It’s Not A Yard Sale!

I hate yard sales.  Not going to them . . . just having one.  The thought of dragging all my unwanted stuff out into the front yard and/or the driveway and sitting out in the hot sun while complete strangers ruffle through my stuff and haggle with me over prices is enough to make me run screaming into the next county.  For the first 10 or 12 years that Hubby and I were together (we’ve been together 24 years), my MIL had a yard sale every year over the July 4th holiday.  Being the good daughter-in-law that I am, I would help her with the yard sale. Three days of sitting in the sun doing absolutely nothing and listening to complete strangers complain about the high prices, the poor selection, and haggle with us over prices.  This went on until I finally got so fed up with the annual event that I told MIL that I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I swore that I’d never help with a yard sale, or hold a yard sale of my own, ever again.  And I haven’t. 
Hubby and I have recently noticed that our cozy little house is getting a little crowded and we need to get rid of some of the clutter and the stuff that we don’t/won’t use anymore.  Hubby suggested a yard sale and I promptly vetoed that idea.  I think my exact response was pretty close to "No freaking way."  So we are started selling stuff through online classified ads in our local newspaper and through some auctions on Ebay. 
What a great concept.  You don’t give up your weekend sitting in the hot sun waiting (hoping) for someone to stop and buy your stuff.  You don’t have to drag the stuff in and out of the house every day.  Put up an online ad or start an auction and there are actually people out there that are interested enough in your stuff to buy it from you.  They send you money and you ship them your stuff.  This is so cool!  
But this wonderful concept has a few flaws in it.  The bidders can send you an email to ask questions about your stuff.  They complain about the prices and ask if you will sell it cheaper than the price listed on the auction/ad.  They want to know if you will donate your item to their charity for a tax deduction if it doesn’t sell.  They want to know if you will accept a check for significantly more than the asking price of the item then send the extra money back to them after the item is shipped.  Yes, these are all questions I’ve gotten about the stuff we are selling this week.  No, I didn’t fall for the extra money scam. 
Since I’m trying to get these people to buy my stuff, I have to be polite and give a nice polite answer to their questions.  But what I really want to say to these people is this –
"It’s not a yard sale!"
"If you don’t like the price or the shipping terms, then don’t bid/buy the item." 
"I’m not looking to get rich from selling this item, but I’m not going to give it away."


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7 responses to “It’s Not A Yard Sale!

  1. Jen

    I hate yard sales!  Now I just take stuff to Goodwill or list it on Freecycle.
    Thank you for the nice comments!  🙂

  2. Brenda

    Wow… I\’ve been holding auctions on eBay for almost 4 years and have never received emails asking if I\’ll accept checks like the ones you mentioned.  Maybe that\’s because I restrict my buyers to Paypal only and low negative feedback?  (If that\’s the case, I\’m keeping those settings!)  Crazy people out there.
    Haggling and sitting out in the hot sun waiting for yard sale buyers really does stink.  If it weren\’t for the kids who insist that we have one every year, I\’d be done with those forever too.
    Happy (make that "happier") sales, Pam.

  3. Kadrin

    I\’m prepping for the ebay seller status too. Learning HTML so I can customise my pages. Best wishes with it : )
    Watched a scary movie  myself yesterday, first one in awhile "Nightmare on Elm street 5, the dream child" , Hugs, Kat

  4. Karen

    I am an editor at MSN. We are considering featuring your Space on "What\’s Your Story? Please email me so I can provide more information. 

  5. Big Dog Mom

    @ Brenda – The check scam email was in response to the online ad that I put in the local paper.  We\’ve only had one auction completed through Ebay so far, and it was an 100% positive experience.  We have two auctions running now and we\’ll see if the item sells.  I didn\’t know that you could restrict your buyers to low negative feedback.  How do you do that? 

  6. Brenda

    I\’m not sure if I worded it correctly, but basically what I did was block buyers who are:
    *Registered in countries to which I don\’t shipe
    *Have feedback score of -1 or lower
    *Have received 2 unpaid item strikes in the last 30 days
    *Buyers without a PayPal account
    You can set these under: My Account > Preferences > Buyer Requirements
    I hope this helps!

  7. Brenda

    "shipe"?  Ok… let\’s try "ship" instead. 🙂

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