Storage Auctions

Held my first yard sale today in over a year......actually kind of fun!

So I have a bunch of stuff that has been sitting in my basement taking up space.  Part of it is left over from a seamstress unit I bought a while back that is like the gift that keeps on giving and most of the rest was a locker I bought about two months ago from a facility about 1/2 mile from my house.  I was in a big hurry at the time, so I pulled out a few good things for CL and ebay, and just stuffed the rest in the basement. 

Finally, we got a weekend with some nice days forecast!  Ran some ads and sorted through everything yesterday (found 2 x 14K Necklaces and a 14K big, fat earring, but that's another story) and got up early this morning and got it all set up and running by nine. 

Of course the early birds showed up at about 7:15.......but in this case two things happened.........one is that I recruited the one guy to run the hand truck to move bunches of boxes out to the front yard (free Labor.... Hallelujah!) and between him and another guy, I had made $150 by the time I "opened" at 9:00!

It was an interesting and kind of fun day.  I recruited my next door neighbor kid to help out.  He's a 20 year old mexican/american and I got to advertise "se habla espanol" in my CL ad.....smart move on my part!  Met a lot of interesting people today, actually had fun, and didn't really even have any jerks (knock on wood!) 

Two things that happened stood out from today though.  This one girl came by who was really nice but kind of mentally "challenged".  She goes and picks out a dress and a couple little items and comes up to me and says something about just having a little bit of change, and digs through her pockets and pulls out .27!  So then she starts talking about these tattoos that she just spent five bucks on getting them out of some vending machine.  She pulls them out and starts laying them all out on the table.  She makes two piles and she said she just really wanted to keep the three tattoos in the one pile, but I could have the ones in the other pile.  I pulled out this big spider one, and told her I'd take her .27 and that tattoo for what she wanted.  She said I could have them all and I told her that was good enough.  So she walks over to her bike and puts her stuff up, and pulls out a little tiny baby garter snake and had to bring it over to show us.  It was funny!

 Anyway, as she's pulling away, I gave the tattoo to the neighbor kid's nephew who's about three, and we got it on his arm and the rest of the day he's walking up to anybody that came by and held his arm up and pointed at it.  Cute little kid!

The other thing that happened could have potentially had an uncomfortable ending.  This lady asks me if any of my stuff by chance came out of a storage unit.  I said as a matter of fact, it did.  It ended up being her daughters (well, before she didn't pay her bill and I bought it!) stuff! 

She was really nice and bought a few things and started talking about how bummed out her daughter was that she lost all her pics and stuff.  I remembered this one very well, and I remembered going through and boxing up about four big boxes of pictures and personal papers, and I know this facility has a special little room they hold all the personals in for up to a year.  I told her to have her daughter get over and get it, because they were all there.  And a weird thing.....when I was going through the stuff yesterday, I found a birth certificate and this really nice professionally done album.  I almost threw it away, but I set it aside and had it stored downstairs. 

I told her to hang on for a minute, and ran down and grabbed them and brought them up.  I opened the book and it said "happy 54th b'day" with a picture of the lady I was talking to!  I gave her that and the birth certificate and she was tearing up.  She thought that was gone forever!   Her kids had made her this really cool, bound like a book, with some family history and all the kids and grandkids pics in this thing for her b'day, and then her daughter didn't pay her storage bill and she lost it!

We had a nice little chat, and I made her day.  I overlooked it (and the gold!) when I bought the unit and I was glad I hadn't tossed it. 

All in all, pretty good day.  I made just a hair under $600 bucks after paying my helper $70 for the days work.  And there's still tomorrow.............

Offline MovieMan

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Great story Teacher !

Lots of details about the biz  and a couple of really interesting human interest tales as well.

And, as you said, there's still tomorrow !


Offline Millertime

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Enjoyed the stories Teacher! Congrats on the sale.

Thanks guys!  I'm glad there's somebody out there that enjoys what I have to say!

After two days, I ended up with $1157.00 in my pocket!  That is after I paid my helper kid/translator $80 in cash and gave him a large brown sofa I really wanted to get rid of! 

Having him really worked out for me, because the area I am in is largely Hispanic and a lot of them don't speak English.  I don't speak any Spanish at all really, so it really made it a lot easier, plus it was nice to have help to unpack and move stuff around and keep things tidied up and restock the tables so it looked good.

Don't have any really good human interest stories from Saturday though.  I did give away some stuff to a lot of kids.....they'd be playing with something and I gave away quite a few dolls, cars, books and toys. 

I guess the coolest thing with the kids was this one kid in probably around fourth grade or so.  His Mom was hard core shopping and he was totally bored.  I was talking to him a little bit (because I was starting to get a little bored myself by this time!) and he started digging through a bag of stuff I had and found this big chunk of fools gold.  He was fascinated by it and asked me what it was.  I told him, and he thought it was so cool.  They were probably there for another 15 minutes or so and he just kept looking at it.  His mom finally came up to pay, and I told him to go ahead and take it.  It made me feel good, because you could tell he was genuinely appreciative. 

So, at the end of the day, I was getting ready to shut down.  For the last hour or so, I was walking around and pulling things out that I want to keep to either put on ebay or just hang on to for a while.  At about five, I had about 12 people still there and I told them that everything left....all the clothes, toys, dolls, books, everything there except my folding tables and my plastic totes, was FREE!

Some lady that had bought quite a bit of stuff from me yelled out something in Spanish, and it was crazy!  My neighbor from a couple houses up started asking me about if this or that was free, and I told him EVERYTHING.  So, I left it all out and took off to the Sprint Car Races for the mid season championships and fireworks show!

Now here I sit this morning.  Looking outside into my front yard, I have almost nothing left to clean up.  Any clothes that are left I'll dump into plastic garbage bags and save my totes for later.  I've got one very small load for Goodwill (which is only a half mile from my house!).........best clean up ever!

Just to sum up the entire experience, I feel it was a great success, and not just money wise.  I got rid of a lot of picked over inventory that has just been sitting around taking up space.  I got to meet many of my neighbors for the first time, and may end up with a couple of new friendships out of the deal.  I put a smile on a bunch of little kids faces, and got a lot of smiles and thank yous from kids and adults alike.  So C'mon......I made money and friends, got rid of product and actually had fun doing it!........I'll take that any day!


Offline Cobia

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Great story about doing your own yard sale and great sales to boot!

Great stories teacher.  I didn't have any real ones from my first and only yard sale so far.  Did have this teenage kid ask if I needed help to move stuff.  Was moving from the sun to shade.  His mother spent about 20 mins in the thrift store shopping.  He hung out with me and I was telling him about the world coins and stuff I had for sale.  Told him to pick out 8 world coins from the bucket I had.  He thought it was cool, was going to show his friend who collects coins, and I got some free help.  I was just shocked he offered to help.  Most teenage kids I know this day (exept for a few) tend to be lazy and ask what is in it for them first.

Offline money4nothing

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Great Story there teacher.  ;D

Only good one I have for this last Friday sale is a lady picked up this cheesy plastic party tray (I was tired of lugging it around. (did not fit in a tote). So I gave it too her. she picked up a few of my .25 items. So when she was ready told her $2.50 for all of it. She handed me $3.00 and said it is going to be hot today.  :D

Oh and did some clothes trading with the thrift.

Like your clean up idea.  ;)


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