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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Friday +1!!!

Brian:  This weekend....we began what was to be a two day sale in the suburbs..(which turned into a one day sale because of the weather and Saints, but I am getting ahead of myself).  The weekend before, we had done an estate sale/Christmas sale....and found ourselves STILL with enough leftover Christmas decorations to fill a dozen homes with joy and cheer!  So the decision had been made....command decision by us of course....to have another Christmas based sale along with a few other items for good measure.  (You never notice it until all of a single item is together how very MUCH is accumulated!  Over 8 months of units!)  You see....we first sold our Christmas items as we found them unit to unit...but found that in April people tend to want to offer $1 for that 8 foot lighted rotating O'Holy Night Tree that is in the box with the $345 retail sticker on it!  So we decided to hold off selling Christmas stuff, and started storing it in a back room at the warehouse!  When November rolled around, we started to move out that backroom and it became clear that if the items were in the 12 days of Christmas, it would be more like the 478 days of Christmas!  We had a dozen trees...from 1 foot Charlie Brown trees to the 8 foot monsters!  Lights, enough strands of lights that we could have produced the Griswald house from Lampoons Christmas Vacation!  And don't get me started on the decorations....we could have started a Christmas Village Store! 

So, we filled the WHITE TURTLE (what I affectionately call the van) floor to ceiling wall to wall, and off we went.  The next day it was 7 am, Rebecca finally decided to show up at the location..(Ok in all fairness the sale was at my house, so I had an easier time "arriving" in the morning for the setup!)  So I pulled the van out of the driveway to begin unloading tables and merchandise, Becca showed up and we got our setup going!  Oh, and I forgot, there were "earlybirds" outside sitting in their vehicles at 6:30.  Becca had warned me about this...fortunately no one came to the door and knocked!  So we are getting the table put out, and boxes unloaded when people start arriving....it was crazy at first....we had unloaded boxes on top of tables with people going through the boxes randomly!  (It was like our own little form of Black Friday +1)!


People were making their own piles...and protecting them like they were Penguins with their eggs!  One woman managed to pile up two trees, ALL the lights...and a number of decorations and left her husband to protect the pile while she drove to an ATM because she didn't have enough money.  In the 15 mins she was gone...this poor husband, with only his 7 year old son unarmored for support, had to continually fend off people time and time again!  I finally made a general announcement that "this pile is already spoken for" which might as well have been me dangling a steak into the lion pit at the zoo!  People are funny, and when they can't have something, even if they didn't want it....this is the time they pick to revert to 5 year olds who mom told couldn't have the candy!  One lady told me that she had wanted "that" tree, and when I asked her why she didn't...she said my price was too high!  To which I told her obviously it wasn't for them!  Luckily before the "lions" could get the steaks...the wife showed up...paid....and I quickly helped them load their new gotten booty into their truck and sent them on their way!

(I do have to say...one thing I love about doing this business is that we get quality items to people at a price that often helps them!  In this economy...every dollar counts.  The family that bought the pile had just moved down here from Chicago to Chalmette which is outside of New Orleans, a 40 minute drive from our sale!  She told me they had lost ALL of their Christmas items in the move, and when they saw our add for the sale, which was HEAVY on O'Holy Night Items, they made a special trip just for that!  They got nearly $500 worth of items for only $90!  She was so happy, they all were....and it put a smile on my face!  When they drove away...it reminded me that not only could we make money with this business...but that it does help out others as well....a WIN WIN WIN situation!)  Ok...enough Hallmark Brian....onto the rest of the story...

So now it is about 8:30....lots of people cycling in and out...we have finally begun to get things more organized when I had to go to the French Quarter for a little bit leaving Princess Rebecca at the sale!  I am half way to downtown when my phone rings...and Becca informs me that "the growler" has arrived!  Now...let me be clear, we DON'T judge people until they give us reason time after time to do so.  The Growler has!  We have met this gentleman time and time again....and he does the same thing over and over again.  He goes straight for the costume jewelry and with his magnet and jewelers loupe in tow, proceeds to rummage through the pile.  (Note:  We hadn't any new jewelry from the previous sale!)

Rebecca:  Okay, first things first-- Brian TOLD me to show up at 7, so I showed up at 7!  Just for clarification :)   Secondly, it was pretty funny how almost the second he left the weirdos started showing up.  The first guy to come was this guy who used to come to a lot of our sales but stopped, randomly.  We mentioned him in this post:  Dollars and Sense of Garage Sales  (He was Crazy Carl).  He basically shows up and hands you free things and then bothers you for an hour.   This time, he brought us an Agatha Christie book (which admittedly, I kept, and do appreciate),  a few kids toys, and a bunch of those chocolate candy bars that you get with almonds with pizza hut coupons on the back from kids who are selling them for school.  There is NO WAY we are selling some strangers chocolate to other strangers who could potentially sue us, so we promptly threw that away (okay, so I didn't notice the chocolate until Brian came back and some lady asked me if she could buy it).   I digress.  Crazy Carl kept trying to move our tables and put out boxes-- he was trying to help, but I just couldn't deal with him so I was probably a little rude.  I feel bad but I just can't deal with him and customers at the same time.  And people like the Growler.

