Monday, July 23, 2012

When garage sales go bad........

Because I live, breathe and dream garage sales, I recently discovered this letter to the editor on our favorite topic. It's a totally legitimate letter sent to a Mid Western newspaper.  In it, the writer is complaining about the terrible buyers who attended her mother's garage sale.  It had me scratching my head for several reasons. Check it out......

Shocking behavior at garage sale


MIDLAND – My 93-year-old mother decided to hold a garage sale and advertised it in one of the local papers with a start time of 8 a.m.
I was not able to get there until 7:45 a.m. Imagine my shock when I saw not only a street full of cars, but wall-to-wall people inside the house. There were also areas clearly marked “Off Limits” with signs that had just as clearly been ignored.
I realized there were people in the basement where they should not have been. Upon checking, I discovered that several valuable antique items were missing. These were things my mother would never have parted with, so we know they were not sold in error, but were taken in the mass confusion when she made the mistake of letting people in who were knocking on her door at 7:15 a.m.
The most important pieces were family items: my grandfather’s wooden spool potty chair and an upholstered square organ stool. Also gone was a Beatty washtub stand that was in excellent condition, and numerous antique bottles. I hope whoever took them feels proud of robbing an elderly lady.
I called Midland police, and they said they would likely send someone around to talk with my mother. When I called her later, she said they just talked to her on the phone and basically said, “Thanks for letting us know.” No visit to ask for descriptions or anything.
To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

A Beatty washtub stand went missing!
Now first off, if your mother is 93 years old should you really be allowing her to have a garage sale without some supervision? Maybe mom is spry for her age, but at 93 how sharp can she really be? Running a garage sale isn't easy for anyone, especially a women just seven years shy of the century mark. The daughter also complained about buyers who showed up early and took advantage of her mom by buying stuff that wasn't for sale. But unless you've never held a garage sale in your life, you should know "early birds" will show up at the crack of dawn. In reality, the daughter should have been at her mom's house a good hour before the start of the sale. Lastly, finding the situation a little out of control, the daughter called the local police. What are they suppose to do? Arrest people for coming out to an advertised garage sale? It's too funny! Seems this letter only proves the daughter messed up for not keeping a better watch over her mom.  

Lot's of sellers can quickly get overwhelmed when buyers overrun their garage sale. But it doesn't help matters when poor old mom is "home alone" and trying to run the sale.  Have you ever had a first hand experience like the above? If so, tell us what happened.....

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9 comments:

  1. Dude, I went to a community yard sale a few weeks ago. One of the sellers was an elderly woman. She had a lot of stuff already out, but there were some things that she was still unpacking. She had some shelving in her garage that was loaded with old games up to the ceiling and she said they were for sale. Some big old greedy guy was going through them and pulling them all out. A stack of them fell on the floor and parts spilled all over. I got myself out of there and told the next door neighbor that I thought he might be taking advantage of that woman. The neighbor didn't seem to care. I felt really bad for the old lady. She was overwhelmed.

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    1. Miss Clamco - I've seen guys like that. The older folks can be easily intimidated by people who behave like that. I think most of those guys don't even realize (or care) they're being jerks, it's just the way they operate.

      I was at a little old lady's sale about a month ago. I bought a few things from her and tried to give her little advise on other stuff. For example she gave me a Sears Craftsman box from a router to use to pack my stuff in. I told her keep the box with the router because guys want the original box with the tool. Nothing earth shaking, but may have helped her sell the router.

      Thanks for checking in. Hope you are getting some deals out there...Dude!

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  2. Not like your example- but we have a group in this area that bombards yard sales. They drive up in a van and 7-8 adults get out. They move fast, they split up and start blasting "offers" at the seller, always cutting the price by at least half of what they are marked. They are loud and obnoxious, they are always on the move, and they are always having to go back to their van. They are also stealing everything they can get their hands on. Most everyone in the area knows about them. If they come to a sale where I'm shopping, I just leave.

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  3. GreenJeans - That's pretty bad. Just a suggestion-maybe you could post a warning in your local Craigslist warning sellers about that crew? That might take the wind out of the sails a little bit-Ha!

    Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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    1. I actually saw a Craigslist ad that warned yard sale sellers in my area about one particular guy who was trying to rip people off. I tried to find the ad but he must have pulled it.

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    2. Ha! I would have like to have read that. A "word to the wise" as they say. Seems like anyone can easily "flag" a person's CL ad. Maybe that's what happened?

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  4. I agree with you that the daughter should have been there to supervise. I feel bad for the little old lady and also enraged that people have to be so mean and take advantage of people. I get really tired of dishonest people who think that anything you have that they want they can just take. I've even had a cast iron table set with 2 chairs stolen from my yard, in the middle of the day. What happened to honest people and neighbors who care about each other. It also gives honest resellers a bad name. Ugh!

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    1. Melissa- Amen to that. Sorry to hear about the cast iron table set, that's unbelievable! Probably was stolen for scrap metal,that way it can't be traced back.

      Thanks for writing in....Dude!

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  5. One can still make profit for selling old items, as long as these can still be of good use to them. For future purposes, there are those who pile their old stuff in closets or garage shelves - thinking that they can get rid of all of them when they have a garage sale. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of such sale and the situation turns unpleasant. I do hope that the mentioned incident will happen again and that those who want to check out garage sales will display decent behavior. Thank you for sharing.

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