Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Money From Heaven - Yard Sale Blessings

Princess Five joined a choir. She will be going on a tour with them in the spring to Disney Land. She is SO excited about the prospect. 

She doesn't remember ever going to Disney. She went with us when Princess One Graduated in 2005. She was five. The only thing she remembers is me carrying her around and sleeping in the "tiki room" with a few glimpse memories. 

My neighbor across the street just sold her house and is moving closer to family. I saw this coming as last winter, she spent the entire winter with her daughter that lives in a warmer climate. 

I don't blame her for moving, I consider it all the time as she is widowed for several years and taking care of a larger house just isn't fun and can be expensive if you can't do much of the maintenance by yourself.

She went through her house for months labeling things she wanted to keep and those she wanted to sell. I was so impressed with how she just went room by room and as she would find something, she would research how much it was worth and then take it to a pawn shop, and antique store or label it for sale with the price she wanted. 

After she moved, she brought back the boxes she'd used to move and turned them upside down in the house and put everything she wanted to sell on top of the boxes so that when the sale was over, anything that didn't sell, she could just stick in the box it was sitting on. She even spoke to the charity she wanted to donate the left over items and they were coming at noon on the Saturday of the sale to pick up the boxes. 

I told her I would help her but was surprised to see people coming and going on Thursday and boxes with arrows on the corner of our street. I guess since they were in town, they figured that they would have the sale start that day. 

I was interested that her dining table didn't look all that special and was a bit retro but I wouldn't have paid more than $50 for it. I guess it was teak wood and she had a guy drive five hours one way to purchase it and a few other items she listed in the capitol city papers classified online for sale. 

He paid her $1500 for the table and chairs! I thought she was VERY smart how she priced things. On many items, I thought she was very overpriced but was shocked that every day when I would go visit, more and more went for the asking price. I am guessing she probably made $15,000 on her house items she sold over the past year getting ready to move.

Then, there is me. Thursday night I had horrible stomach pain. The parasites have gotten worse and depending on their life cycle, I have good and bad days but it wasn't all that great. I had been thinking about having a yard sale as I need to make some money for the choir trip for Princess but she was going to be out of town for the entire weekend. 

Princess Four came home for the weekend and I asked if she would be willing to help with a yard sale and she said she was and then ended up heading to her room not to be seen again for the night. With that response, I said a prayer that if it would be good for me to have a yard sale, that I would feel better in the morning and wake early enough to make it work. 

I woke at 8 a.m. felling good. My neighbors had done most of the hard work and advertising so I thought it would be good for me to have it and I had a room full of stuff I wanted to try and sell as I have been cleaning out my rooms slowly as I can get to them. 

Princess Four was a work horse and pulled all the boxes out of that room without complaint. I was so grateful for her help. We did have some rain and since it rained the last time I had a yardsale, I swore I would never have another but I kept it in my mind and we came up with a great way to keep everything dry and we did have to cover the "isles" up a few times on Saturday, we still did well in between the showers and were able to not have anything ruined by rain. 

Between Thursday and Saturday, I had several blessings come. I received this refund check from the hospital for one of my tests as I guess I overpaid. I was VERY grateful to see that near $50 as that is a lot of money for me. 

I then got a bill from my phone carrier. Princess Four's phone froze and has gone to phone heaven so we put her back to a flip phone until I can figure something out for a new smart phone. When I changed the phones over, I asked them about giving me the "credit" for the phone as last time I swapped, they forgot to give me the "credit" you get when you don't carry a new phone through them but use one you own. I looked at my bill and realized they didn't give me the credit so I called on Thursday and they gave me a credit and a back credit of $15 and reinstated my "credit" on a monthly basis. Yahoo for $15.
I then got a check in the mail for Princess Fours summer housing security deposit. When we moved her out, we all spent hours cleaning the place. She was told, and got an email, saying it was fine as she still had a girl living at the apartment and she would get her full refund back. 

I get to looking and they took out $17.50 for a "cleaning service" which I wasn't happy about. So, I contacted the company that manages the housing and kindly explained that we cleaned and that someone was still living in the apartment and we had emails confirming that she would get the entire deposit back. The manager was very kind and said he would get the check to me for the $17.50.  

We sold lots at the yard sale and I was VERY grateful to get most of the items out of the house. I did have some situations that I will be aware of in case I decide to do it again. There is a couple that run an eBay store and a little store out of their home in a smaller town then we live in where they buy stuff at yard sales and then sell them at an increase. They played against each other and on me. They grabbed all the collectable stuff and lots of items and put them in a pile. I was counting their purchases up and then when I had a number in my head, they would pull something out of the pile and go put it back while one would talk to me causing me to forget where I was in the counting process. I would ask them where I was at in the counting and they would just look and not say anything. I should have written it down. 

I guess they did the same thing to my neighbor's daughter with the stuff they had in the shed and then tried it with my neighbor on the stuff in the house but she knew better and wrote it all down. I thought she was smart. Then, after I had it all added up, they came out with, "We don't have enough." it was about $10 less than what I counted and I am sure I messed up many times adding it up. They looked quite smug about the entire thing. 

The second thing I did to mess up was leaving price tags on some of the larger items. I purchase several pieces of furniture for myself to refinish but decided it wasn't worth my time as I am so tired. I told Princess how much I wanted for the item and then, not realizing there was a price tag on it somewhere, a buyer would find how much I paid and want to give me that amount even though I wanted more for it. Two or three times, I had to sell the item to them for what I paid even though I could have easily made double or triple on the item because the buyer got so mad I didn't want to deal with them. I don't think it should matter how much I paid for it. isn't that what retail stores do!

The third situation was the one that disturbed me the most. I had a lady bring a huge pile of stuff over and put it on the side of the yard turning me away from the sale. At this point, there were about 15 - 20 people. Now, I realize they all came together for they have a "system" to steal from you. She had some middle priced items and wanted them for $3 when it should be more like $15. I told her I was into the items for way more than she wanted to pay. Someone asked me a question and I turned to answer it and she snapped, "Can we finish here!!!" really rude. I turned back and started talking to her, she threw a few bills and me and walked off with one thing she had in her hand leaving a pile of stuff. I asked her about the other stuff and she said, I don't want it. 
What happened was she was keeping my attention drawn away from the sale so her band of thieves could pocket some of the more expensive new items I had for sale. When I went back to the sale after the several car loads left, I was quite upset about it that they would be so deceitful and for a few dollars would teach their children how to steal. We wonder how the prisons are full, many times their parents teach them.   

The last situation was that several times, people would gather an armful of stuff and hide things behind or under what they were showing me asking for a price. I can't believe that people will sell their souls to the devil for a few dollars like that.

I was blessed to sell my five bikes and bike rack to a man which was great as I didn't have to worry about putting them back. I was also able to sell my living room chairs that I replaces last Christmas. Click here for that post.
After the sale, I boxed up all the clothes and kitchen items and donated them to the woman shelter. I packed up all the winter wear, water bottles etc for the food bank. I packed up all the books, toys and most everything else for my sister whose children's charter school is holding a yard sale soon. I brought one small box of things I kept and a few of things I can hopefully have her sell online. It felt great to get those things all out of the house. 

When I went to bed that night, I checked my blog stats and smiled as I saw that my US views were 111. It was the perfect end to a very long weekend of blessings.

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