By Maria Acevado Yard sales are hot on the heels of summer in theHamptons. Classifieds in newspapers and signs posted on tree trunks are plentiful. As a seller, it’s the perfect time to lighten the load in your home of bric-a-bracs. As a buyer, you never know what you might find. Most of us have experienced yard sales as either one or the other. Buyers want to be the first to get the best deals. As a seller, the anticipation of having everything cleaned, priced, tagged and displayed on time is nerve racking to say the least, especially when early birds show up. Early birds are those bargain hunters who can’t wait to see what’s for sale. “We’re not ready yet”, I told the man intent on rifling through the tables. “Come back at nine”. He left with a disappointed look on his face not saying a word, which made me feel like I got things people want. So maybe it’s all good!.
We make a day out of yard sales the same as some college town folks make a day out of going to college football games. There really isn’t that much of a difference between the two. In both instances you’re people watching and interacting with others. Sellers (fans) anxiously await the arrival of the buyers (teams) on the field. Buyers (teams) race out on the field ready to fly into action and win (good deals). We start out early in the morning, making sure we have enough snacks and plenty of water on hand. Then off we go – buyers and sellers alike. OK let’s see, the tables are set up with stuff that you haven’t used in a long time or no longer want to use. That’s right….I’m the seller offering kitchen gadgets, baskets, telephones, clothing, toys, bike accessories and so on. Parting with things is not such sweet sorrow. Am I making room in my house just to buy more stuff?
The weather report predicted rain for the evening but partly sunny skies during the day. No excuse for people staying home, I thought. Although humid, that Saturday morning inEast Hamptonwould be a beautiful summer’s day. The trees welcomed the whistling of birds, especially two that were having a heated conversation. One would whistle – the other would answer. I couldn’t see them since they hid high on the tree branches amongst the leaves but they could certainly be heard loud and clear. This back and forth went on for quite a while. Meanwhile, the white butterflies fluttered around the Nico blue hydrangeas, chasing one another, playing a catch-me game not caring about anything else.
My fun started when all was settled and I sat down, relaxed with a cup of coffee in hand and waited for the customers to arrive. But what if no one comes I thought? I remembered my teen years when I gave a party and hoped everyone invited would show up. But thankfully, that wasn’t the case; cars started arriving. People walked up the pebbled driveway to examine the goods.
“Good morning”, I said with a smile. The two women looked up, smiled and proceeded to pick up a glass bowl for fifty cents. My first sale! Then the “early bird” man came back much to my surprise. He bought the two mountain bike tires for one dollar. He wanted to know where the bike was but I told him, it wasn’t for sale. “Do you have any custom jewelry?” asked the lady with the bright red bag slung over her left shoulder. “Sorry”, I said. “I didn’t have the time to get it together”. Bynoon, I felt the selling had gone well. The tables showed signs of disarray. Watching people make spending decisions of a dollar or two seemed to be an over whelming task on their part. I could understand their dilemma. I once spent at least three thousand dollars on a piano during my lunch break but thought long and hard when spending fifteen dollars on a three legged round table for the bedroom.
The man that approached with his wife and child seemed content that he was taking his family out for an “outing”. Quickly the little boy picked up a box of colorful discs which prompted the mother to pull out a dollar from her bag. Eventually, no one was leaving without having bought something; whether they needed it or not. The prices had dropped (I really wanted to get rid of stuff) and some things were too good to pass up.