When we ere getting ready to move, my husband called me and said, “You won’t miss it.” “I won’t miss what?” I asked. “I’m not telling and you won’t miss it.”
That’s when I knew that our marriage wasn’t strong enough for a yard sale.
It’s spring, and every weekend yard sale signs appear on corners, owners hoping for windfalls from parting with household bric-a-brac. Since everyone has stuff they don’t need, yard sales seem like a good way to make money in your spare time. Before you begin planning your next yard sale, however, calculate your hourly rate, as this blogger did. You may want to reconsider.
“I made a whopping $600 in five hours! That is $120 per hour! But how much did I really earn per hour? To get ready for the yard sale, I spent 15 minutes a day for one month, or 7 hours. This means I spent a total of 12 hours to make $600, so I actually earned $50 per hour. I spent 4 hours the night before the sale bringing things up from the basement, sorting everything by category and pricing things, which increased my time investment to 16 hours, so my earnings dropped to $37 per hour. I spent 2 hours setting up in the morning, which increased my hours to 18 and decreased my hourly rate to $33. I spent 1 hour getting poster board and stakes, 2 hours making up signs, 1 hour driving around the neighborhood to post them and another hour after the sale to take the signs down — a total of 4 more hours, or 22 hours in total. My earning is now $27 per hour. Of course, I didn’t actually do all of this by myself; my spouse helped. That doubles the hours, so my hourly earning is now $13.50. Although I decreased prices sharply near the end, there was still lots that didn’t sell, so we put everything left in boxes and dropped them off at a nearby thrift store. While there, however, I saw some neat things that were selling for a real bargain, so I bought them for $14, and ending up bringing more stuff I don’t need into my home.”
The solution? Ditch the yard sale idea. Take everything to the thrift store. Be sure to take your driver’s license…but leave your wallet at home.
Of course, if you are lucky enough to live on a street where curbside “donations” are permitted, you have additional options. One year, my husband put a fan by the curb with a sign saying, “For Free.” “But it doesn’t work,” I said. “I’m not very handy,” he said. “Maybe someone else can fix it.”
Ten minutes later, we heard a car door slam, and the fan was gone. “See,” said my husband.
Twenty minutes later, we heard a car door slam again, and the fan was back. I just looked at him and smiled.