Selling Memories: I Probably Shouldn’t Have Tried to Have my First Garage Sale at 85, but the Walls Were Crying Out
by Jean Pond
I probably shouldn't have tried to have my first garage sale at 85, but the walls were crying out and I had to do something.
I draped a picnic table and card tables with sheets and identified every object by name and price with computer labels to cut down on negotiations.
There is absolutely no way to predict what is saleable. Things that I thought would sell quickly did not sell and things that I had no hope of selling disappeared immediately.
There are always the antique hunters and I think the fact that I was an antique myself was helpful. A prospective customer would say, "How old is this?" and, when true, I would say, "Well, it's older than I am" and it would immediately be an antique even if it was only a potato masher.
A Southeastern European gentleman fondled a bracelet while he examined everything else. Finally he asked, "What is this?" I said, "It is a rhinestone bracelet." He thought about it a while and then came back to me and said, "How do you spell rhinestone?" I spelled it and he bought it.
A pretty 18 year old girl spotted a seed pearl pin that was in the shape of the letter J. She asked, "When did you wear this?"
I replied, "When I was about your age I wore it on my Lana Turner sweater. It had considerable pick-up power. The boy would say, 'What does the J stand for' and I would say 'Guess.' Sometimes after about ten minutes of that give and take it ended with a chocolate soda."
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