The Art Of The Deal

Day One of our garage sale is done, now all Will and I have to do is get through Day Two and then box up what’s left and donate it to charity. It’s definitely been worth doing so far, but of course it’s a social occasion, and social occasions tend to be hard on Miss Bipolar here. However, I have found it within my power to not only be really, really nice to people—which I usually can do without too much difficulty—but I even say “thank you” and “have a great day” when they paw through everything in the garage and then declare that they’re not interested. Smooth operator, I am.

However, I am lousy at standing firm on my prices, and when folks want to haggle I usually cave in just to get rid of the item. I let one lady talk me down from $15 on one of our extra chairs, which was totally a steal at that price because it was a nice chair. It also happened to be too small for either of our butts, so it really was of little practical use at any price. She walked away with a bargain, and we got seven bucks out of it. Did I mention that I’m an easy mark?

Will, on the other hand, is far better at this haggling business. He too can be talked down on prices, but at some point he digs in his heels and won’t take a dime less. It occasionally costs him a sale, yet not as often as one might think. This time, we had a very knowledgeable twelve-year-old visit us who examined Will’s model kits with a practiced eye; since he had only $23 to spend, he asked Will how many of them he could buy with that amount.

He drove a hard bargain, that kid…..he and Will went back and forth, back and forth several times, with the end result being he got four model kits for $17. Meanwhile, I sat there watching them like a cat at a tennis match, amazed at the boy’s fluency with the English language (what, no grunting in monosyllables?), and Will’s ability to hold his own. Everybody won on that score—the kid kept some of his money, and we have four less items to haul to Goodwill. Oh yeah, and we’re $17 richer.

Then there are the folks who literally come in with a fistful of dollars, see something they want desperately, and pay any price you ask. These are few and far between, but when they come along, it’s just like Christmas time. This is how we got rid of Will’s collection of dragon figurines, which have always creeped me out. (He kept them down cellar in the Man Cave, where I seldom venture.) This fellow not only bought all 26 of them, he also bought one of our eagle sculptures and a coffee cup. Grand total: $152.25. BINGO!! That pays the electric bill!! We could’ve closed up shop at that point and called it a day, but we stuck to our 9 AM-4 PM schedule and sold a few more things.

Now we probably won’t make much tomorrow because it’s Sunday and people are either in church (which is where WE normally would be, too) or getting ready for the week ahead, but we’ve already done better than I anticipated. The last such sale we had netted us about $80 over a three-day weekend, which barely made it worth all the work we put into it. So we were both pleased and surprised to have doubled that amount in only one day…..even though the money is for business, not pleasure. 

Thus continueth the saga of the Garage Sale of the Decade, as we’ve come to call it. (Well, it is the Garage Sale of the Decade, because we haven’t had one in at least ten years.) It’s a huge pain in the patoot, but by gum, it’s gonna pay the electric bill AND the garbage bill if we’re lucky. Yippee! 


Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

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