "Help Yourself," and it will be humorous to watch. When we did this a couple years ago, some folks backed up to the curb, opened their trunk, and took EVERYTHING. Stuff that wouldn't sell for 5 cents was snapped up in a heartbeat when it was free.

I can't think of anything that will bring you back to reality faster and do more for your perspective on the value of material things than to price them and liquidate them from your garage. You will come quickly to the realization that the best of all you WORTHLESS. Isn't that a cheery bit of information?

All in all, we had a pretty good day as sellers. We made $200 on stuff we aren't using that someone else [apparently] could. And we still have tomorrow (Fri), a prime garage-saling day with Free Saturday to look forward to as a grand finale. Whoo-hoo! My junk is your junk!! See you at the sale and...I'll see you at your garage next weekend!

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