Thursday, November 3, 2011

Extreme Early Birding

I wanted to make this a Talk Back Tuesday,
but I was too tuckered to talk.

Remember back in June when I vowed and affirmed I would never have another garage sale? Remember how I yakked abroad my reasons why?  

Yeah, well, I'm kinda standing firm on that. I mean, a thrift sale isn't exactly the same thing as a garage sale, right?   A garage sale, you see, is a KooKoo Fest one brings upon herself. A thrift sale is a KooKoo Fest some organization brings upon her.

In this case, it's my chapter of the DAR.

This weekend, we're having a thrift sale to raise funds for our historical house.  Since I'm a trustee for that old house, I'm involved up to my thrifty armpits.  I have spent all day, every day this week in preparation.

We're collecting.
And cleaning.
And displaying.
And pricing...

And some people are shopping.

Which sort of set off my irkometer.
Which in turn set off my yakabout.

We've secured a vacant store in the downtown area, you see, and we've left the doors wide open for donations and deliveries. Of course, when you open up the thrifting doors, well... you know what follows.

I was elbow deep in brass candlesticks yesterday when I was interrupted by a male voice in my ear. A local shop owner had ventured into Thrift Land.   

What will you take for those garlands?

He gestured to a corner of the room piled with unpriced Christmas merchandise. Since I apparently had nothing better to do than state the obvious, I told him that we hadn't yet priced our Christmas items.

So he made me an offer on an entire box.

Do I look like Monty Hall?

I made him a counter offer somewhere in the four thousand dollar range, but apparently he thought I was kidding. He tried his best to drag me on a trip down Haggle Lane until I gave him such a firm No Deal that I felt like I was the rude person.

Which I wasn't.
He was.

Way back in June, I mentioned that I had a few thoughts about my least likable characters in a garage sale adventure, one of whom was the early bird. I said then that it would have to be a post for another day.

Today's the day.

Now folks, I realize that I might step on a toe or two out there, but please hear me out and consider.  First, I think it's annoying. It's annoying to be frantically setting out wares whilst navigating gate crashing American pickers who are hoarding them faster than you can get them out.

It's annoying to have to be blunt to the point of rudeness to a person who is bound and determined to create an early bird special where none was advertised. I don't know how they behave in your neck of the woods, but around here, they have unmitigated gall to ignore signs and keep right on shopping even when asked nicely to wait.

They look you dead in the eye and either feign ignorance or plead their case, all the while filling their hands full of goodies.

I think that's rude.  It's not just rude to the seller, either. It's inconsiderate to the would- be bargain hunters who actually follow the rules out there.  That's the reason I hardly ever  shop garage sales any more. By the time the rule followers get there, the gate crashers have picked it clean.

You can't let the rule breakers control the game and then wonder where the fun went.

So anyway, that's all I've got this morning. Today is my only day all week with a pass out of  Thrift Land. Isn't it just like me to waste it in a whiney wokkabout?

So how about you? Early birds, yay or nay?

By the way, I did read the questions about the Deco Ware from my previous post. I'll do a little follow up when I have an extra pair of minutes.  


The Quintessential Magpie said...

No, I don't shop the sales because of the same reason, and I'm proud of you for standing your ground, Debbie. I knew I liked you, and I like you even more for doing that and for being a genealogis and a patriotic one at that. I'm in the DAR, too! :-)

I have to admit, though, that I thought you were going to be talking about birds. Sandie and I were each yakking about squirrels. ;-)



The Quintessential Magpie said...

genealogist... gist, not gis!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I will gather the things and even price them...but the rest is up to my hubby...I will NOT deal with the public. LOL

When I go to garage sales...which I have shared before...I look from the car first...walk through very fast, (husband makes long time friends) and I get back in the car without talking. He makes the deals.

Early birds...don't enjoy them either.

I applaud you for doing have one up on me! And again...when is your book coming out...I would so enjoy reading each day!

Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

HA! I only had one garage sale in my life. I say NAY on those early birds. My sale started at 8:00 and I had a fella show up at 6:30 RUDE indeed! I am thinking on having another one this year, but a little reluctant of all the work. I like to donate my goods to a charity or shelter so I am conflicted this year.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I am laughing at this. I too hate having yard sales. People basically want you to give the stuff to them and if I am going to do that anyway, why go through the work. He was rude and should have just come back. Good luck with your sale and get some rest. Looks like some goodies on that Christmas table.

