Downsizing by Garage Sale

If you have ever held a garage sale, you will be able to SO COMPLETELY identify with the following descriptions! The HOURS of back aching work that goes into preparing for the sale itself, the arguments with family members who don't want to part with ‘treasures’ they no longer use, (and forgot they even had until you unearthed it), and of course… dealing with some of the people who masquerade as shoppers. Speaking of shoppers, shall we discuss our potential customers? There are so many categories of shoppers, it boggles the mind. But, I’ll do my best to name them all.

  1. 1. The ‘Negotiator‘ – this person wants a lower price. It doesn’t really matter what your item is marked at, they won’t pay it. They need to feel they have gotten an extra-special bargain by you dropping your price. But this person isn’t ALL bad, if you have a good sense of humor, and don’t take yourself too seriously, negotiating can be fun! Just relax, and remember, some of your ‘stuff’ is going out the door, and will no longer weigh you down! This is a GOOD thing! At least adopting this attitude keeps you cheerful! (And try to remember, cheerful sales people sell more than cranky ones!)

2. The ‘Cheapskate‘ – this person seems to think everything should be either a quarter or free, (they'd prefer free, if they can talk you into it). You can tell them apart from the ‘Negotiator’ in that they won’t pay over a quarter for ANYTHING. They’ll put it back where they found it if you don’t come down to a quarter! Don’t you budge on your set price! This type of shopper will just drain your energy and make you feel like you have wasted your time bothering to do all the work to put on a garage sale in the first place. And you probably wouldn’t have made the sale anyway. I have come to believe this is some sort of game to them. They just wanted to see if you really would sell for a quarter. Be cheerful while holding your ground. You can do it! (Remember, cheerful people sell more!)

3. The ‘Trasher‘ – will trash talk your ‘stuff’, then turn right around and offer you half price of what it is marked. They want you to think they are doing you a favor by taking it off your hands. Makes you want to say, “Gee, Buddy, if it is such junk, why do you want it anyway?” If you don’t mind dropping your price because you set it a bit high to allow for this, go ahead and give ’em what they are angling for and some more of your ‘stuff’ will walk out the door. Otherwise, ignore ’em and they’ll either go away or pay your price. This type is harmless, just lacking in good social manners. (Grit your teeth and smile, cheerful people sell more.)

4. The ‘Window Shopper‘ – is apparently just killing time. They look at everything in the place very carefully and you’re just sure you will make a sale on something. But, nope, they leave after spending quite a bit of time browsing, and no money changes hands. Hey, you like to window shop sometimes too, right? So let ’em be, maybe they’ll come back after mulling it over and make a purchase. You might even improve your odds of a repeat visit, with an honest to goodness sale involved, if you exchange pleasant conversation with this person. Cheerful is as cheerful does!

5. The ‘Peeker‘ – this so called shopper never even makes it into the sale area. Oh, wait, didn’t I see someone there just a second ago outside my garage or parked in front of my driveway? (Depends on your sale area set-up.) We won’t be telling stories about this particular type of customer because, well, we don’t gain enough exposure to them to have any stories to tell, do we? But we do wonder what on earth they were looking for, and how they were able to tell we didn’t have IT, in their two second viewing of our ‘stuff’. (I don't know about you, but I have a HUGE display of 'stuff' and there is NO WAY to see it all in that short amount of time!) How disappointing, you didn’t even get a chance to say, “Howdy”!

6. The ‘Insulter‘ – is noticeably different from the ‘Trasher’ because they aren’t down on your ‘stuff’, they’re down on YOU! They have very negative things to say about your house, lifestyle, sale items, display area, and anything else that happens to irk them at the moment. These people are the dregs of society and it is best to totally ignore them and their nasty comments. They will leave without buying, or even picking up anything for that matter. Just cherish the thought that you won’t have to deal with them again because they have found you to be lacking, and altogether unworthy of their presence. Praise the Lord! And while you’re at it, say a prayer for those people that have to be around them everyday, poor souls! Think what it must be like to be a family member of this person! See how lucky you are? (Remember to be cheerful!)

7. Last, but certainly not least, our very favorite people, the genuine ‘Customer‘ who we all LOVE ’cause they actually buy items without a lot of hassle! They have come to our sale looking for bargains, and by golly they just gush that they have found one, (or two, or three)! They present the items they’ve picked out for you to tally, and then, will wonders never cease, they pay you and go merrily on their way! Be still my heart! I want to hug each and every one of them after dealing with some of the afore mentioned ‘shoppers’. Just so you know, I restrain myself from following through on this impulse, so that the guys from the loony bin don’t show up at my door to take me away. But YOU understand, don’t you?

Read on and I shall regale you with a real life story of an "INSULTER" that visited me some time back. You can find the story under the tab with the title "The Tale of the Insulter".