I've never kept this a secret, but I love a good deal.
I've had more than one friend who started as being somewhat "put off" by the idea of yard sales... but then after coming along to one... and then another... and then a few more and seeing that you can pick up anything from standard finds like clothing and toys to more unique discoveries like antiques or tools at a fraction of the original price, well, let's just say that they ended up converted.
After all, whether you go looking specifically for lamps or wall art or corner computer desks, it's almost nearly as fun to pick up other surprise treasures along the way as it is to find that one mirror or welcome mat that will fit your home perfectly.
On the other side of the equation, however, is the amount of time and work that goes into putting together a garage or yard sale of your own. Having spent hour upon hour preparing for and running my own sale last month, I know full well that it takes a lot of dedication, persistence, and something that can be described only as optimism each time someone decides to take on this ordeal.
Which then also gives me much more respect for others and what they have done when I arrive at their sale. After watching and interacting with a variety of people in my own garage, I feel like categorizing garage sale shoppers can be done in a similar way to categorizing retail shoppers: if you haven't worked in retail before, you just don't get it.
So, if you haven't held your own garage sale and spent late nights, early mornings, and every available minute in between pricing and painstakingly organizing outgrown baby clothes, computer carts leftover from college, and telephones that make you wonder if landlines truly are a thing of the past, then you just don't appreciate the effort.
Does that mean that I'm not still just as hopeful when you walk up and start browsing my sale? Not at all. But does it also mean that I might cringe a little bit when you unfold clothes or take items out of boxes and then discard them into a messy pile on the table? Well... yes.
In stores I don't bunch unwanted clothing into piles or leave dropped items on the floor, so it makes sense to me to extend the same respect to a yard sale. Do other people just not feel the same way?
In the end, it seems that no matter the lack of sleep and exhaustion that I've experienced with my own sales or the disappointment that I've found visiting ones that were advertised well but then didn't live up to the hype, I'm still a garage sale fan. The excitement over getting that deal or selling something that was useless to me has a way of making it all worth it... no matter how people act.
If you shop at garage/yard sales, do you think you have good sale etiquette?