Sunday, July 03, 2005

This week's column: Give
'em a yard, they'll take a mile

I should start off by mentioning that I've always thought of yard sales as part of an elaborate, underhanded plot to get strangers to pay for the privilege of taking away your garbage. It's like a Ponzi scheme with old lamps.

So with the idea of unloading stacks of household detritus while at the same time taking money from our friends and neighbors, we decided to hold a yard sale last weekend. This actually took quite a bit of preparation, most of which involved negotiating with my wife, who thought it appropriate to sell anything we hadn't actively used in the last 40 minutes. I, on the other hand, was able to come up with a sentimental attachment to almost everything she pulled out for the sale, including the price stickers.

In the end, though, we were able to reach some compromises. For instance, I agreed we could sell the wine rack, given that we don't actually drink wine and have spent the last several winters using it to store hats. Also, I offered up a box of my old yellowed comic books, after carefully culling any I thought my son might someday want or that would make good reading material if I ever found myself locked in the basement.

To read the rest of this week's At Large by Peter Chianca, click here.


No-L said...

Not all states make you pay to take away your garbage. In fact, most states you only have to pay a monthly fee and throw out whatever you want. However, in Mass it makes sense to have a garage sale. Let's say you have an old TV, you would have to pay a $25.00 disposal fee to throw it out. So even if you only sell it for $2.00 you are up $27.00. So think about that when you count your earnings for the day and the fact that you've made room in the basement for more stuff. Good luck on E-Bay.

Run said...

I'm planning my 'gate sale' (garage/yard sale for people in apts) for next week. I don't think there's a fee in NJ to throw away my crap but I though, if I can make a few bucks while working on my tan then what the hell I'll give it a shot! If it doesn't work I'll put a "For Free" sign on the pile of crap and let the crazy b*stards rummage away.

Vivalacrap said...

Wow that is totally me and my husband with eBay!

jomama said...


In my experience with women and
my own yard sales, the woman is
the one who wants to keep
all the dust collectors.

Michele Coppola said...

Nope, it's not always the woman: My boyfriend screams if I even suggets it might be time to get rid of some of his shit (the guy has a GEIGERCOUNTER, and BOXES of baseball caps he has never worn, for god's sake)!

Anonymous said...


mman said...

You are dead on. My wife is ready to sell anything that hasn't been used in a year or less. Unless that is to include her always growing number of shoes. Pick your poison I guess.

High Power Rocketry said...