So back to the Growler:  I normally don't call Brian when he's gone (there's usually nothing he can do when he isn't there, so there's little point) but in this case I HAD to, just to tell him.  I couldn't believe the dude had the nerve to show up again.  If you didn't read our previous post about the Growler, you can find it here:   Penny Pickers: A Garage Sale Journal .   He basically shows up, with his son, in his same truck, and pretends like he's never seen us before.  I'm not sure whether he recognizes us and is pretending like we've never seen him, or if he genuinely doesn't remember us.  I'm STILL not sure.   He spent all of his time investigating the EXACT SAME jewelry he had investigated before, which led me to believe that he didn't remember us, but then on his way out, he bought part of a kitchen sink faucet, which is exactly what he tried to buy from Brian a week ago but he didn't like the price.   While I gave him the faucet piece for less than Brian quoted him (he probably thinks he got one over on me), I have to admit that I sold him the same pieces of jewelry for several dollars more than he wanted to pay last time. So, I think it works out evenly in the end.   I just don't understand how someone can investigate and test jewelry even after we've told them it's fake, TWICE,  and then return a week later and do the exact same thing again.  It just doesn't make sense.  Maybe he just REALLY likes testing jewelry.   Here are some pictures of the Growler with his magnet and his loupe doing his thing:




I had time to take pictures only because he spent over 25 minutes there, looking at the same jewelry.  To each his own, I guess.  I will say that the son was exceptionally sweet and even waved at me as they drove away. I  guess he feels bad that his Dad keeps aggravating me :)

Brian: So now I get back, the Growler had departed, and the sale is still in full swing....the tables look like the Alamagordo test range after the first atomic tests, with visible spots of clarity.  Also some of our bigger items have sold...chairs, desks and tables....and Rebecca has that gleam in her good eye that tells me we are moving along quite famously!  There was just one problem....there had been a threat of rain all morning, and we definitely knew the major front was approaching for the afternoon.  We just figured we could fly under the radar for the morning, and have a sale and pack it in before the main showers arrived.  But along the way, there were little sprinkles here and there, which made for a great time!  (Not a Singing in the Rain great time....more like a Gorillas in the Mist great time!)

Rebecca:   Yeah, the first sprinkle happened while Brian was gone--  I forgot to mention that he took MY car to the quarter (because he had driven the van to the house for the sale with all of our wares inside),  so because he had my keys AND his keys, I had no keys to the house, no keys to the van, and no cars period.   I had NO idea what to do with the merchandise that was getting wet so I just tried to cover it with less expensive merchandise :)    And some of it I put on the front porch!   All was saved!

Brian: We had put away some of the purses and slippers that would have been ruined, and stayed with the Christmas stuff, tools and such, and I turned on the doppler to watch out for us.  (I used to be in the Flea Market in the French Market down in the French Quarter for years, so we were very VERY good at watching the radar and preparing for whatever mother nature could throw at us...and sometimes losing...but that is another story...for another time!....but I digress!)

So it is now about 11, we have been pretty steady all morning when I notice that the clouds have suddenly turned on us....I rush in and look at the doppler and of course....there is that band of showers coming in...we have about 25 mins. before THE KRAKEN destroys us....and I go outside to begin breaking down the sale.  This is, of course, when a bunch of people show up to look!  We inform everyone that we are breaking down, and they should just put together a box of whatever they like and we will make them a deal.  I am now sweating pretty badly (the humidity was pretty high) and trying to load the van.  The sprinkles are getting heavier...and you can feel it starting to get bad.  This couple is taking their time deciding whether or not the $5 I had asked for a high chair was fair!  I left them alone and kept loading the van (They did buy it FYI along with a bunch of other things Becca sold them!)  Everyone has left, and we have about 6 bins full of items and 3 tables when the skies get really dark!  I pretty much announce out loud that we have run out of time (I tend to be melodramatic when it comes to fighting forces we can't possibly FIGHT AGAINST!) and we start hustling along to finish loading the van.  At that perfect moment, just as we are loading up our placard erase board that we use at all sales, it begins to pour!  We slam the van doors shut and run inside.  Flawless Victory!  We then proceeded to relax and play pool for an hour, dry off, and get ready for a Saints signing that was taking place in the afternoon!  (We love our boys in Black and Gold, and whenever possible love to meet them and get an autograph or two...or three!)  So that was our Black Friday +1 on Saturday.

Rebecca:  I should point out that while Brian was playing pool, I changed his Facebook status to the following:

 Brian TwoDat Monk
I'm afraid of rain, I sweat like a pig, and I whine like a little girl.


I don't know, it seemed pretty appropriate at the time!

Brian: Today, Sunday, on what would have been Black Friday +2, we woke up early...looked at the weather...and decided against the second day sale and instead went down to Champion Square for Gleason Gras to support ALS.  The funny thing is...we stayed outside...in the windy wet cold..(yes a cold front is moving through right now as opposed to the muggy wet yesterday....today is a cold wet!)...in the hopes of getting autographs and meeting the Saints!  So we decided not to have a sale in the cold rain so that we could stand in lines in the cold rain!  At least there was beer and good food...and it was for a great cause.

Well...that's it....we had our Black Friday +1....made money....had some fun....got to meet Saints....and as always, had more stories for Storage Heroes to tell!  Take care everyone, and stay warm!

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