Mike and I arrived at my apartment just before 7am and decided to do our warm up 'on the road.' After a few brief intervals up and down the stairs to my apartment, I decided I was ready to race: sale on!
Mike, on the other hand, needed a longer warm up and chose to continue carrying down boxes for the next hour or so.
Since port-o-potties were not on hand, Mike had thankfully left a roll of toilet paper in the bathroom and I had purposefully not packed the bathroom window shade which overlooks College Ave. and the front yard.
Pre race meal included Cole (aka Royal) coffee and a blueberry smoothie.
Mike and I had several goals for the day, but our priority was to get the shit off the lawn by the end of the day with as little packing as possible. Winning a few primes by selling some of the furniture or the TV would be great for beer money, but ultimately the prize money wasn't our main focus of this day. We knew it would be a long hard day and pacing ourselves with proper hydration (aka Oatmeal Stout and Sierra Nevada) would be our key to success.
After two weeks of packing boxes, I was feeling surprisingly strong and attacked from the whistle. Within 10 minutes I had sold some kitchen odds and ends and pocketed $17. Reliving the retail training of years and years (and years) of working at my mom's gift store in Chicago, I made sure that every item had a story..."That casserole dish belonged to my parents...it screams 1970s orange and brown...a true classic only found at a yard sale..."
Mike made sure to cover any breaks with his solid, steady negotiating..."Oh you like those glasses? Just one moment, there are several more just like it over here."
Mid-way through the day, the attacks and counter-attacks were coming from all sides of the yard (and all sides of Berkeley):
"Do you have a FREE box?"**
"This sale is great, but I'm trying to raise money to pay the rent of my
pirated radio station and am selling bootleg Dave Brubeck CDs for $4. Are
"I'd like to buy this backpack, but I think you left something in the front
pocket." (which is when to my utter dismay I pull out a pair of underwear from
"I have this Adidas bag in my car. Could I trade you this bag for
some things from your yard sale?"**
"Would you sell me these mugs, this hairband, these tupperwares, and this
blanket for a quarter?"
"I'm an artist and need extra tupperwares to wash my brushes. Could
you donate some tupperwares?"**
"It's 2:00. Are you sure there's not a free
**All requested by the same woman who returned 4 times to our sale.
Luckily we had a teammate supporting us, first arriving disguised as a shopper and later looking Minty fresh.
One final attack came at 4:00 as a U-Haul truck pulled up with friends who had bought my couch. Mike bridged and sacrificed himself for the team by lugigng the couch down the stairs and onto the truck while I attacked with only 10 minutes to go. In those final minutes I managed to sell the "talking" photo album, the 15 year old "wet tunes" shower radio, a used container of rubber cement and floor wax.
The cash payout was huge...$1090 (nearly all in singles) for a race which never left my front yard.
Cooldown: Somehow, our income increased at a much higher rate than my crap decreased in volume. We spent the next 2 hours packing all the leftovers into boxes to donate to someone else's "Free Box."
*We learned that my crap is quite appealing to Berkeley folks.
*10-year old bike tubes sell.
*anything bike related sells.
*There's no rule requiring a free box.
*Beer is essential.
3 things I did for my honey:
*Bought the Oatmeal Stout
*Paid the electricity bill...kept the beer cold
*Sold the last remaining items belonging to his ex-wife.
3 things my honey did for me:
*Remembered to keep an extra roll of toilet paper in the bathroom.
*Bought me lunch and reminded me to eat it.
*Purged the 6-year-old Carbo Pro and Sustained Energy (among many other well-aged exercise products).
And tonight we celebrated with Guiness and Shepard's Pie.