The Decorative Dreamer said...

I think you did the right thing. If he was willing to donate $4000.00 to your chapter for the goods that would have been great! I would have said this with a smile then when he thought I was joking I would quickly tell him how he can come back when we open for business for prices. I am not an early birder and do get a little annoyed with those who show up early and scarf up all the good stuff. I've been to a few sales early enough before to find out they had sold alot before the sale time even began and to see the unpleasant side of shoppers snatching things up just as you are looking at it. I prefer to go to them later now and and see what all is left to bargain on. There's just usually nothing I feel the need to get up early in hopes of finding and deal with all that on a Saturday morning! LOL! Good luck with your sale!

Kelley said...

Early birds will get my worm and FAST, and they won't like how it tastes either!

Go to another garage sale that says it starts at 5:53 a.m. or that details that it will open 5.4 days earlier than the date in the paper!!!!!!!

Um, did I answer your question about early birds?

BTW: I went back and added the Bradford trivia to my post. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that!

Uh-oh. Now you'll have Bradford (early bird) descendants knocking on your door, asking to see the Bible.

Oh, dear. What have I done?

The Decorative Dreamer said...

P.S. So how much for the filigree tree w/shipping?

Haha!!! Sorry, I just couldn't resist this one, my sarcastic humor often just get's the best of me! :)) Waahhwahhh! :)))

Debbie said...

Good morning! I can't believe it has taken me soo long to find your blog! I love it...this was soo funny. I love the way you write. As for your question, I am a HUGE nay on early birds. I have only had a couple of garage sales over the years and they were both somewhat ruined with this particular bird. They swooped in as we were dragging stuff out (at 6 am I might add) and were rude, pushy, insistent, and EVERYWHERE (there were soo many of them) being inexperienced I frantically tried to work them. I wish I had done what you did! Rule breakers are just wrong. As for me, I have rarely shopped garage sales. I have bought occasional baby items (when I saw them from the road and sent hubby in kind of like Janette) or something VERY specific I had been wanting. But to go in and browse around at someone else's junk has just never appealed to me....I have soo much of my own already that should be sitting out there too. lol Have a good day, and try and relax today.

Denise said...

Why or why did we agree to help? We KNEW those early birds would swoop in and try to gobble up the goods. Off with their heads!! You didn't mention the insider smugglers. I guess since we both bought some stuff early, we can't say much. Hope you didn't wear yourself out this week.

PS I was pretty sure you'd write about this today. Just sayin...

Ann said...

I hear ya' loud and clear Debbie! I have held my LAST yard sale. NEVER again. I will gladly donate all my unwanted items before I ever consider having another.

And yes, it is the early bird primarily who has turned me off to the great suburban tradition.

Well said!


Ruby Jean said...

Let's see... Are we talking about those that Drive up to your sale with a TRUCK load of Stuff already in their vehicles.... In our neck of the woods Garage Sales have become like a Cult Following...I have even heard of people organizing Shop lifters... Can You Believe It!!! So I say NAY on the early bird's and Nay to garage sales.. : )

Barbara F. said...

I don't like early birds and would never dream of showing up before the appointed time......I hate hagglers. I actually told a 'customer' at a yard sale once that I would rather throw it in the garbage than sell it for so ridiculous an offer! Why even bother?! I had a checkerboard cake pan never used in orig. box marked 50 cents. I was asked if they could have it for a quarter!! Get outta heah! in my New Yawk accent. :) xo

Sharon said...

Scraapppee...that's the sound of me pulling over my soap box. OK, we did our very first (and probably LAST) garage sale this last summer. What a freakish sociology experiment that was!

Early birds - NAY NAY NAY.

I also found these other characters who were equally terrible:

The guy who rolled up at about 50 mph, parked kinda crooked in front of our driveway, left his car running, and gave us the "once-over" and then peeled out of there like we weren't worthy.

The guy who drove up in a huge tow truck (who called AAA?) and tried to strong-arm us on some glass display cases. I finally had to cave in (husband is NOT helpful with haggling. He's so eager to get rid of EVERYTHING that he practically pays people to take stuff).

