|Huge puddle ain't stopping me - there's a garage sale down that street!|
My first stop was a VFW flea market. Typically, VFW posts have older members participating. I love the kind of things senior citizens sell. Tools, fishing gear, old radios-you just never know what you'll find on their table. (See my blog: Stop the truck-that guy has white hair!) When I arrived at the VFW, some sellers had already draped clear plastic tarps over their table anticipating rain. I guess the thunder rumbling off in the distance was a pretty good clue. About the time I stepped out of my truck a light drizzle began to fall...followed by a monsoon! Boy, oh boy, you should have heard some of those VFW seniors grumbling and cursing the skies! One seller, apparently talked into staying by her hubby, began scolding him like he was a schoolboy. As the rain picked up, she began yelling at the poor old timer, " I knew it all along...this is ridiculous! Let's go home!" Without a word, the hapless fella began sheepishly tossing their merchandise back into his car. I chucked to myself-that poor guy was probably going to hear griping and complaining all the way home.
With the rain still pouring down, I ran into the VFW hall to check out the lucky sellers who had tables inside. However after looking around and finding nothing, there was no reason to hang around. (Except maybe to stay dry.) The rain began to slow down, so I made a mad dash to the truck and consulted my garage sale map.
Although the morning was looking pretty bleak, I had an idea. The previous night a women had posted the following Craigslist ad :
HUGE Yard sale-American girl! Sat. 9/8/12 from 8-2
Date: 2012-09-04, 8:59AM EDT
Tons of American girl merchandise. Clothes, furniture and more for your dolls. Kitchen appliances, furniture, toys, bakeware, costumes etc....Please stop by from 8-2.
Uggh! I cringe when I see a Craigslist ad like that! It blabs to the whole world that there's awesome stuff at this garage sale. In this case, super collectible American girl dolls! Sure, I know the lady wants to encourage buyers to show up-but that doesn't help me out! Have you ever seen a dog when they spot a squirrel? That's how I and every collector react when reading a CL ad like this. My ears perk up, I start jumping up and down...I may even begin drooling! Now imagine twenty more people just like me, all chasing that same squirrel-that's a lot of barking and drooling!
Recognizing this problem, I tried to give myself an edge the night before. I e-mailed the lady, asking if I could come over to look at the American Girl stuff. This was probably the umpteenth e-mail she received making the same "sneak peak" request. The lady batted away my plea with the following response:
"I have kind of a huge mess in my living room with everything for the yard sale, tomorrow would really be easier."
Dang! Not one to give up that easily however, I tried one more tactic. I asked how much she wanted for a doll? Theorizing that if she responded with a insanely low price, say $5 to $10 bucks per doll, I'd offer her $100 for the whole kit n caboodle. If I could pull that off, I'd be able to swoop in and buy all the dolls before my competition even had their morning coffee! A great idea except for one problem-the seller came back with a lofty eBay-like price of $50 per doll. With that, I figured the deal was done before it could even get started. She was way too overpriced for me to make any decent money. That was, until the rain interceded.
|Rainy day find!|
The rainy day discount had taken affect! Just the night before she had quoted me $50 bucks per doll. Now she had lopped off forty dollars per doll due to the rain! I said okay to her price and peeled off a twenty dollar bill. As I handed over the money, she grudgingly added, "That's the deal of the morning!" I nodded in agreement, but little did she know I've scored American girls dolls for a measly five dollar bill!
I wrapped up the dolls in a plastic bag to keep them dry. While still there, I also bought a Bitty Baby changing table for five dollars. Bitty Baby tables usually sell on eBay for about $25. If I see my usual profit on that table, I'll have made back the twenty dollars I spent on the dolls-a perfect buy/sell symmetry! After arriving home, I consulted my photo library of sold eBay items and verified that about two years ago, I flipped an Addy Walker doll for $50. I also sold the outfit separate from the doll, which netted me another $24. Given that, I expect to sell my rainy day Addy and outfit for around $75. Hopefully, I'll earn about the same for the Molly McIntire too. Not bad for a twenty dollar investment!
So for a day that originally looked like a wash out, things actually turned out pretty darn good. The moral of the story is this-Don't let a little precipitation slow you down. A rainy day garage sale can be excellent for buyers!
Have you made some great deals in the rain? Close your umbrella, shake off your raincoat and sit down to tell us your story!
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