So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

, , , , | Right | November 10, 2018

(I am having a rather large yard sale and am running around setting stuff up and trying to answer questions. An older woman flags me down, who is looking at a small “as-seen-on-TV,” easy-clean fish tank.)

Woman: “Hey, excuse me!”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Woman: “Does this tank include the fish?”

(I look down at the completely waterless fish tank sitting on the table with the few parts for it inside.)

Me: “Uh… no, but all the parts are there.”

Woman: “Okay, thanks… I was going to get it for my grandson, but it’s useless without the fish.”

(I had no problem selling it, even though the fish were not included.)

He Wrote A Book And Went To The Moon And Knows My Son And…

, , , , | Friendly | September 26, 2018

(I’m helping an older lady out with her garage sale. She knows my parents and has just asked why I have such a great interest in Ireland.)

Me: “Oh, it’s got a lot to do with the history. Michael Collins—”

Older Lady: “Michael Collins?!”

Me: “Yes, he was—”

Older Lady: “My son wrote a book with Michael Collins! I’ll have to show it to you! Oh, you’re right; he’s just the nicest man.”

Me: “Um, no, I meant—”

Older Lady: “He visited the college here once. I saw his picture in the newspaper. It said, ‘Michael Collins visiting with other students from Ireland,’ so I thought I’d surprise my son! I called up the college to see if they had his number, but they wouldn’t give it to me. They said he was a student. But he wrote a book with my son!”

Me: “Um… ah… You know, there’s more than one, uh, Michael Collins.”

Older Lady: “REALLY?”

(After she walked away, I leaned over and said to my mother, “Let’s not mention a Michael Collins was one of the guys on the moon, too.” Mom says that to this day, she can’t get this lady to understand that more than one person has this incredibly common name.)

Threading In Some Lies

, , , , , , | Friendly | June 4, 2018

(My mother and I go to the garage sale of an old family friend who often goes to storage unit auctions. While browsing, I find a gallon zipper bag that is stuffed full of tangled-up embroidery floss with a 50-cent price sticker on it, so I snag it. I find a few other odds and ends that I like and start towards the register with it when another woman suddenly snatches the bag of embroidery floss from me and hurries to the check-out table with it.)

Woman: *to [Friend’s Husband] in a syrupy sweet voice* “I’d like to offer you 25 cents for this bag of embroidery thread. It’s going to take me a very long time to untangle this mess before I can use it.”

Friend’s Husband: *takes the bag and puts it behind the register* “Ma’am, I saw you take this from [My Name]’s hand. She had it first, so she gets to buy it.”

Woman: *huffs loudly then screeches* “She probably doesn’t even know what to do with it! I want it, so sell it to me!”

(At this point, everyone else at the sale is staring at her like she’s grown another head and [Friend] walks over to see what’s going on.)

Friend: *sweetly* “Yes, ma’am. What seems to be the problem here?”

Woman: *points at me* “This girl wants the bag of embroidery thread, but I had it first, and I want it for 25 cents.”

Friend’s Husband: *shakes head* “Nah, honey. [My Name] had it, and this old bat took it from her hand before she could get up here.”

Friend: *nods* “I see.” *smiles brightly* “In that case, [My Name] can have it for free, since we’ve wasted her time arguing with this woman.” *makes a shooing motion at the woman* “Leave. Now.”

(The woman sputters a bit then tries to argue, but [Friend’s Husband] interrupts her.)

Friend’s Husband: “Get off of my property right now, or I’m calling the police to get your dumb a** off it.”

(The woman throws down the other items she’s been holding, then stomps off to her car and speeds off.)

Me: *blinks* “Okay… erm… Well, I’d like to pay for my stuff here, and that embroidery floss, please. I think I’ve got like $5 worth of stuff.”

Friend’s Husband: “Nah, honey-child, we’re giving you the bag of thread, and a discount besides, because that woman was awful. Your total is $2.”

Friend: *mutters something* “And that’s why I hate when tourists stop at my sales.”

This Yard Sale Is The Pits

, , , , , , | Right | May 15, 2018

(We’re having a yard sale. The family dog has decided she wants to help, so we have her out with us sitting proudly on the lawn, waiting for people to pet her as they come to our house. Her friendliness has been drawing people in. Halfway through the day, a man comes up to us with nothing in his hands to buy.)

Man: “So, how much for the pitbull?”

Me: *thinking he means one of the dog figures we have sitting out* “Which one?”

Man: “That one right there.” *points at my dog* “How much do you want for her?”

Me: “Uh, she’s a family pet. She’s not for sale.”

Man: “Then why do you have her outside at a yard sale?”

Me: “My five-year-old daughter is outside at a yard sale, too, but she’s not for sale, either!”

(I had another family later tell me they’d love to have her and ask if she was for sale. Do people regularly sell their dogs at yard sales or something?)

 

Crazy Prices Attract The Crazies

, , , , | Friendly | May 10, 2018

I just organized a garage sale for the first time in six years. I moved homes a year ago and had a baby two years ago, so I had a lot of stuff to get rid of. Hoping to reach out to as many people as possible, I posted pictures of things for sale online. While it did increase the foot traffic, it also invited the crazies.

First, I had a gentleman come and ask to look at the 1960s Schwinn bike I was selling. He told me his sister would love it for her art project, and then moved to take it from me. My husband blocked him with his arm and told him that the bike was for sale, not free. The man interjected with, “There was no price listed online!” My husband replied, “It’s a garage sale; everything is for sale.” The man left without buying the bike.

Then, we had a lady come by while it was dead, and struck up a nice enough conversation with her. She didn’t see anything that she wanted to buy, but that’s how it goes. As we were talking about moving a year ago, she shifted gears and asked, “Do you know if you’re getting into heaven?” My eyes went wide, and I looked at my husband to confirm if she really just asked that. I replied, “I hope so!” and my husband agreed. The woman dug through her purse and handed us a flyer about being saved, turning to Jesus, yada yada yada. She then left, and my husband and I confirmed that that was weird.

Next, two women came by while my husband was taking a break. They mentioned that they shopped for a local church group, creating Christmas boxes for kids, trying to keep the cost of the boxes around $5. I said that was cool, and showed them the table with the cheapest things, $1 and under. They then said that they typically try to buy things at ten cents a piece. I said I might be able to do that on some of these items. They both then turned to me and asked if I’d be willing to do that on everything in the sale. I’d get a receipt for taxes and everything. I told them no, I wouldn’t be able to do a deal like that. They pushed that it was for a church and deserving children. I told them that was nice, but anything we didn’t sell was going into a sale for a church mission trip already. They got annoyed looks on their faces, and turned and left.

Thankfully, the good customers outweighed the bad, and we got rid of a lot of our junk. But I’m glad I won’t need to have another garage sale for another six years or so.

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