The man who picked up a very large coffee table book, in perfect condition, and asked how much it was. ("Oh, I don't know, mister. Why don't you look at the very BIG sign on the box that says $2 a book???) I said, "Two bucks." He then made this disgusted grunt, complete with a look of total disdain, and threw the book back into the box. Too much for you??? You could have made an offer, buddy. Then his wife told me that another very nice book was "way too much money" at $1. They drove off in their Mercedes or Lexus or some other luxury car.

I found that the potential for "bargains" really does bring out the worst in us.

My faith was restored in humanity when one of our very last customers bought two wing chairs. He didn't haggle on the price at all - even told us that they were quite a bargain. He thanked us profusely. We helped him load up the chairs. I gave his little boy some children's books - you would have thought it was Christmas.

THAT made the day all worth it...well, almost.

(Wish I was there - I saw a couple of little items I'd love to buy!!)

Sharon said...

Gosh, sorry about the "blog post" must have pushed my wok button.

SavannahGranny said...

My sentiments exactly. The same reason I don't go to garage sales. When we lived in town we would have garage sales. Actually in the garage, whilst we were finishing the tables we could here them outside the garage. Knocking on the door, I would let them wait til 5 minutes past. Talk about passive aggression. I am the queen.
You go girl and good luck with the sale.
Hugs, Ginger

Chatty Crone said...

Boo to early birds. I am room mom this year - and had to get up a basket for an auction. I started the first week of school. Two places had been hit in early August! Errrrrr.

Love this:
Which sort of set off my irkometer.
Which in turn set off my yakabout.

Love, sandie

Sarah (Nikki) said...

I always knew there was a difference between garage sales and thrift I get it..thanks for the Debbie...and by the way, since you like me have a love of words can I borrow your two awesome ones....irkometer and yakabout. lol. ...

Patti said...

I have to tell you, I was intending to have a garage sale this year...after all, we want to move, so I need to get rid of stuff. However, I didn't get my act in gear soon enough, and now it's too cold. And here's why I didn't get my act in gear...I HATE holding a garage sale. Repeat, HATE!

I absolutely cannot stand price hagglers. I think it is totally offensive to have someone make an offer on something I have already priced very cheaply. Case in point, last garage sale, I was selling a bucket of sidewalk chalk, asking 75 cents. Now is that expensive? NO WAY! Someone said, "will you take a dime?" Or another case, my husband was selling his golf clubs...nearly new set in the bag...Priced at $20, which was a TOTAL bargain. And someone asks, will you take $5 for this? I mean, come on, do you have to STEAL my items?! I know that many people dicker prices, but, seriously, I think that is rude and disgusting. Actually, I think there is a huge difference between being frugal and being cheap. And I loathe people who are cheap!!

Most stuff at a yard/garage sale is already priced very low. If you want it, just pay what the person is asking...and if you can't afford it or don't want to pay that much, then don't buy it. Just don't expect them to GIVE AWAY their stuff.

I go to yard sales, but I would never even consider haggling over a price. I always pay whatever they are asking!

Can you tell, this post struck a chord with me?


Nezzy said...

This is the very reason I don't go to or have garage sales, that and the fact I live in the middle of nowhere. Heeeehehhee!

I just take my wares to the local crises center.

God bless ya and have an extraordinary day void of hagglers!!!! :o)

Christine said...

Ya Hoo!Way to GO!!!
(ouch, bumped my head from jumping up and down so much)

The Polka Dot Closet said...

You never disappoint...Hysterical! I girlfriend am a rule follower! My last garage sale as I pushed the garage opener and the door was going up, I had people crawling under the half opened door! GEEZ!


Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I'm proud you did not reward the gate crasher!!! It is not fair to the rest to not follow the rules!! You go girl!! Hope you got enough rest today to be ready to tackle the weekend! You know I'm proud you're working to save an historic house!! blessings ~ tanna

Amy Kinser said...

I am a rule follower and get very frustrated when others don't follow them. I also get frustrated by the author of the rules who lets them be broken. I'm with you sister!!

Lynn Richards said...

With as much merchandise as you had I think I would have blown my stack at the man...
Therefore, I think you need to pat yourself on the back on a job well done. Then make a LARGE sign that says "NO.EARLY.BIRDS."

Ms.Daisy said...

