Last Friday, I was getting ready to hawk some wares at my first rummage sale, and here’s an update of how it went. (Sorry to keep you in suspense!)
You can read the rest of this in Wilfred Brimley’s voice because it’s all about lessons learned.
When you sell things, you need at least one table. I assumed the tables would be part of the set-up, but they were not. I must be the only person in the US who doesn’t own a folding table. Side lesson: when you assume, you make an A-S-S out of U & Me. (Just me, in this case.)
When a rummage sale occurs “rain-or-shine,” it’s going to be rain. It rained a TON. Add a tent or at least a tarp to the rummage sale supply list. (A seasoned seller/good Samaritan lent me the one you see in the picture.)
When it rains, and your wares are all set up outside on the ground like you’re living in a squatter village, customers come! They come, but they don’t get out of their cars. They just driiive by, reeeeal sloooow and gawk at you – like a grizzly road accident – with pity and disgust. Then, they go up the street to the Gingerbread House for coffee and a schneck.
When shoppers do stop, they’re friendly and sympathetic, and then they haggle. “This says $3. I’ll give you ten cents.” I don’t like to haggle. Haggling is another item on a long list of reasons I haven’t rummaged until now. I am inclined to say, “Fine, take it for ten cents and scram.” But, if you say that (nicely), they want EVERYTHING you have for ten cents. This makes me a very unhappy merchant.
This weekend’s sale was from 9-3. I arrived at 8:45 to set up (another thing I learned: serious rummage sellers set up at LEAST an hour in advance) and only brought about five boxes worth of stuff (some people had more stuff to sell than I could fit in my house.) It rained from 9-noon, so I packed up and left. Even Jesus only stayed on the cross for 3 hours.
I am still rolled up on my bed in the fetal position rocking back and forth, but that had more to do with the freezing rain and gale-force winds than the rummaging.
Will I do it again? Absolutely! Provided I don’t have to set up a table, get a wad of small change, leave my house at 7 AM, or sell anything – count me in.