Around the world in a few good garage sales
NAME: G. Kelner
OCCUPATION: Cajon Maker
LOCATION OF SALE: Victoria, BC
FAVORITE BOOK: The Grapes of Wrath
FAVORITE COLOR: Green
FAVORITE ANIMAL: Yellow Lab
FAVORITE ELEMENT ON THE PERIODIC TABLE: Magnesium
When did your garage sale take place?
Sat, 22 Sept, 9 am-3 pm
What was the weather like?
Beautiful and sunny, then it rained so I made a quick run to grab a couple of slices of pizza, leaving a little sign saying I'd be right back, then it cleared up and was sunny again.
There are so many different genres of mass sales--garage, yard, stoop--but the spirit seems to be the same. Was your sale actually held in your garage, or did it spill out into the yard?
Sale was held in back yard facing onto a park with a lot of walking traffic, front of house is on a busy road, which also brings in a lot of traffic.
In your opinion, was your sale a success?
Yes, I got rid of a load of crap and made a couple hundred dollars.
About what percentage of your inventory sold & what do you plan to do with the rest?
About 70% sold, rest to charity.
What was an object that was a long shot to sell & did it sell?
I had a big box of well-used test tubes (where they came from is another story). This gigantic ogre-like guy with long stringy hair bought the lot. "They're handy when you need to do some experiments" he says as he's bungee tying them to the rat-trap on his bicycle. The same fellow had been to one of my previous garage sales and had agonized for quite some time over whether or not to buy, for a quarter, some piece of computer hardware that he really wanted. In the end he decided to give it a pass as it was his last quarter and "you never know when you might need to make a phone call."
Is there a mood you try to set for your garage sales--a particular hosting style?
I like to have as eclectic a selection of stuff as possible. Something for everyone--if the wife and husband both have something to look at, then they are more likely to stay longer and the longer they stay the more chance they find something to buy. On the price stickers I like to offer suggestions of alternate uses or goofy sales pitches. Mostly it's fun to sit back and watch.
What did people seem to be looking for?
Vintage stereo equipment, antiques, fishing gear, cameras, glass Christmas balls.
If you could have any celebrity buy something at your garage sale, who would it be & what would this person buy?
Michael Richards. To buy the size 12 elevated sports training shoes--I just can't sell them, even with the "as seen on Seinfeld reference."
Here at mental_floss we've talked about seller's remorse before. Do you ever feel stricken with this kind of remorse, or were you ever protective of an item people put down?
I always have sellers remorse--I only have to have garage sales because I'm a pack-rat--so parting with it is not always easy.
Was there anything you were secretly hoping wouldn't sell?
This year I was particularly sad to part with a purple, and blue and pink Ecuadorian wool sweater that I haven't worn since--ever.
What are you proudest of selling?
Logger's chainsaw I didn't need but was loath to part with.
When you think back to all the garage sales you've attended, what's the saddest thing you've ever seen for sale?
Nothing, but estate sales are sad--stuff that at one time had meaning becomes mostly a bunch of junky stuff that nobody wants.
Can you tell us about some of the more memorable people who frequented your sale?
See ogre above. Or the guy who spent over an hour trying to open a combination bike lock because we said it was free for anyone who could.