Reverse early-bird special.

Pro tip: if you’re going to have a garage sale, don’t post it 48 hours early.

I made that mistake today. Not that I blame myself; we have a million and three things going on, and I’m trying to be as efficient as possible. Stayin’ on top of shit. We’re planning a big garage sale on Saturday and I merely wanted to get the word out, so I posted the following ad to three places: Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Facebook Marketplace:


GARAGE SALE – SAT. AUG. 27 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

We’re moving to Wisconsin and have a lot of downsizing to do!

LOTS of household and yard items for sale, including:

• Gas-powered lawnmower
• Side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with water & ice dispenser
• Coffee table
• Bookcases
• Large four-person tent w/ “front porch” canopy
• Firewood (by the bundle or lot)
• Paperback/hardcover books
• Household and kitchen appliances
• Various cabinets and stands
• And much more!

Everything must go in one day!


Within minutes, I was deluged with responses from FB Marketplace (which really seems to have the corner on the For Sale market these days). Everybody wanted to know prices for the fridge, tent, and lawn mower. I could have saved myself a lot of hassle if I’d posted them in the ad, I guess. We’re only asking $50 for each of those items.

When I relayed that information, they were practically tripping over their own feet, wanting to buy them NOW. The whole point was to put out a bunch of high-value items to attract people to the rest of our shit, so I had to revise the ad. No early sales. First come, first serve.

Not only did people want to buy these things right away, they wanted to Venmo me the money. NO. This is a cash-only operation, bub. A few asked for my phone number because they wanted to call me to discuss matters.

WTF, people. I was busy at work on my next-to-last day, trying to — you know — do my job and stuff?

So many messages from so many people, all day long. It never stopped. I finally started cutting and pasting my replies. Told them the price and suggested, if they were interested in one of those items, to come by first thing Saturday morning.

I left out the part about being prepared to get into a fistfight over who gets what. I guarantee those three things are going to be sold within the first five minutes.

By the end of the day, I was getting so annoyed, I started jacking up the prices on them. The tent, for instance, doubled in price. It’s yours for $100 if you pick it up tonight, I told one interested buyer. When he asked what it will cost if he picks it up Saturday morning, I said, $50. But be prepared to beat out the 15 other people waiting in line.

Here’s another one:

Screw the “no early sales” rule. If we can get more money than anticipated AND put an end to the barrage of messages, that’s fine by me.

I don’t even know that we’re underpricing anything. The fridge was Doris’s and came with the house. It’s almost 30 years old, for cryin’ out loud! Other lawn mowers go for about $50. The tent is the only thing worth more, but we’re in full-on purging mode.

In any event, it looks like we’ll make some decent money on Saturday. If I don’t lose my mind before then.


Other than the garage sale headache, today was bittersweet. My team had a farewell get-together for me this afternoon. Yes, I’m still working tomorrow, but this was the last day the whole marketing department would be in the office. They offered to pick me up a pie from a local bakery, but I said, we really need to do a cheesecake instead.

Because, Wisconsin.

My boss gave a heartfelt speech about how much he’ll miss my positive attitude (there’s that glass-is-spilling-over mentality again) and sense of humor, and told me I’m a great writer.

Aww!

Then, I had an exit interview with the HR director, who drove in from our Wall HQ to do it in-person. She and I have always had a great rapport, so I suspect she really just wanted to see me one more time.

Everybody has been very supportive and complimentary. If you must leave a job, I highly recommend doing so under good terms.

It sure beats the alternative.

Tara and I had planned to drive through the Black Hills this evening, but today was surprisingly gloomy and cool. Lots of fog and drizzle. Tomorrow’s going to be sunny, so we’ll do that then.

Lots more to share. I’ll be back here tomorrow, I’m sure!

55 thoughts on “Reverse early-bird special.

