Monday, November 14, 2011

Garage sale from H...E...double hockey sticks !

Is there anything worse then an unprepared garage sale seller? I ask that question because last Saturday I ran into one that was the "Titanic" of garage sales. Just like the great ship, this garage sale seemed to show promise, but quickly sank once people were on board.

The seller started off with the right idea. She hung signs all over town advertising her sale, along with a friendly Craigslist ad posted several times during the course of the week. The ad read as follows:

"Time to pass our treasures on! Clothing for maternity, babies, children and adults! Shoes, Handbags, Kitchen tools, China, silverware, Four Poster beds, Cribs, Brio Trains (tons of them...paid a college tuition for them over the years actually!), Brio Train table! Bikes, Armoire, TV, Coffee table, End Tables, Easy Bake Oven, Creepy Crawly (boys easy bake oven to make bugs), Shrinky Dink ...and much more!!! 7:30am-3:00pm"

Pretty intriguing ad right? Lot's of interesting stuff listed and hello...Brio trains! That got my attention! If you follow my blog, you know I am pretty keen on Thomas the Tank Engine stuff. The ad further teased me with the mention of a Brio train table. That could be the icing on the cake for this sale! A good Brio table, combined with trains, buildings and houses can be sold for a hundred dollar bill or more on Craigslist. Making the garage sale sound even better was the bright and early 7:30 start time. This women sounded like a real "go-getter" when it came to garage sales! My plan was to make it my first stop and head right for the trains and Brio table! I was practically counting the money I could make from this sale!

But alas, perception turned out to be way different from reality! As I rolled up to the garage sale, my plan quickly vanished in the early morning frost. Apparently, I wasn't the only cowboy at this were parked everywhere! Contributing to the problem was the overall meager number of garage sales being held that day. Only a pathetic five were listed on Craigslist! With so few sales for the day, there was a rare convergence of eager buyers all at the same location! It reminded me of those wedding dress shops that have a one day sale and all the ladies stampede into the store to grab anything they can find. It was almost that bad at this garage sale!

Despite the crowd, I forged ahead and elbowed my way up the driveway. That's when things went from bad to worse. The seller was completely unprepared for the influx of buyers who showed up exactly at 7:30. Not only that, it seemed like the seller had just threw open her garage doors but forgot one thing-stuff to sell! Only a few things had been brought out in the driveway, most of it still in the boxes. Compounding an already bad situation, the seller wasn't getting anything unpacked. She was too busy playing "sales girl" to people who inquired about her boxes of stuff! Don't you hate when sellers do that? In a fit of frustration I wanted to blurt out, "Hey...less yapping and more unpacking please!"

While she continued to chatter on, I squeezed around people and searched for the Brio trains she had advertised. But the trains must have still been up in her kid's bedroom because they sure weren't in the driveway! I did uncover what the seller had charitably called a "Brio" table. Just two little was all in pieces and it wasn't Brio! Since the table wasn't assembled, I couldn't tell what condition it was in. This garage sale sale was turning out to be a real mess!

I wasn't the only buyer frustrated with this disaster of a garage sale. A women standing next to me shook her head in disgust, mumbling she would come back once the seller stopped chit-chatting and actually put her stuff out. I was pretty much right behind her, leaving annoyed and frustrated. I never even bothered to go back, figuring by the time the seller did get set up, all the good stuff would be snapped up by other buyers. I was completely baffled and annoyed over this sale. How could a women who seemed to prepare all week by posting signs everywhere and multiple ads on Craigslist, mess it up right from the opening of the garage door? It was unbelievable! Clearly there should be some kind of training course for garage sale sellers.

Have you've been to any disastrous garage sales? I am certain everyone has been to a few disasters. If so, share your nightmare garage sale story below!

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  1. I totally feel your pain! A couple of weeks ago I ran into a similar situation. The sale was advertised on CL for at least 2 weeks before the sale without the address listed but a very promising list of items. The address appeared two days before the sale. I made it my first stop. Total waste of time. While my people had their items set up most of them most of it was in beyond useable condition. Ugh! So frustrating.

    @ Coupon Tipster

  2. Amy-I know right? I love the folks who put that CL ad and don't list their address. Is it a tease or do they just forget?

    I Like your website, that fire truck bed rocks!

    Do you sell a lot of stuff on eBay?

  3. I have been to a few where they state multi-family sale at a stated time and you get there at the stated time. You expect for everyone to have it all set up and ready but noooo, some of the multi-families are just arriving themselves. Who wants to wait around for them to set up...not me, too many other sales to check out.

  4. I've been there, or how about when the "multi-family" turns out to be only two families! Argh!

  5. Seems like I encounter this almost every week. I can't understand why people say the sale starts at 7am when they don't even want to roll out of bed until 7. Just start at 8!

    A few weeks ago I went to a sale that was posted for days on craigslist as "epic" with 27 families participating. Well, I got there about 20 minutes after it was advertised to start and it was 1 woman and her elderly mother selling one tables worth of stuff plus a box of beanie babies priced at $3 each! No idea where the other 26 families were. Definitely not epic.