Some weeks ago, our daughter, Rebecca and her husband Andy, said they wanted to do a rummage sale. They were moving to a smaller apartment in De Pere and had stuff that needed selling.
They asked if I'd like to be included in their sale. But the big question was: did I have any friends in Seymour who would allow us to use their yard/garage/driveway during the city-wide sale - anyone who has had a rummage sale in the country knows traffic isn't the greatest out here in the boonies. Town sales are always better.
I actually had two friends who offered us space - I hadn't asked more. Since four people would be selling at Marilyn's home, we chose Colleen's place where we would be the only sellers.
It's obvious that our home needed a good rummage sale to get rid of all the extra stuff, but I'm not good at making decisions.
There's too much to think about, if something should go on the sale, be saved, or get tossed. And then there's the pricing. If a person goes through the trouble of bundling up goods to sell, then they should be priced to go.
Right? I mean, I don't have any real treasures that someone could pick up for a quarter and sell for thousands of dollars - but what if I did?
The buyer would be on the news feeling great and I, well, I wouldn't.
With two weeks to go, Rebecca asked if I had gotten anything ready for the sale. I didn't want to admit that I didn't. "Sure, I have some VCR tapes boxed up," I said - immediately,
I went upstairs and put some old movies in a box. We still have a VCR player, so I didn't put everything in the box, but I put enough in so it did look like a start.
Eventually, I did have boxes filled for the sale, but I didn't want to jinx anything weather-wise by being completely ready. If it rained there wouldn't be a garage to duck into. So I figured if I wasn't really ready, we would be better off, and I was right.
Though weather reports threatened rain, and we did have an early morning shower, the day of the sale turned out perfect.
Up at five, everyone gathered tables, chairs, and boxes and headed to Colleen's by seven. Colleen had a screened-in tent set up for us - she had bought it for $1 that Friday at another sale. It was perfect and will come in handy for future sales.
Rebecca and Andy had lots of stuff: dishes, glasses, vases, knickknacks, books, DVDs, a blender and more. Everything had a price marked on it, even a vintage stuffed Alf - Andy put $3 on Alf because he really didn't want to sell him.
I had a blender, a corn popper, an ice chopper, cookbooks, frames, among other things. Nothing was marked. As I said I didn't want to be too prepared - I marked as I set things out. I also set up a free box for anything that just shouldn't come home.
Our day started early. Buyers came our way about eight. If any of my things sold, I just added it to Rebecca and Andy's kitty - it was enough that I got those boxes out of my house.
Items disappeared from our collection. When a couple looked at my corn popper, they admitted having one like it before, but it broke and they threw it out.
Mine worked, but part of the plastic lid broke, so it was hard to handle. In the end, I gave it to them and we were both happy - I'll never be a good sales person, but that's okay.
Andy was totally surprised when Alf sold. "I should have put a higher price on him." Multiple times during the day, Andy lamented that sale.
At the end of the day, we had a lot less to pack up, so it was a good sale. Except for two cookie jars, I sent all my leftovers to the St. Vincent de Paul truck. I brought my cookie jars home and returned them to the top of the refrigerator.
I also brought home a set of Christmas plates that Rebecca didn't sell. For me they were free.
I continue looking through stuff at home with an eye to another rummage sale in the fall - or maybe not. Maybe I'll just take it to St. Vinnie's and cut out the middle man. Time will tell.
Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165; Sunnybook@aol.com; www.susanmanzke.net; http://www.facebook.com/susan.manzke