/yard sale sign/


Got up at 8AM, Carolyn made breakfast, and we made it out driving by 8:35AM, and went out until only 11:26AM, but with a 20 minute Burger King Break.

So it was a total of 2 hours, 31 minutes. (60% of that was driving time: 1hr 31min driving, 60min at sales.)

Spent $14.00 plus $8.07 gas for 30.0 miles of driving (14.9 mpg @ $3.89/G), for a total cost of $22.07.

We bought 11 items – 12  if you count both Gojo hand cleaners separately – for a total estimated value of $142.85, leading to a profit/savings of $120.78. So in essence, we multilpied our $22.07 investment by 6.47X. (Also, the profit counts even more when you consider that we have to earn $132 on the job to get $120 in cash.)

Anyway, this works out to a *post-tax* “wage” of $47.99/hr as a couple or $24.00/hrper person.

We did more than twice as well with our time last week: A true sign that this was a crappy week. But the blacklight, guitar case, and shoji all made up for it!


Crappy week!

Because everyone and their brother threw a sale last weekend, there were hardly any this weekend.

During our preparation phase we made 7 (instead of 9) stops on our itinery. But they were f’ed up. It was a convulted, very odd route, sending us through highway exits 2 miles from our house that we’d never gone to in our life. The fact that the route was so convoluted and off the beaten path was probably a good indicator of how shitty it would be. 1 of the 7 stops didn’t even have a sale! WTF! You advertised on CraigsList! With a specific date and address!

I learned how some streets connect. I didn’t know you could take Wakefield Chapel from Braddock to 236 (IIRC). Fortunately there were some bonus sales.

The next day we happened to roll down Graham Rd. and saw signs for about 4 sales we didn’t go to, because none of them bothered to put a sign at the intersection of Annandale Rd and Graham. Dumb. They usually do that. We usually go down Graham Rd. We only skipped it because there were no signs, and we had a pre-planned route. Dumb yardsale throwers.

Also, the lesson that “crappy sign equals crappy yard sale” gets driven home more and more each week: But especially this week. It’s completely prejudiced, but if your sign sucks, you suck too, and thus your yard sale will suck too.

20120526 - yard sale booty - 0 - full haul ($9) - IMG_4261

Not pictured: blacklight


  • $5.00: guitar case, 42.5″, hardcover, furry inside, Cordoba, including 30 assorted guitar strings (EV:$29.95 for a comparable used case + $30 for 30 misc guitar strings) (if I wanted to cook my books more, I might say this has an EV of $75, but I don’t think it’s that EXACT Cordoba guitar case… It’s definitley not the $115 humidfier Cordoba case, haha. I thought it would be too small for my normal-sized acoustics, but it fit fine. This is the nicest guitar case I’ve ever owned, by an order of magnitude…and I’ve owned several, including using one so much it fell apart.)
  • $5.00: blacklight, 18″, black fixture, *REAL* switch not the kind you have to hold the button down (important because only REAL switch ones can be remotely X10-activated) (EV:$14.97)
  • $2.00: sleeping bag, Coleman, tan, labeled as John Michels – seems like pre-1980 materials (EV:$17.99) – for whichever car doesn’t have many blankets in it. Also as a camping backup.
  • $1.00: mirror, Heineken Lager Beer, framed, 17.625×11.625″ (EV:$25.00) – A relative mentioned wanting beer signs for their basement. Mirrors are just signs that are more awsome.
20120526 - yard sale booty - 1 - Heineken Mirror close-up - IMG_4266

my picture

  • $1.00: Gojo lemon hand cleaner, 2 tubs (1 only half full), looks 10+ years old (EV:$4.84. Rationale: $10.74 for a container twice as large as ours — but we have 2, but 1 is only half full, so we’ll count 75% of that cost as $8.06, but depreciate it 40% for being old-formula/old=$4.84) – this was really handy because we almost ran out of gas, and re-filled our tank from our 5-gallon can we keep in the trunk. We smelled like gasoline! Finding hand cleaner at the next sale was SLACK!
  • $FREE: shoji (folding partition), 6.75’x6.2′ (yes, feet not inches) (EV:Hard to say. $30 new but often with $70 shipping. People selling them for $20-$50 on Craigslist, but they are all corporate/mass-manufactured. This one looks like somoene made it for a school project. It’s the most ghetto shoji I’ve ever seen in my life. So I’ll simply say: $10, because the materials aren’t worthless, nor is the workmanship. It’s just BAD, that’s all. This is a FUNCTIONAL shoji, not a decorative one) – used as background during skype interview, as well as to block sunlight during naps, or hide shelves of stuff you don’t want seen. Given that it was free, I’ve already gotten my money’s worth 50X over. I can guitlessly toss this into my yard when I’m done, because it’s all natural materials: bambo, twine, paper. 
20120526 - yard sale booty - 0 - full haul ($9) - IMG_4261
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 10×11″, popcorn-tin style (EV:$5 based on last week’s logic) – for diatomaceous earth storage
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, rectangular, 9.5×4.375×4″, burgundy (EV:$2) – for diatomaceous earth storage
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 10.5×5″, Royal Dansk Danish butter cookies, full of [used, worthless] assorted christmas bows (EV:$0 for bows, $2 for tin) – for diatomaceous earth storage
  • $FREE: container, metal tin, circular, 7.5×2.5″, Absolutely Devin Danish cookies (EV:$1) – for diatomaceous earth storage
  • $FREE: container, box, wooden, 5.75×2.5×3.375″, Kevton Lemon Spice tea (EV:$0.10) – didn’t really want this

Click here for other Yard Sale-related postings. * EV stands for “Estimated Value”, which I estimate by looking things up in Google Shopping/Google/Amazon/Ebay. I don’t always deduct for an item being used, unless it’s actually in worse condition in a way that matters. For example, I estimate books at the cover value. I also try to only count shipping if it’s the type of thing that would need to be shipped, and only if the price isn’t “fixed” (i.e. 1 cent items that cost $10 to ship would not be $10 in person). (more…)