I am not above stealing ideas from other blogs (oh, like you never thought of it or did it...). In fact, I do it on a regular basis. Today, I am grabbing an idea from Pearl over at "Pearl, why you little..." It's not an idea I hadn't considered before, though, but it is one I hadn't considered lately.
Pearl was speaking about garage sales. It is a subject about which she has some expertise. I do not indulge in these things. For a number of reasons, mostly involving people wandering about my house asking me how much I want for my TV, stereo, living room sofa, etc or actually walking off with them without even offering a dime.
So what I did to feed that need to find bargains among other people's castoffs was to patronize flea markets. Now, flea markets don't actually sell those small, leaping, parasites (though you might find some in that easy chair you purchase at one) but they do provide bargains. They are also called "swap meets" (where the only things actually swapped is your money for their, uh, junk).
A better way to describe one would be to ask you to imagine your whole street all having garage sales on the same days. But with better parking. And maybe an admission fee. And a few Dollar General stores in among the garages. And a refreshment stand.
For the meager price of maybe $10 at most, you can rent a "stall" (aka "pair of parking places") where you can set up a couple of folding tables (you can rent these if you do not have any), or lay out a tarp, on which you can display all the junk you had stored in your garage (thereby making it unusable as a place to put your car) and attic and spare bedroom(s).
To do the above, all you need to do is load your car, van, station wagon or whatever with all of the junk your significant other is willing to give up (you aren't the one to keep everything, are you?) and then get up before dawn so you can wait in a long line wasting gas so you can get a space in the farthest place from the entrance because all the commercial places have reserved the best ones and friends and relatives of the market's owner(s) got the next best ones.
Once you have managed to get through the gate and wend your way to the very back to the space that probably has a puddle (from the rain that was not predicted but somehow showed up last night while you were loading your car) in the middle and you can begin setting up.
At this point, a hundred or more people who do not speak English show up grabbing items that you have just set down or are about to remove from the trunk and offering you somewhat less than you expected to sell them for. That $1 almost new extra variable speed drill that you never used but once? They hand you a quarter and run off. Others just start stuffing any clothes you might have for sale into large garbage bags (or pillow cases) and only offer you money if you actually see them doing it. At this point, I should point out that you should have removed anything from your car that is not securely bolted down before loading the stuff you actually did want to sell. I have lost a couple of spare tires...
Once the Gypsies have left (no offense meant to any real Gypsies), you will find that the only things left for sale are things that no one will take even for free and you have made maybe $7.35 if you were lucky.
You will now sit there, baking in the sun, and drinking warm lemonade (because you sold the ice chest for a dollar with out realizing it in that initial frenzy of commercial activity) until your mind turns to mush from the heat. Somewhere in the 6 hours you have been there, bored and buyerless, you wandered off to look at other peoples' offerings and somehow manage to purchase $15 worth of their junk which you will put in the garage, attic, and spare bedroom(s).
It only took me a year of being a seller at these things to realize I was not making a profit of any kind.
A Night Unremembered
6 years ago