I have vowed NEVER to have a garage sale again ever. I will donate everyting to Good Will or the Salvation Army and get the deduction off my taxes. Much easier on my back and my nerves! :)
Hope you make lots of money on your thrift sale!


Dayle said...

I no longer do the garage sale thing either, but back in the day, I really got annoyed with early birds. If the sale starts at 7:00, that doesn't mean 6:30.

Mary said...

I just snorted coffee out my nose at your righteous indignation :) I feel your pain but enjoyed the chuckles!

Gate crashers are SO annoying, signed a fellow rule follower...♥

Linda W said...

Annother rule follower here. I'm with you and about never having another garage sale! Not worth raising the blood pressure...

Sue said...

OH! my goodness Debbie, I could have written this post! I have the same pet peeves, especially when it comes to estate sales. Dh is always asking if i want to stop, and I say 'not today for the Early bird pickers have already scavenged and took the goodies." I find yard sales are the same way. I have now elected to go to good Wiil and other org. run stores. Boy nothing is the same anymore,and we are pretty pitiful when garage sales have reached the pits. There is my rant for today. lol.
Thanks for always making my day. And I sure wish I lived nearby I would be visiting your sale .

Stampin D Amour said...

Debbie - Your posting was hilarious and one that I could totally relate to! Glad I found your blog, I'm bookmarking it to visit again!

-pamela :)

Sonja said...

yep, I agree! I don't go very often, but I went to an estate sale last year, as they had something listed on their web site that I was going for. When I got there, there was a line clear down the driveway, and they had been there a long time! At least they were going by the rules and not trying to get inside, but still... all the fun went right out the window!! 10 people ahead of where I would have been and they probably all wanted the same thing I did. When you go inside, some of them have red SOLD tickets in their pockets and they slap them on anything that looks decent and later put half of it back! :(

I'd say you touched a nerve! I'd like to find a garage sale full of great stuff... way out in the country where no one goes!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I always hated garage sales too, and always vowed to never have another one. The last one was almost 12 years ago! I doing good, huh? I had some bad experiences with some early birds (usually antique dealers) One kept picking up things asking if I would take 50 cents for it!! I finally told her firmly, "I said no, and I'm not selling anything until 8 a.m." It was about 6:30 a.m. that she came.

Loved your post!


Sharlotte said...

Hi Debbie,
I swear, we must be twins...we think so much alike! I agree whole-heartedly with this post...AND it make me upset when people try to get me to sell things lower than actually marked. It's a garage's already ridiculously priced. Going from 25 cents to 5 cents make me NUTS! I DON'T shop garage sales...I'm always late so everything's already gone.

FrouFrouBritches said...

Me too! Mom and I had a garage sale SEVERAL years ago and it was supposed to start at 7:00, I think. We had people actually knocking on the door of the house at 5:30. Um, RUDE! Still sleeping! Go away! I HATE that!

Hope your thrift sale goes well.

corners of my life said...

Nay to the early birds!
It is amazing to me how some people are so successful at having yard sales. Me - not so much. We did it once and the rule was nothing came back in the house - we donated all the left over items. Next time, skip the sale and go straight to donations.

saltbox treasures said...

Hi Debbie, I know how you feel. I have found the best way to avoid early birds is keep the area closed off, doors shut, etc. until you are ready to open. But, I have changed my thinking about early birds, since the goal is to sell stuff, why not sell it early and save time pricing? Even at vendor shows, sometimes people come early, and I never get everything set up the way I want, but I am there to sell so that is what I do :).
Hope your sell goes/went well.
Have a great day!
~ Julie

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Most early birders are pro yard sellers, I think....That was a big sale! It is hard work

Rettabug said...

Oh sure touched a nerve with this post! LOL I never go to garage sales & have never done ONE myself in my entire life. Everything I don't want is now donated to help the poor or the handicapped. Soooo much better than dealing with the hassle!

"a KooKoo Fest one brings upon herself" SO TRUE!

We hired a woman to do the pricing & selling of our household goods for us when we moved to FL. She brought in an entire team, who went through the house, setting up skirted tables & pricing items. After the first day was over, I happened to lift up one of the table skirts & found that HER people had hidden away items that THEY wanted to purchase on the last day, as the reduced prices. Grrrrrr!!!!! I took that stuff right back out of there & let her have a piece of my mind. Burns my butt every time I think about it. That was when I said "never again".

bj said...

