My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
Seller's Remorse, Pottery Barn Rug

I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have experienced buyer’s remorse. I happen to be rather opinionated (“RATHER?!?!?!?,” says my husband), so I don’t usually waffle back and forth when I shop.

Waffle? Is that the correct term to use there? Who decided that “waffle” is both a delicious breakfast item AND a term to describe indecisiveness? That was poor planning.

Anyhow, when I shop, I tend to see what I like, wonder if I can afford it, realize that I can’t, find something similar but much cheaper, negotiate a fair price, and then buy it. I don’t like to insult the seller with a ridiculously low offer, and I usually know within a few seconds if I’ll purchase something regardless of my success in the negotiation process. Salespeople LOVE me.

Bada bing, bada boom. Load it in the minivan, please.

Naturally, when I’m on the other side of the negotiation, I am hopeless. I am without a doubt the worst salesperson I know.

I was reminded of this during our garage sale the weekend before last. This was a military post-wide event that attracted people from hours away. People who came with trailers attached to their pickup trucks. People who carried thousands of dollars in cash. People with rolling carts and bubble wrap. Basically, people who came motivated to buy.

Yet, there I was in my garage, an absolute train wreck of a saleswoman:

Motivated Buyer:  “Ma’am, I see that you have a sticker for $25 on this stainless steel microwave. Will you accept $3?”

Me:  “Um…well…I think…well, my husband and I thought we shouldn’t go less than $20. Can you pay $20?”

Motivated Buyer:  “How about $4?”

Me:  “Well…it IS stainless steel…but we have had it for a long time. Um…I’m not sure I could do less than $15.”

Motivated Buyer:  “How about $5?”

Me:  “I don’t know. Brian, what do you think?”

Brian:  “Whatever you want to do.”

Me:  “Well…I don’t know…”

Motivated Buyer:  “$5? I won’t go any higher. Also, I can only pay in quarters.”

Me:  (Sigh.) “Okay. Do you need a box as well? We can deliver it to your house if your car is too full.”

And that happened for EIGHT SOLID HOURS.

It was torture. Sheer torture.

Nearly every item I sold left the garage for less than half of my original asking price.This created what I’ve now determined is a kind of seller’s remorse.

Seller’s remorse:

When you have too much junk, you determine to sell this junk, you then become attached to this junk as you place fluorescent price tags on the junk, you have strangers come into your garage to look at the junk, they ask for half of what you want for the junk, and you try to justify holding on to more junk in what is already a junk-filled life. You then try and fail to remember why you bought that junk in the first place. So you reluctantly allow it to become someone else’s junk for $0.25.

Ode to Y.O.J.

Seller’s remorse.

And I would be tempted to abandon this idea of a garage sale for the rest of my junk-filled life, but I have to admit I do enjoy parking my car in the garage again.

Seller's Remorse, Garage

Also, the $900 we made on all our junk was a pretty special bonus.

Nine. Hundred. Dollars.

That’s a profit of $100 when you subtract the $800 worth of therapy I’ll need after this whole ordeal.

Oh, but that’s not the end! I have a CRAZY story to tell you later this week. Stay tuned!


Comments to "Seller’s Remorse"

  1. Donna Saville

    May 7, 2013

    I sell with a local Mom’s group, and have on occasion thought to include the kids in the sales. Haha, I laughed out loud with the picture.

  2. Julie Sippy

    May 7, 2013

    Oh, lady. You. Crack. Me. Up.

  3. Brianne Sweetland

    May 7, 2013

    How did you make $900 at a garage sale!? I need to know your secrets.

  4. Katy in a Corner

    May 7, 2013

    Brianne, it’s simple. You must sell LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of junk. 😉

  5. mommy2kaylie

    May 9, 2013

    This cracked me up as I have had this same experience at my garage sales. I always mark my items high so when the buyers haggle the price down, I still get pretty close to what I wanted to get in the first place. I usually pull in $500 to $600 at each sale (we have them twice a year). Yes, that is a whole lot of junk! And I have more where that came from!

  6. Pingback: One Woman's Trash

  7. themommyradar

    May 12, 2013

    We’ve only sold in one garage sale and the experience was remarkably like yours.  Ugh!  We’ve also had bad experiences selling online.  One dude got mad when we wouldn’t offer free delivery on a DVD that he was buying for $3.  He lived a 30 minute drive away from us.  Found your site through My Life and Kids.


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