Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yard Sale

When you see a sign promoting a yard sale, what do you think of? Finding a good deal? Just more junk getting spread around the world?

I enjoy going to yard sales and seeing what other people are getting rid of. Like most people, I enjoy getting a good bargain - I use coupons every chance I get, I sometimes buy on eBay instead of paying full price and I look through the "sale" rack at stores...so why not save some money buying someone else's stuff?

That's all well and good but I hate haggling. I hate the feeling that someone is trying to pull one over on me - you know, the feeling you get when you go to buy a car...or when you find out that someone else got a better deal on the same thing?

The reason I bring all this up is because we're moving again and have a lot of stuff we want to get rid of. Since it's not junk (at least not to me) I'd like to get rid of it smartly. Friends, eBay, Craig's List, Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. Whatever way will be fast, convenient and not leave me feeling like I messed up.

The exact feeling I had yesterday when I got rid of some of our extra baby stuff. Now, I didn't want to get rid of any of the baby stuff because I'm not sure I'm done having children. So that was the first problem. I had already given some things (essentially new wipe warmer, breastfeeding supplies, tons of baby clothes, & an activity mat) to a "friend" from OSC who's having a baby boy in a couple months. She said she'd like to pay me, I said look at what she took home and give me what she thinks is reasonable. I don't feel bad at all that I haven't gotten a cent from her. Maybe I will, maybe I won't but for some reason it doesn't really bother me.

Yesterday, I talked to a neighbor (also from OSC and also due in a couple months) about whether or not she'd gotten the car seat and stroller from the first lady. Which then reminded me I had planned on asking if she could use some of the other stuff we were getting rid of. She came in to see what I had and said she'd like the swing, the sling, the mobile and a brand new-never even unpacked-crib set (quilt, sheet, and bumper). She said she had actually just gotten a swing at a yard sale this weekend (for $12) but it was pink and since mine was neutral it would be great (they don't know the sex of the baby). It was my fault things went downhill from there.

She asked me how much I wanted for it. I said whatever she felt was appropriate. I should have given her a price range I was willing to accept. It never occurred to me (especially after she said how much nicer and newer mine was than the one she got at the yard sale) that she would offer me $15 for the swing. I told her to talk with her husband and see if they really wanted all the stuff and then let me know. She took it over to show him and a while later gave me $25 for all of it! $25 for almost $300 worth of stuff!!! AAARGH.

I'm sure there was also a little of that bias where you feel something is worth more because you owned it or have feelings invested in it (can't remember what bias that is). However, if she's been looking at baby stuff at all, she had to know how much all of it was worth - especially when some of it was brand new! How could I have been an officer in the AF and be such a pushover!?

In the end, I used my husband as the excuse to get the swing back. After talking with him when he got home that the swing could hold up to 30 pounds (Bubba is only 22lbs) and that with the move we will need some way to corral him, he agreed that we should never have sold it. He was willing to go over with me and ask the neighbor that since I sold it without talking to him, could we please "buy" it back. So I turned over the $15 and we got the swing back. I feel a bit like a schmuck but I also feel better for having the swing back. The fact that she still got $150 worth of new stuff (that I only had to/agreed to part with since we're moving) for $10 kills me.

So, I think for the rest of the furniture and other stuff we're unloading, I'll do Goodwill or Salvation Army and take the tax credit instead of dealing with the upset stomach that bargaining leaves me with...I'll be happy when this move is over with. This will be my 8th move in 15 years and instead of getting easier it's getting more and more difficult...maybe because we're acquiring more and more stuff and the stuff we already had has become more and more tied to what, for me, makes a home.


  1. Working on getting the "Read More" capability added - for some reason is causing extra spaces...anyone know why?

  2. I put everything on ebay or craigslist. I am SO LAZY when it comes to looking for and/or selling things. I see people doing great with it though. I wish I had energy :)