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With garage sales, the early birds are often vultures

Stored under In the News on December 14, 2006 at 7:06 AM
ON HEARING that household clutter is the enemy of creativity and positive energy, I organised a garage sale, conveniently forgetting that I'd previously sworn never, ever, under any circumstances, to hold another one. Seconds after placing the advertisement over the phone, I realised that the extremely chatty person at the local paper had talked me into an outrageously expensive boxed ad. There goes $40 profit already.

Two days after the ad appeared we received a letter from a very forward real estate agent who had noticed the ad and was offering his professional expertise if we were thinking of moving. Even more startling, his letter was personally addressed. Um, thanks, but no thanks.

We decluttered, with a few heated exchanges about what could or could not be sold, and tossed a mountainous pile of energy-sapping items into the garage. I could feel the creativity returning already and designed some big, colourful signs to direct innocent pedestrians to our colossal pile of junk.

After arranging the items so that customers could actually get into the garage, there was just one more vital thing to do - stick a shiny 50-cent coin to the garage floor, which would provide endless unbridled, guilty entertainment while we watched dozens of gullible visitors attempt to pick it up.

In garage sale land, Tuesday is the new Saturday and 8am the new 9am. After we advertised the sale's starting time as 9am on Saturday, three dealers knocked on the door during the week hoping for a preview. Um, didn't you read my outrageously expensive boxed ad? Obviously not carefully enough. Come back on Saturday. And they did - at 8am.

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