Monday, May 07, 2012

An Open Letter to Estate Sale shoppers

Dear Estate Sale Shoppers,

It was great having about a thousand of you visiting me this last weekend.  I got to talk with many of you and hear your stories, your wants, and your disappointments.  I pretended to care about whether something went for 7 dollars or 5 dollars.  I tried to treat you all with respect.  

I encountered a few things that warrant some reminders that may be helpful in your future Estate Sale shopping.

  1. My garage is not a local store, it is my home.  When I put up big signs that tell you the sale starts at 9am that doesn't mean you show up at 8am to get an early look while I'm getting my kids breakfast.  I tried to be kind to you but when you got pushy you were getting very close to a line you don't want to cross.  Please wait until I'm ready.
  2. When you say you're unimpressed with the Estate Sale because it doesn't have anything that you want (antique jewelry, antique furniture and rare items) you acted like I failed you somehow.  You acted like I led you to believe that I had all of these items.  You acted like the low-income status that my family has lived in my whole life was some sort of life-long plan to screw you out of an afternoon.  I'm sorry we didn't have any of those things and my parents lived simple and honorable lives, paid their own way, lived debt free, and didn't take a dime of assistance that wasn't given voluntarily. 
  3. Remember that these items have stories.  Sure it's a box of junk, but it was junk that was in the top drawer of dad's table.  It's an exciting treasure to you but it's another step of the long process of saying good-bye for the seller.  Take a second to remember that while you're putting your foot down that the price should be fifty cents less.
  4. If you don't have much money but have a great need for something, say so.  I was glad to almost give away an item that a couple needed for an elderly parent that lived with them.  They didn't come prepared with lots of cash but spoke of how much this item would help the parent have some independence while taking a bath.  I made up my mind that they would leave with this item, money or not.
  5. You and I both know you don't need this stuff.  You and I both know that this stuff is just going home to your house to sit by other piles of stuff.  You have a problem, and for this one weekend, I was your enabler.  Have fun but remember, when you die your kids get to do what I'm doing.
That's about it.  It was great meeting all of you.  Let's hope we never reunite in a garage again.


Anonymous said...

I hope to leave my kids with a lot less stuff to sift through and a lot more memories.

lynda said...

i like anonymous' comment.

sorry you had to go through this, it does not sound like an awesome way to spend a nice weekend. hugs <3