Yard Sales Dynamics At Play Spring & Fall

by Curt Kovener

“Hrmph, there’s not many yard sales this weekend,” snipped Bessie Bellyacre. “What are you going to do about that?”
“Well, history has shown that there are greater numbers of yard sales on yard sale day than those who advertise their sale,” said I.
“And why is that?” Bessie bellowed.
“Possibly due to commitment issues,” said I. “Some people just don’t want to say they’ll have a yard sale and then at the last minute, back out. Some people just come into town set up from the bed of the pickup truck and take advantage of the yard sale traffic. You’ll probably see them in nearly every community where yard sales are advertised.”
“What are you doing letting people have yard sales that aren’t advertised?” said Bessie.
“If people don’t want to take advantage of the free advertising I can’t really drive around shutting down their sales on their property, now can ?,” said the Editor.
“Well, no, but they ought to advertise their sales,” softened Ms. Bellyacre.
“You are so correct,” said I. “Being able to promotee a large number of yard sales in the community creates a lot of buzz, especially from folks who don’t live here. They come to town to seek out bargains, eat some breakfast or lunch and that benefits the local economy as well as the yard sale enterprises.”
“Why don’t you change when the yard sales are held?” interrogated Bessie.
“The yard sales began about 20 years ago after your neighbors complained about some people going through their large trash pick up offals and re-selling it at their yard sales. The community wide yard sales was a way for residents to sell their better stuff themselves and it developed into some fund raising opportunities for local churches and school groups providing food for hungry yard salers.”
“Well, maybe later in the month would be better,” said Bessie trying to find something else to pick at.
“Yard sale holders have said they do better closer to the first of the month than later in the month. Why? Social Security and pension checks generally are received during the first few days of the month. There’s more available money for residents to spend the first of the month,” I explains.
“Maybe you ought to freshen up the yard sales and just tell everyone there’ll be a bunch of yard sales in Crothersville on a certain day and forget about advertising individual sale locations,” offered Bessie.
“And what if you drove all the way to Crothersville, possible detouring around flooded roads (it happens, you know) only to find that there weren’t very many sales? And what about those folks in the outlying area who hoped for a good sale day but no one showed up out in the country becasue they didn’t know where to go?” I asked.
“Well, you ought to pick a different time of the year. Pick a day when it isn’t cold and doesn’t rain.”
“Bessie, you have over estimated the power of the press. If I could control the rain there would not have been the flooding we had last week,” said I. “But perhaps you would like to select the next yard sale day.”
“Ohhhh no,” said Bessie. “You aren’t going to get me involved in anything. I want to be able to complain to someone. It’s a Crothersville tradition, you know.”
“Boy, do I, Bessie,” said I. “Boy, do I.”