Moving into the pricing phase of the garage sale there are more interesting conversations.
Son: How much should I ask for this?
Me: I dunno. Two dollars?
Son: Two dollars!
Me: Too much? Too little?
Son: I don't know. I was just surprised.
Mr. Jenny: Why do you have $40 dollars on this Starbucks cappucino machine?
Me: I thought that seemed fair.
Mr. Jenny: Well, it's in perfect condition.
Me: I know...but it is a garage sale after all.
Mr. Jenny: Well, I think it was almost $400 dollars.
Me: And we got a lot of use out of it.
Mr. Jenny: Well, change the price to $60.
Mr. Jenny: Well, maybe change the price to $80
Mr. Jenny: Well, change the price to $100
Mr. Jenny: Maybe we should just keep it. (taking it back into the house where it will reside in the cupboard for another 2 1/2 years)
Neighbor: Hey, are you getting ready for your garage sale?
Neighbor: Well, do you care if I look at stuff?
Me: Ummm... well...ummm.... sure...
Neighbor: Hey, didn't you buy this at my garage sale for $5?
Me: I have no idea.
Neighbor: Well, you have $10 on it...maybe we should split the profit.
Me: Ummm...sure...ummm....I'll get back to you on that.
Daughter: Hey, does this say $7 ?
Me: Because it does.
Daughter: Well how much did it cost?
Me: I have no earthly idea.
Daughter: Well did you google it?
Me: ummm.... No.
Daughter: Did you look on e-bay?
Me: ummm.... No.
Daughter: Well how did you know to price it at $7.
Me: ummmm.... Go away now.
But my very favorite garage sale pricing story is when our oldest Granddaughter was two. I had read some silly book on organizing a garage sale with multiple people by color coding it. I got all these little round stickers in about 8 different colors and marked every single thing of my sisters and my kids and my parent's neighbors in different colors AND I made a little chart.
Julia, however, thought she would help by taking off about 80% of the stickers.
"Gwamma," she said proudly, grubby fists overflowing with crunched up color coded circles, "Look, I help you!"
I just sold everything, divided up the money and said "yea, that color coding system was not all it was cracked up to be!"
And now, I leave you with this...
An average garage sale in the United States nets $239.46. For about 30 hours of work. Netting around $7.98 per hour. Minus the emotional stress which puts it at around $3.60 per hour. Plus the fun of chatting with 100 total strangers which adds at least $2.00 per hour.
So for $5.60 per hour I am going to give each of my children around sixty bucks.
If you'll excuse me I think I better go sneak that cappucino maker back out to the garage!