Garage Sale'n

9:28 AM

Buy my stuff, please && thanks!!

Please let me introduce the Garage Sale Queens -- my Mom and her best friend, Aunt J! These two women have been best friends since high school and have cultivated a friendship that has lasted through decades, life changes, and raising families (and even a grandbaby).
Aunt J had these sweaters made for all six of us girls!
Ever since I was little, Aunt J, her hubs (Uncle B), and two daughters (S & K) have been family to us. So much, we call them Aunt and Uncle and make no point of even trying to explain why we look nothing alike! We've family vacationed together many times and they have always been a staple in our lives and have never missed an important event in our lives.

One thing they have in common, is their love for hosting garage sales. They both have a set of daughters and our ages are all staggered, relatively closely together. We've been raised working these garage sales for as long as I can remember. It's always a family affair. Since Aunt J lives in a great location to do so, she is always the home host for said events. Together they plan, prep, execute, and clean up shop together -- all with matching aprons!

Here are five things about Garage Sales I've learned from the Garage Sale Queens:

Advertise - Before the Intranet was cool, they did it the old school way. They made simple, yet super bright signs and put them up all over the neighborhood the night before or the morning of. However, now that we have access to the Intranets, you can use sites such as Craigslist or, which will let you post your garage sale details for free. I'm sure there is a much larger lists of free sites to use, but those are the two we used for our most recent sale.

Merchandise - My years at Nordstrom paid off. If you merchandise your products, they will sell better. Categorize them, using card tables or tarps/table cloths on the ground. Hang the nicer clothing and fold the more commonly used clothing. Use what is at your disposal, hang from the garage trimming or a large tree in the yard. Use all of the space to your advantage, no one likes shopping in a cluttered mess. The less digging one has to do, the more likely they are to shop and feel less gross digging through stuff.

The 'Nonchalant' Seller and the 'Stickler' Seller - Mom and Aunt J each play these roles, naturally. It works out, they bounce prices off each other right in front of their customers. They help balance each other out. It would be bad if both were on either side of the spectrum, they probably wouldn't sell anything. It comes natural to them, so it doesn't seem forced, but it is a spectacle to watch.

It's an ALL Day Affair - Set-up starts well before the actual sale, they gather their junk stuff days, weeks, and months before the garage sale date. Then closer to the date, they have it all brought over to Aunt J's house, where it waits to be sold. Sometimes, the night before, they will add price tags to stuff, this time they didn't. Otherwise the day of starts around 5:30AM with set-up, actual selling doesn't start until around 8AM. Or if customers start to show up as we set-up. Usually the sale ends around 2PM or later, if customers are still trickling in to shop. Lunch is always whenever there is a lull. Once they decide to close up shop, the decision to donate or keep happens. At times they will make a donation run right at that moment or they will wait to do it later. Once everything is packed up, it's time to count your earnings!

Have FUN! - The Garage Sale Queens always have fun when they host one. Even at 5:30AM when they are setting up in the complete dark. These two are always enjoying themselves throughout the process. To some this may seem like a daunting task, however, I think they have it down to a science and get to enjoy the process. Or maybe it's just because they do it together and get to bond during the process. Either way, whatever makes it fun for you make sure you incorporate that. Whether it be drinking and/or selling mimosa's or inviting your best friends to join, just make sure it's not all business, fun is essential to the long day of haggling!
Garage Sale'n Essentials for FUN!
I don't think I even have to mention how epic the people watching can be. The spectrum of customers is so broad it is almost indescribable. Garage sales are for everyone, no matter how little or how much money you have. All walks of life come to peruse stuff. 

I tend to think I'm a pretty up-front person, but when it comes to asking for money for my used things I become a tender hearted soul who doesn't want to be confrontational. Yes, I become the girl who will sell her stuff to you for $1 and not bat an eye, but internally I will be analyzing how much I purchased that item I just sold you. I will have to remind myself to take off my judgey pants and know that you have your reasons for finding your treasure(s), even if that's not how I'd go about it. I will also be the girl that will go refold clothes once you are done looking at it, but I will at least wait until you start shopping in the next section. As much as I mock the garage sale, I love being a part of them with my fave Garage Sale Queens!

More than making a few bucks, I think what I really enjoy is watching my mom and her best friend interact. They illustrate a great friendship model for myself, as well as my sister and cousins. They make their friendship a priority, they incorporate their families, and they have FUN! Their friendship has surpassed many decades (don't worry Mom, I won't say how many) and I don't see it ending anytime soon. It's admirable and it makes me smile!

I ain't above makin' a few bucks, because I learned from the BEST!

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