Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yard Sale Rules

This past weekend was the city-wide yard sale in Eureka Springs, which is the little freak show town in Arkansas that I call home. Eric and I went Friday morning and discovered that there weren't very many sales this year.  I think there were 50 something on the list and we went to almost all of them, and we still had room in the car by the time we were finished.  No one should ever go to that many yard sales and still have room in the car.  

There were a lot of ways that the yard sales could have been improved, because frankly a lot of them were pretty bad.  I realized that there weren't a list of written do's and dont's of yard sales, so I've decided to take it upon myself to write a list of yard sale rules that I think should be strictly enforced.  

Rule No. 1

Shirts are required.  I don't care if you're a dude, put on a shirt.  No one wants to see your man nipples - especially if they're over 70 years old.  I saw more man nipples last Friday than you can shake a stick at. I have no idea why you'd want to shake a stick at man nipples, but whatever blows your skirt up. 

{I felt that a photograph would be unnecessary and unwelcome here. If you need a visual of 70 year old man nipples, just imagine a wrinkled piece of pepperoni with gray hairs on it.}

Rule No. 2

You must price things as though you were having a yard sale rather than hosting an episode of Antiques Roadshow. If I wanted to buy old crap at antique store prices, I'd go to an antique store where there's air conditioning instead of standing in your front yard sweating in places that makes walking unpleasant.  

Rule No. 3

Be friendly.  Greet your potential customers.  Smile.  Be engaging.  Don't act like having a yard sale is similar to having a colonoscopy with a shop vac.  If it's that horrible for you, contact an estate buyer and sell all of your stuff in one fell swoop. Then you can spend your day doing something you'd find more enjoyable like sanding the skin off your face.  

Rule No. 4

Be friendly (see Rule No. 3 in case you have a really short memory), but please don't tell me your life story. Or the life story of your grandmother, or the life story of your dog, or the life story of the ficus tree you have in the living room.  I'm sure you're a lovely person with fascinating tales, but the truth is, I just don't care.  I'm there to buy your unwanted crap so I can then turn around and sell it for 20 times more than I paid for it.  

Rule No. 5

If something or someone has peed on a stack of fabric you're trying to sell, don't sell it.  Or at least wash it before you sell it so we don't know that something or someone used it as a toilet.  No one wants to experience picking up a piece of fabric and then almost passing out because they just got a whiff of peed-on fabric that's been marinating in 90+ degree heat.

Rule No. 6

If you announce that you're willing to deal, then when I ask how much the vintage garment bag is and you say "$5" and I say, "How about $3?", instead of saying, "Nope. It's $5." say, "I'd take $4". 


                                       Rule No. 7

Please put a price tag on everything. I know that putting a price tag on everything isn't fun, but it's not exactly physically taxing is it? I'm not asking you to price all your items while you're running a marathon. Just plop your ass down in front of the television with a big box of yard sale stuff and a box of ho-hos,and start sticking. You probably won't even break out into a sweat. I guarantee that if you price things, you'll sell a lot more of your stuff.

Rule No. 8

 I understand that it's a privilege for us to come into your yard or garage or whatever and dig through the pile of t-shirts that you've ripped the sleeves out of and then worn to mow the lawn, but could you try and not be so condescending?  Yes, some of us shop at yard sales because we have to.  Some of us shop at yard sales because we want to.  Just remember that we put our ratty t-shirts on one sleeve armhole at a time, just like you do.  

So, there you have it.  Just a few simple rules that will not only improve your yard sale going experience, but should you be having a yard sale, it will increase your sales.

I'm not sure how people have been having successful yard sales before this list of rules was written.  

Be Happy,


  1. I am in love with this post. It's amazing the crap that goes on at yard sales.

  2. I found this post through a FB post and absolutely LOVED it...thanks for giving me the best laugh of the day :-)

  3. Aaah, if only we ran the world, yard sales would go much smoother, and we would be spared the sight of man boobs forever and marinated, urinated fabric! So funny!

  4. I shouldn't have read this while eating - I almost choked on my turkey sandwich - so funny and true! :D

  5. Rule #1 got me laughing on the floor. Who doesn't love to shake a stick at an old man nipple? :) Another tidbit is to use MOGASA, this garage sale app, to read reviews before going to garage sales. I work for the company, and stumbled on this fab blog post that I tweeted to our followers. Thought I would let you guys know about it too. Thanks for giving me a laugh this lovely Thursday evening. :)

  6. Thank you all so much for reading and for the awesome comments! Entirely Apropos made a comment on The Curious Crow Facebook page (which you all should like about yard sale signs, so I'm thinking that a post dedicated to bad yard sale signs might be in order. I'll try not to talk about man bits when I write it.

  7. And this is why I generally don't like yard sales.