I love to go but hate to host a garage sale for the same reasons...:(

Kelli said...

I hear you loud and clear Debbie. Rules are made to be followed. You are my here in being able to stand firm. HUGS for a great week!

Carol said...

Early birds? Um, no. Inappropriate, inconsiderate.
Your Deco Ware plates look spectacular! I am totally impressed!

Susan (My Place to Yours) said...

OK, so you worked yourself into exhaustion all week and can STILL hit the nail on the head? I am impressed! Early birds are r-u-d-e!

renee @ Singing With Birds said...

Now that early bird was singing off key! Good luck on the getting rid of the whole can of worms....

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

I read your last two or three posts earlier, but as I had been sick for almost a week, I just couldn't get motivated to comment -- on anyone's blog. But, now I'm trying to play catch-up. This is such a funny post, but I can really feel your frustration coming through here. I don't blame you a bit. You see, this is probably the main reason I've never had a yard sale. I just know it would drive me nuts. And you're right, people can be so rude. I think you were right to stand your ground, and I'm so glad to see that you did. I hope your DAR chapter made lots of money from this thrift sale, so that hopefully your frustration was not in vain.



Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

I gave you the Triple Cute Award for your blog. Please come by my blog to read about it. :)



Ron aka TheOldGeezer said...

I vote for the early birds. We all know that the early bird gets the.... :-)

Take care and have a nice day :-)

And thanks for your recent comment on My Blog

Kathryn Ross said...

Found you yakked a bit (both comments went through, by the way) on my storms post - something I put up after retreat this past weekend because it was all I had. Still want to post about the retreat, lots of photos, but this is a big work week - next week, too - and I have barely a grasp of blogtime to myself.

Getting some pastor time this afternoon to help me lay things out on a table and make some sense of what happens next - beyond the grace and humility thing - as to do I sit, stand, walk, run, backward, forward, sideways, upsidedown - you know what I mean.

Loved your DAR Thrift store - should be fun shopping - but not as an early bird. That's embarrassing to be so greedy that you want to rush in while folks are setting up. A pet peeve for me when I'm doing a sale, too. Don't want to be that person. I have always thought that if there is something there I am to have, the Lord will preserve it for me - otherwise, it was never to be mine in the first place. All things come from the Lord, anyway. So, when I'm thrifting, I'm always asking God, "What treasure have you hid for me here?" And, if there is one - I'll find it. There is peace in that.

Hoping to be back in the active posting biz soon! Too many ideas for posts - not enough time to create them!


no spring chicken said...

There's no such thing as an early bird at my sales. We don't advertise so there is no time. It never occurred to me to be distressed when people begin to pile while I'm unloading, but then again, I price before the sale... that could make a difference. I'm always just glad to see people actually shopping and wanting my old junk!

Glad to be wokking with you again, it's been a long 20 days! ;)

Blessings, Debbie

Anonymous said...

Wow! I could tell you're passionate about this one, Debbie. Although I've never had a garage sale, I feel your pain. I've been to plenty of home school book sales and while setting up you have plenty of early birds there too. There's something that used to help me and maybe it will help you. I'd pray before going to set up about how God wanted to bless others through me so if there was an early bird who came by while I was setting up I'd simply see it as just another opportunity to be a blessing and a lot of times I later found out some of those early birds had such difficult situations going on at home that I stopped minding. But I get ya, I do.
PS-LOVE the quote you left at my 11/11/11 Giveaway. Thank you, chica.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Debbie, I agree. In my small town, people even ring the doorbell on Fri night if I advertise a sale on Sat. a.m.! Like you, I've quit having yard sales & I've quit going to them. Unless I'm willing to rudely barge in before the sale starts, there is nothing left by the advertised starting time. Wow! I would have loved to have come to that thrift sale your group was having. Looked like some great buys there, but I know it was a LOT of work. I can see how you overdid. laurie

Knitty said...

My son and daughter-in-law had a garage sale. Not having a poker face, they asked me why I look sickened or at least tired. They soon found out.

It only takes a few shoppers to tarnish your whole day. I know haggling is expected, but when you're only buying one item for 50 cents, don't expect a 75% discount!

The early birds were a nuisance here too. No specials...heck, we were still setting up.


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