My Wee Yard Sale Results
It was a gloriously sunny day. I was up at 6 and by 7 was setting up my make-shift tables with stacking stools, boxes and wide boards. My stock was almost all in the front porch, so I didn’t have to carry the boxes and things far, and I made a point of trying not to hurry too much, so I wouldn’t get all wrung out with exhaustion. Sure enough, by 8 am I was ready for the public.
Besides the longer “table” on my lawn, I had created a smaller table on the other side of the side walk, nearer to the street, with a big FREE sign on both sides. There I place things that I knew didn’t work, and I didn’t expect to sell.
It was interesting to see how that lured people to stop and look, and then they would turn to my other things. My prices were also quite cheap. Just $1 for a whole box of craft supplies. I had about 6 such boxes. The dolls were more expensive and I wasn’t ready to go down on them.
Joe, my neighbour brought out a small folding table and laid various tools and tool kits on it. A few of those items sold, but about mid-afternoon, he came out and moved them to the FREE table. A little later a man pulled up, and loaded most of those things into his trunk.
It didn’t very long before two girls stood on the opposite street corner, working up courage to come see what I had. When they arrived I was friendly and showed them the craft stuff they might like. It turned out that they liked my paintings best. The one with the train on her dress wanted the dolls more than anything, but of course, my prices were out of reach.
The other girl went home and came back with a dime. She hoped to buy my painting of the 2 rainbows. I had priced it at a $1.00, so I was a little reluctant. I said that they should come at 3:30 when I was packing up, and my prices might come down drastically. After they had browsed some more, she ran home and came back with another dime.
That’s when I began to realize as we discussed these things that these girls (grade 1 and grade 2), were not able to count money, nor tell time. For a while they came back every 15 minutes to see if I was ready to pack up yet.
I passed most of the morning in conversations with these girls, discovering their names, that they were cousins, and lived with their Grandma, although the girl with the train was expecting her Mom to show up any time. She was also very giving and generous. She knew she couldn’t read the old Readers’ Digest condensed books on the free table, but wanted to give them away as gifts. So suddenly she darted to the neighbours and put one by their door. I told her that wasn’t very wise, she should ask before she gave away gifts like that.
So she went to get it, and dashed across the street to another house where she knew the people, and managed to get inside to give it away.
Eventually, I gave in and let the other girl, who was hovering near me, yearning for the painting she liked, to buy it for her two dimes. She ran home thrilled to pieces. The other girl followed her, but when she saw what her cousin got, she managed to get two dimes from Grandma and came running back to buy one as well. What could I do but be fair.
The girl with the train, changed her clothes and came with bright peach sundress and hat at noon, while I was eating my potato salad in the lawn chair. “Are you packing up yet?”
So I tried to teach her the difference between 12 noon, and 3:30 when she would normally get to go home from school. They came back later with Grandma in tow, but she didn’t buy anything, and she may have put down her foot, because they did not show up when I was really packing it all up at 4:30 pm.
Anyway, there were other people too.
One was a nice young man who, it turns out, is a Grade 5 school teacher, and an artist who gives art lessons to his following on Youtube. He decided to buy my larger painting – the moon-scape. He told me that he would ask his followers what he should add to the painting, and do it on Youtube so watchers could learn from his moves.
He asked for a photo together with me and the painting, so he could say he had got it from a local artist. Later he came around again to give me his business card. (I haven’t had time yet to check out his videos).
Actually, by now, the scenes and conversations with various people run together mostly now in my memory, but it was in many ways a very interesting day, in the warm sunshine, with just enough breezes to make me feel comfortable.
In fact, I got a sunburn on my right arm, less on my left, and a bit at my throat. But because of the breezes, I didn’t really notice until later that evening, I found my right arm really smarting. So I slathered aloe vera gel on it several times. By today it is looking more like a tan, and no peeling – yet.
One of my earliest customers was a neighbour who walks past my house several times a day. She was on her way to a house-cleaning job and so asked me to set aside some boxes of greeting cards, and Joe’s old wood saw, and she’d pick them up later and look around some more. (I hid them behind my gate beside the house).
She mentioned something about 6 pm. But I didn’t plan to spend that long out there. At 3:30 there were still people dropping by, but by 4:30 I was getting downright lonely and tired, and wanting to clean up. I had emailed some friends in ESL who had shown interest in my craft stuff, (but they didn’t see that email until late Sat. night). It occurred to me that I could bring my car around to the front, and load the boxes of craft supplies in the trunk and see if that one girl would like to see them after church on Sunday.
I condensed the rest of the stuff left over, and gradually carried it back into the porch. Only half as much as I’d had to begin with, so I felt things had improved. I’ll have to advertise some items individually, or else donate them to someone else’s sale.
Rita, the neigbhour for whom I’d set aside things, came by yesterday and I was able to provide them, and she was eager to buy more of the Ugandan paper-bead necklaces, but was out of money, so will come another time. She also wants me to become her walking partner.
So I’ve made all of $29 for my efforts, and got to know some neighbours, and maybe gained a walking friend, if I can make time for that.
Oh yes, I did invite young Esther to see my craft boxes in the trunk of my car on Sunday and she was thrilled to pieces. I gave her the 4 boxes she showed interest in. It is always nice to see someone appreciate odds and ends which have creative potential! So we’re both happy!