The Strange Things People Buy


You may remember a few weeks ago I told you about how I cleaned out my house using the Konmari Method, and how all this stuff was now piled up on my back patio. Well, we finally had our garage sale.

It was weird!

Okay, I’ll clarify that a little bit. If you’ve never had a garage sale, I’m here to tell you they are a HELLUVA lot of work. Oh my goodness. Pricing everything, posting ads, hanging up signs, getting change from the bank, waking up before dawn to set up, and then sitting there all day in the heat while strangers paw through your personal belongings. It made me feel tired and WEIRD.

I didn’t have a strong emotional response when I went through the big purge. But putting all those discarded items out for the world to see was kind of like getting punched in the gut. It takes the wind out of you a little bit. It’s strange to see what people buy and what they don’t. For example:

The Things People DIDN’T Buy

  • The almost brand-new telescope
  • The brand-new Osterizer blender
  • Designer clothes
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Board games
  • Not ONE SINGLE BOOK and I had out boxes of them

Some of these things I thought FOR SURE would sell. We priced everything ROCK BOTTOM, but people still wanted to haggle over something marked 25 cents. It makes me feel kind of icky when something that I once valued so highly isn’t even worth 25 cents to someone. I’m telling you, it’s WEIRD!

The Things People DID Buy

  • 8x10s of U2, Molly Ringwald and Britny Fox (for those who don’t know, they were a glam band from the 80s)*
  • ALL of the underwear literally SOLD OUT**
  • Fur-lined handcuffs*** & ****

The People You Meet

It’s also WEIRD to be held captive in your garage while people haggle over your stuff and then want to stand there and chat for half an hour. We met so many different and interesting people.

There was the Air Force vet who bought my softball glove so he could play catch with the neighbor boy who was starting Little League. He told us several stories about serving in the Korean War.

There was the elderly woman who showed up at my house a full hour before the sale started who was specifically interested in my vintage brooches. She then stayed for an hour and got to talking about baking bread with Adam. She came back on Sunday just to tell us that she had visited a local café we told her about that bakes fresh bread, and that they were making a loaf of rye special for her.

There was the 7 year old kid from across the street who came over several times over the course of two days and literally picked up every single thing we were selling and asked us, “How much is this?”

I don’t know, that garage sale took a lot out of me. I think I may be out of commission for awhile. But we did sell some stuff and managed to make a couple hundred dollars, so it was worth it in the end, since it was going to be donated anyway.

Have you ever had a garage sale? Did it make you feel weird, too?

* – These were one of the first things to sell, purchased by a middle-aged man who didn’t buy anything else. I didn’t think anybody would buy them, I was surprised they went so fast.

** – Okay, they were BRAND NEW underwear, and some still had tags on but some didn’t. Adam thought it was gross that I was putting underwear in the garage sale, but I’m telling you, they were a hot commodity! I had over a dozen pairs for sale at $1 each and EVERY SINGLE PAIR sold. (And for those of you with dirty minds, it wasn’t like in “Orange Is The New Black,” I’m pretty sure all the women I sold the underwear to were planning on wearing them).

*** – That 7 year old boy from across the street I was telling you about? Yeah, he convinced his mom to buy him the handcuffs. Luckily, several people were present to witness the event, especially because he thought they were $100, not $1, so he was carrying them around, shouting “These are $100??!” like it was totally blowing his mind.

**** – Don’t tell me you don’t have fur-lined handcuffs at your house, too. Okay, you might not sell them in your garage sale, but then you’d miss out on watching a young boy convince his mom that he HAD TO HAVE THEM.




4 thoughts on “The Strange Things People Buy”

  1. OMG Amy! I’m laughing and nodding because this is EXACTLY what garage sales are like in the uk!! We also have something called car boot sales – don’t know if you have them? Basically, tons of random people show up in a field and display junk to sell from their car boots. Sounds crazy now I’ve written it down! I’ve done a couple and have same sort of experience as you. 2 favourites though: lady shoves a pair of shoes in my face and says ‘you got these in a size 5?’ And, old dear bought an ancient lawn mower from us. Came back with it later and asked for refund as she’d remembered she didn’t have a garden…now if that isn’t fodder for writing, I don’t know what is! Kate

    1. That is brilliant! It’s really kind of wonderful just how wacky and strange people can be. All you need to do is provide them a venue and then sit back and watch.

  2. So funny Amy! I recently helped my mom put together a five family garage sale. Interesting how everyone priced things similar items differently and also what sold and what didn’t-and the haggling! Also the types of people that came by-the ones I thought wouldn’t buy at all ended up purchasing a boatload of things and vise versa… One woman’s junk is another’s treasure. 🙂

Comments are closed.