  1. You understand there will be people beating down your door at 5AM Saturday don’t you? You should hire a neighbor kid to stand around and video the whole thing. You might find that you and Tara become TikTok stars when it’s all over.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Deb is right! We had an estate sale for my MIL and the pickers and other eager garage salers were pounding on the door and begging to buy stuff WAY earlier than advertised. It made me dislike people intensely. It’s wonderful to leave a job on good terms and to move forward without regrets or bad feelings.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m annoyed already and the sale is still 24 hours away. I really hope I never have to do another of these again. Piling everything in the front yard and lighting it with a match seems like a much easier solution.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can’t believe you’re continuing to blog during this move. Insane, but admirable. As for Facebook Marketplace, god what a madhouse. I was relating to everything you experienced. People don’t read the whole add and end up asking you questions that are already answered in the add. Has that happened to you yet?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. People never read the whole ad. I sold a birch tree for $25 and put more hours into that ad’s requests in FB market place, answering inane questions for 2 weeks till the sale finally went through. Less is more doesn’t work, they don’t read! 🤯

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I totally agree with that. We’ve talked about doing garage sales many times over the years, but always figured it wasn’t worth the trouble. This is different because we have a LOT to get rid of, and heading into the unknown like this, we need every penny we can get!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. If you’re surprised that I’m still blogging throughout all this, you don’t know me very well. I’m the guy who blogged every night on his road trip/vacation last year, remember? Ha!

      And yes, it’s happened repeatedly. If people were reading the whole ad, they wouldn’t be reaching out to me constantly asking questions. At this point I’ve finally stopped responding.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Omg that happened at a community sale my wife and I did. Her friend owns a cafe and they were grilling food on the fly, only a matter of time till someone walked by and asked “us” how much for the grill (it was behind our set up lol)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Lol, who knew how true the old saying about one man’s junk (sale) is another man’s treasure! Can’t wait to hear how it goes during the actual garage sale: will it turn into a bidding war? Will the $50, 30 year old fridge end up paying for a brand new fridge? 😁

        It’s strange how we hear the heart-warming compliments mainly when we leave: wouldn’t it be more effective to hear them throughout the year? Not saying it would influence your desire to move, but…

        Liked by 3 people

  4. It’s pretty RUDE for people to ask in advance. You should have made an email specifically linked to the ad so that if there was a deluge of messages you could’ve had an automatic response. Thanks for your interest every thing is in working order, the sale is Saturday. Higher priced items sold on a first come first saved basis.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Yard sales are always a (profitable) nightmare, mainly because people be crazy. I’ve never marketplaced a tag sale ad but I can imagine everyone vying to be first.
    I hope your new job is at least half as wonderful as the one you’re leaving because those always sounded like a great group of coworkers.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Well this is a weird problem. I cannot imagine how I’d deal with people who were so interested in what I had to sell that they bothered you before your garage sale. I suppose I’d ignore them, but really… this is odd.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well, this certainly escalated quickly. I appreciate you posting about this experience with your sale, because it has made me more committed to having someone of my choosing handle our inevitable downsizing sale in my inevitable absence, and paying them for their trouble (maybe they’ll want something for sale as payment). I am very much a people person, but not when it comes to the velocity potential sale buyers can achieve. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s going to be crazy right up until your sale is over and maybe a bit after but at least you’ll be rid of most of The Stuff. Do you have a plan for post-sale for the things people decide not to buy hoping you’ll put it on the curb for free after? When my folks closed their sale they put everything that was left in the back of the vehicle and drove straight to Goodwill /Salvation Army/ I forget which local group. Except anything my BIL was like, dude I’ll sell that for you on eBay after you do don’t even worry about it.

    It’s weird that I’m watching you guys move from afar… again. But I’m excited for you and wish you every happiness in the new adventure!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, that’s exactly our plan: to take all unsold items directly to Goodwill (though we may just offer them for free as we near the end of our sale).

      I guess this is a familiar feeling of Deja vu for you, huh? Us too, ha!

      Like

  9. Who knew your old shit was wanted so badly? I hope the sale was good for you guys and you cleared out some stuff! How nice that your work people are going to miss you, but I think you already knew that. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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