Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dust to dust

One of the fabulous stops on The Grand Purge of 2014 was garage sale land. (Shhh...keep it down a little with all of your hooting and excited hollering.) Ah yes, garage sales...Where some folks would rather charge less for an item than clean it, or fling the mouse poop off of it. Where that fluorescent price dot means maybe all of the pieces are included, maybe not, consider it an adventure. Where buyers figure they have you where they want you, as they already know you don't really want the stuff anymore. One woman told me she didn't see anything at my sale she couldn't live without. I am sure I hid my shock completely. I didn't tell her where the really good stuff went.

The allure of ebay adds another pile to the sorting adventure. Crap Junk Treasures, like unopened Happy Meal toys (wish I was kidding), ascend to the upper echelons of stuff I don't need. They have promise, and go to something like a green room to await their photo shoot. I stage my photos on parts of the rug that have no spots. "Smile pretty, fine and rare collectibles that I no longer wish to collect!" (click) I always manage to convince myself that listing items on ebay is hard work, but this year I readied myself for the challenge. I armed myself with chocolate and planted my butt in the chair, psyched to list those twenty or so things I thought I had gathered. Sixty listings later, I wondered if I had lost my mind. After I realized I was just as sane as before I started, I gathered more things.

When I told my friend of what I had done, I saw the pained look on her face as she realized she would be unable to make valid excuses for not putting some of her own rarities up for auction. She dipped her toe in with a quick grab of fifty Littlest Pet Shop lovelies, that promptly sold for fifty dollars. Suddenly, her garage sale pile also needed to be reevaluated. I felt a little anxious when she started heading for some of her son's Legos, but I had to accept and support the mission. 

Her listings were done, I added a few more of my own, and we waited. In the meantime, we were scavengers looking for empty boxes to mail. As each auction ended, we celebrated each other's victories. Some sales were shared via texts, and others were so surprising, they required phonecalls.

There was a bit of a let down once we were left with just the daunting task of getting all of those packages ready for shipping. As I was taking a break one evening, a text came saying "I hope you can see this because it made my day." Here is the message my friend got regarding one of the lego sets she had sold:
His winning bid was seven dollars. Any of you who have lived the Lego life know that is a pretty good price for any kind of Lego set, even with the dust. I just could not contain myself, as my friend was sending follow up texts trying to imagine the scenario that played out between this man and his wife. "You bought that?! It's dusty!" I literally sat on the couch for over an hour laughing. Just when I finally got myself together enough to try to be productive, this photo came...


  1. The garage sale life is something I unfortunately also went through recently. I was surprised by people's open derision for not carrying things they wanted. "You don't have a broken refrigerator? Jerk, why am you wasting me time?" Then there's the person annoyed you won't come down 200% on the price of your couch even when you come down a reasonable amount and they don't budge.
    Also, after seeing you listed 60 items, my meager two listings made me feel like I sold my crap short.

  2. I found ebay to be more trouble than it was worth, esp. when they take a cut of what you make and then there are the paypal and bank fees. We went to a yard sale the other day and I got some necklaces I can strip for parts, and scored a swarovski crystal snowflake pendant for .50. That is worth at least $5-$10 new.

  3. My husband is on eBay all the time, looking for record albums. Excuse me--vinyl. I'm trying to get him to sell off his Lord of the Rings action figures, but no such luck so far. Occasionally I decide that I might have a garage sale, but then I get tired. I'm a terrible domestic goddess. Can I just be the goddess of Couch Potatoes?

  4. My sister in law and brother in law are yardsale junkies. They go pretty much every weekend during the "season." They have scored Eddie Bower car seats for $5, and various other treasures. I needed a microwave for work and asked them to get me one if they came across it. Next week . . . $3. It's like I have my own personal shoppers. Because lord knows I don't have the energy for that crap!

  5. I am afraid of Ebay.
    I said it.

  6. I have never sold anything on Ebay. I know someone who has made a business out of it in retirement (a neighbor from when I was a kid). Her entire living room is filled with clutter (I mean items up for auction) and mailing boxes.

  7. Yikes! Sixty auctions? At one TIME? You're insane! I haven't sold on Ebay in a year. All their new regs have annoyed me to no end. Yet I still have a room full of stuff to auction. The Man is not amused.

    And good lord. Dust it before you send?!?

  8. Whoaaaaaaaaaa. That's a lotta ebaying! I have so many things I'd like to get rid of. I told myself, just one item a week. That's all. You can manage that. But have I done even a single one? Nooooo. I'm seriously impressed. I bet it's the power of the cape. Must acquire one. j

    Happy 4th!