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Friday, October 9, 2009

Garage Sale

We held a garage sale this weekend to help earn some money to apply towards our adoption expenses for A*.

Some friends might remember we did a big fundraising garage sale with 2 other families who were adopting from Ethiopia a little over a year ago. The multi family garage sale we had that year was epic. I mean it. So many generous friends and family gave donations that our ENTIRE carport, back patio, storage room, and several bedrooms in our home will filled to capacity last time. We had so much stuff I was panicking that we wouldn't sell it all. I had no clue what we would do if we didn't.

Start a resale shop, maybe?

Thankfully most everything did sell (and what didn't went to a friend to raise money for medical bills for her mom) We 3 families split $5000.00 for our efforts and were elated!

While our sale this year is a bit smaller it's definitely more manageable for just our family. Though, our same wonderful friends who worked with us last time are back at it again, lending a helping hand. We have some of the best friends!

We are so thankful for your help, Kim, Brooke, Julie and Mark!!!

Have you ever noticed that there's a certain culture to garage salers? They are a breed all their own. The people watching never disappoints at these events.

This year we had many return customers. Some of the more colorful shoppers showed up in full force much to my amusement!

One particular woman who came back again was a woman my dear friend Julie had to get firm with last year when she caught the woman greedily rolling and compressing clothes into a 5$ fill-a-bag we offered. She piled the clothes so high over the top of her sack that Julie just couldn't let her get away without charging her for half a bag while pointing to the sign which said "Adoption Garage Sale Fundraiser." (I realize it isn't reading as humorous as it truly was because you just had to be there to see it. But, trust me, it was a hand-over-my-mouth in disbelief, don't-burst-uncontrollably-into-laughter kind of moment.)

Our over-stuffing friend was back this year dismayed to find we learned from last year and marked items individually. hahaha Of course she still complained that we were selling near new children's jumpers and jeans for fifty cents.(No stains people! Not faded one bit.... worn maybe twice)

The outrage!? How could we?

I guess we're greedy to get our son home like that ;-)

Another woman I'll refer to as Ms Indecisive came back again this year too. She's the one who asked all about items and haggled us down to a really good price only to leave. Then, she'd come back and buy one item at a time. She did this several times at varying intervals from 10 minutes to an hour. Sometimes she even came back to buy some random thing she didn't even act interested in the first time around. One time she parked pretty quickly, jumped out and went looking for some other item that had already sold, much to her dismay.

Seriously, she cracked me up! I guess she's been burned by buyers remorse once to many times and likes to stew on things for a bit. Maybe she has a commitment phobia. Whatever the case she's a hoot.

Then there are the people who steal. We've had them every time. I can't say I understand adults who behave this way. My feelings about people who steal are that if they need it that bad; God bless them. But it should be noted they just stole from my baby boy and I know God's not going to be very pleased with that.

I especially enjoy the garage salers who just love to get out on a cool morning and do some chatting with neighbours and maybe shop a little.

I love to hear people's stories. The older people are my favorite. They talked to me about how when they were a child and how they had a thing-a-ma-bobber just like this and they used it for this or that. Or, they'll just shoot the breeze while explaining to us about some mysterious contraption we're selling and don't know what it is. I enjoy watching them use their years of expertise in the art of being thrifty (for many, like my grandmother, had to learn this art the hard way during the great depression)

Garage sales are sentimental in a way because I enjoy seeing objects our family enjoyed and used going to a good new home. I so appreciate items that were lovingly donated to our cause being purchased by folks who will have their needs met for a good price.

I *may* have let a few items go for less than they were worth (I'm a horrible haggler that way) but there's something in me that's wired to be a giver, I guess. It's so hard for me to charge people for items that we're graciously given to me. I understand I might need some better boundaries but I'd also rather be a softy on that matter than run the risk of being too stingy.

In the end we made $800 for today. Not bad at all!

Tomorrow we wake up the crack of dawn, brew some coffee and do it all again.

Ah, yes, a good garage sale is so satisfying. Especially since the proceeds bring us one step closer to bringing A* home.


Stacey said...

We love garage sales... and we love our new $15 vacuum from your most current sale. What a bargain!