So today was the yearly neighborhood yard sale. I really don’t like participating in yard sales as I have never made enough money to justify all the effort, but being as I had too much “stuff” I thought I would give it a shot. I spent several hours gathering my stuff and pricing it very low. It seemed like a nice mix of stuff that included a Wii, kitchen items, candles, framed wall pictures, and these shell elephants. Yes, they are elephants made out of tiny conch shells.
I was pretty impressed with my offerings and was sure that I would not have much to take to the thrift store following this yearly purge. My stuff was categorized (thanks OCD) and arranged neatly on tables and the driveway, and looked like “good stuff” to me.
I sat at the head of my driveway feeling like a queen whose subjects are on display for the world to see. As much as my subjects were pleasing to me, the whole world did not seem to share my feelings. I sat there feeling proud of my stuff, but with each non buying shopper, I began to question if my stuff was up to par. Some shoppers stated “No treasures here.” I wanted to blurt out “YES THERE ARE!!” Most of this is good, useful stuff. I began asking myself “What’s wrong with my stuff?” When shoppers came I tried to talk up my stuff, let them know how good my stuff is. But still they didn’t buy. This is where self-esteem comes into play. Individuals with low self-esteem may think maybe it’s not just my stuff that’s no good, maybe it’s ME too. Unsuccessful past yard sales may be interpreted as evidence that my stuff has never been good enough. As shoppers looked over my stuff and deemed it unsuitable, I felt like I was being judged, like I was “airing my dirty laundry.” These are the items that do not make the cut to be displayed in my home, but yet I felt very protective and defensive over them. I wanted others to see in them what I saw. I felt very exposed and I didn’t like it.
Hosting a yard sale is strange position to be in. I am not sure what the required etiquette is as the hostess. When shoppers do a slow drive by do I make eye contact and smile to get them in, or do I pretend that I didn’t see so that they don’t feel bad when they don’t stop. Am I allowed to roll my eyes when someone talks me down from $20 to $10 for what they call “a really nice microwave with no scratches ” and then pays with a 100 dollar bill? Do I really need to tell people up front that there is NO return policy?
I did manage to make 2 ladies very happy. They slammed on brakes when they spotted the high chair I had out. They literally screamed and squealed and indicated that they had been looking all day for a high chair. They were even more excited when I told them that it folds flat, and the screaming began again. It made my day too. Finally someone approves of my stuff!
By the scheduled end of the sale, I had packed up most of my stuff, and by 4:00 pm I had taken the remainder to a thrift store. By the time I got back home the only evidence of a yard sale were the balloons on the mailbox. I am glad it is over and I doubt I will do it again EVER. I averaged about $4.77 per hour when you add in prep and direct yard sale time. That’s not worth the physical effort of dragging it all out of the attic and to the driveway, or the mental effort of telling myself that my stuff and I are just fine. I hope the shoppers at the thrift store will appreciate my stuff.