My husband has left his pregnant wife at home alone to sit through a garage sale alone all day. I have 1 hour left. The morning flew by, and I'm surprised to have sold some of the stuff I did. Here are some interesting garage sale personalities I've seen:
1) People that wander through, picking every single item up, examining it and putting it back, not always in the right place, and leaving with a pile of magazines from the "free" box at the end of the garage.
2) People that get excited over random things. Husband: "Ooh! A broken pet water fountain!" Wife: "Put it down, we don't need that. Besides, it's broken." Husband: "I can fix it. How much?" (pays full price, when I was expecting to throw it away at the end of the day)
3) People that comment on everything they pick up, or at least everything they purchase. "You see, just yesterday my husband and I were laughing at those warning signs they put on hair dryers saying not to take them in the shower, so buying this is a little private joke between us." Um, ok, that'll be $3, please.
4) Unlucky people. I got a Kitchenaid mixer for my last birthday, so I was trying to sell my old Sunbeam. It works, I mean worked, perfectly. People had been eyeing it all day. Last woman to look seems really interested and even gets out her wallet. She asks me how it works, and I show her all the features. I get to the last demo, showing how to unlock the two components from each other, and a teeny plastic bit snaps off the joint, making it impossible to use as a stand-alone mixer now. I couldn't believe it. I guess that's getting carted off today.
5) People who steal at garage sales. Now, most of this stuff is going to Goodwill at the end of the day, so really it doesn't matter in the long run, but who finds justification in pocketing a 10 cent necklace or switching tags on a phone, or hiding the price tag on a DVD (Harry Potter, which I'd marked slightly higher than the other DVDs). "Uh, we have two DVDs here; that's $2, here you go." I didn't fight them. Why bother?
Then there are the different cars and their drivers. There's the passerby, who slows down to a crawl to examine the goods with their razor-sharp vision (into a dark garage, mind you), the people who park in front of the "no parking" sign, the people who pull into the middle of the driveway and right up close, the husband honking the horn and revving the engine as the wife does a quick walk-through (I love it when the wife spends a long time and buys nothing--must tick the guy off royally), the people who leave their engines running as they run through the garage (they never buy anything), and my favourite: the people who do a U-turn in the street, park legally, lock their doors, bring their family of five out to have a look around and contribute, even if only a small bit, to the baby fund that is this garage sale. I also love the moms who tell their kids, "OK, here's 25 cents. You can buy one thing." And the kids discover my 10 cent bin, and they're so excited...I also let them have 3 things for 25 cents. Such a deal!
If you have a garage sale, it's hard not to get offended at the lack of interest people have in your once-valued possessions. "What do you mean, you don't want this chipped set of dishes? They were so pretty!" or, I heard, "No, honey. You wouldn't like that CD." (Ravel and Debussy...hmph! I bet the little girl would have loved Daphnis and Chloe and Le Tombeau de Couperin. That woman was just stifling her child's artistic side.) Sold: lots of clothes, CDs and DVDs, several kitchen things. Not sold: the first purchase Dave and I ever made together, our first microwave. I would've been a little sad to let that one go.
OK, it's been 25 minutes since my last customer...I think I'll close shop early. Too bad I missed out on all the other garage sales myself!