The Absolute Laws of a Garage Sale

My friends chuckled when they heard I was having a garage sale. I guess I’m not what you’d consider “garage sale material” - whatever that is. True, the last time I did it Reagan was in office, but I think that’s just about the right frequency. Everyone should have a garage sale once every thirty years.

Of course, now I’m an expert. Not because I’m so experienced in the ways of peddling and bartering, but because I’m a lifelong learner and first-class observer. While you may simply sell your junk and pocket the dollar bills, I study the process and the people.

And, by doing so, I’ve developed: Seven Iron-Clad Laws of The American Garage Sale

Law 1:  Don’t take it personally. If you’re sensitive, or emotionally attached to your junk, stop right now and donate it to a non-profit. Why? Because nobody - and I mean nobody - will love your crap like you do. They’ll paw over it, grunt, and throw it back onto the pile while you watch, heartbroken, and think, “How can you not rejoice at finding Jerry Maguire on VHS?”

Law 2:  Figure out how much you want to price everything, then cut that price by 75 percent. No, really.

Law 3:  The goal is not to make money (although you might do pretty well). The goal is to get the crap out of your house. Therefore, see Law 2.

Law 4:  Nine out of every ten visitors to your garage sale will be women. And, of the men, nine out of every ten of them are there only because of the aforementioned women. That means a mere one percent of your serious shoppers will be motivated men, and if you don’t have a lawn mower or grill they won’t even get out of the truck.

Law 5:  Technology from the 20th century will not sell. At all. No matter how much you’re convinced people will fawn over your CD collection, you’d have to wrap them in bacon before someone would touch them.

Law 6:  Expand your revenue streams. While I watched people completely ignore my books and CDs, a little girl down the block set up a lemonade stand and made about $200 in two hours. Bitch.


Law 7:  Look, here’s the bottom line. Your garage sale will be wildly successful if you sell only three things: Women’s clothes, purses, and jewelry. That’s it. (See Law 4 above.) We had about a hundred other items strewn across the driveway, and EVERY SINGLE WOMAN flocked to the clothes, purses, and jewelry. It was as if Ryan Reynolds was lying naked in front of the racks.

I have to admit, although my portion of the sale was less than spectacular, I enjoyed the sunshine, the fresh air, and the people watching. After five hours I’d pocketed about a hundred bucks, which ain’t bad. Next stop for the leftover crap - er, treasures - will be the non-profit referenced in Law 1.

Good luck with your sale. I’ll be ready again in 2046!