Sunday, May 19, 2013

Garage Sale People

As usual, the picture doesn't relate to the content of my blog (usually), but it's just to make it a little more interesting

I had a garage sale a couple days ago.  I really needed to clean out stuff I had packed away and hadn't been using.  I mean, really, how does someone end up with 3 different desks in a small house?  Well, it was easy, I kept seeing ones I liked at other garage sales....

My sale gave me a chance to watch people and analyze them.  It was very interesting, especially having recently come from a job where everyone was complaining and unhappy, and that included the staff as well as the customers!

I kept an open mind and as I watched everyone.   I realized that, for the most part, people were friendly, and considerate of my belongings.  Some of them wanted to have discussions about what was for sale and why.  I got into a couple long conversations with a few people who wanted to know more about things I had done and wanted to know what it was like. 

There were a few others who tested my patience - there were a couple of women with a child who was allowed to touch everything, play with things and ended up breaking something, which they didn't pay for.  At least they purchased some things, which made it all worthwhile. 

One man had a smartphone out and was checking prices on it, criticizing my pricing.  Since I had already checked the pricing the previous week, I knew I was underpriced by more than half from the new cost of the item.  What he wasn't checking was the size of the items, both of which came in numerous sizes and I had the largest sizes of each.   He assumed he was right and kept muttering about people overcharging.  I said nothing because there were other people around and didn't want to create a scene, so I just walked away from him.   I'm sure it was his way of requesting a lower price, but that doesn't work with me.  I wouldn't have taken a nickel off for someone like him.  I'm not sure what an arrogant man like that was doing at a garage sale. 

The people who joked with me and nicely asked for a lower price or offered a lower price got the deals - quickly and happily.  One woman was buying things she was going to make craft projects from - not that they were craft objects, but everyday objects she was going to paint and arrange and hang.  She kept picking up things and I gladly gave her a package price she was thrilled with and I was happy to let her have them.  She was one of the more fun, likeable people of my day. 

It does take all kinds and certainly the day was a lesson in how to get the type of service you want in a store or other business situation.  Now, if we could somehow train some of the harder-to-deal-with people, the world would be a more enjoyable place.

Betty Karl


  1. I bet times sure have changed since you had garage sales in the 90s right?

    1. Some things have changed, but others remain the same. You must be someone I know, since I had LOTS of garage sales in the 90s, just before I left to cruise the Caribbean on the boat.