Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Purging

We are not accumulators by any means. We do have plenty of stuff in our household but most of it is stuff that we regularly use or has some sort of value to hanging onto it. However, having raised two kids with the youngest going to be three later this year, we decided it was time to purge. The pile in our basement storage room was more than halfway to the ceiling and taking up way to much space. It was time for a garage sale.

We live on the outskirts of town so we don't get much traffic in our area. However, our neighbors put on an annual multi-family garage sale that attracts a lot of people so this year we told them that we wanted to coincide with their sale. We shared an add, put out lots of signs directing people from both entrances to our community on opposing sides of the ridge and opened our doors for the same hours. Unfortunately for me, they were wanting to open their doors for four days from 8 to 6.

With the wife at work, that pretty much meant that I would be the one butting in 10 hour days selling my personal belongings out of the garage, not something I was looking forward too. However, I thought I could improve my lot by selling some of the pens I have been making and perhaps make a few more in-between customers. I was able to do both so I can't complain.

I did notice that I could judge a shopper by their cover as they were walking up the drive. With the stuff we had for sale, older women almost never bought anything. Younger women usually bought quite a bit. Older men were a mixed bag. Most were interested in my pens but I had a hard time figuring out which one would buy one. Being a penafile is not something outwardly apparent. Younger men mostly just stood outside the garage looking board while the woman in their life bought things.

All told, we cleared four figures which is about four times better than our best garage sale though I think this is only the third one we have ever had. I can't complain because that buys us a lot of nights out on the town. It also buys me a lot of space in our basement storage room which for me, is more valuable than the cash.

12 comments:

Leigh said...

Sounds like you really did well with your garage sale. Those community sales really attract the most folks, I think, because there is so much in the offering. As long as you didn't buy more from your neighbors than you had out to sell, you did good.

kymber said...

Ed - it sounds like you did really great! do you mind me asking what you sold your pens for? if you don't feel comfortable putting that here, send me an email at kymberzmail@gmail.com

your friend,
kymber

Ed said...

Leigh - Well we did get some from the neighbors. I bought a $10 tuxedo and a few ancient CD's and my wife got a yoga mat.

Kymber - I started selling them for $40 which if someone picked my most expensive pen, would allow me to make another one to replace it. People seemed to shy away at the price so I then went to $30 which means I have to sell two to cover costs and get enough to make a third of the same kind. I sold more at that price so I think that is where I will try to sell them in the future.

kymber said...

Ed - your pens are worth minimum $50 dollars in my mind. i think that because you were selling at a yard sale, people baulked because everyone thinks that nothing should be over 5. have you ever considered taking your pens to a boutique/gallery/art store and asking if they are interested? i am sure if 10 of your pens were set up in a display case in one of those types of stores you could really make some money. those pens are beautiful and being a pen connaisseur myself - i would have easily paid $100+ for a pen like that if i saw one in a boutique back in the city.

kymber said...

oh one other thing - what about selling them on etsy?

Ed said...

Kymber - I've seen the same style of pen sold online for $200+. I have a post I'm planning for Friday on the whole pen making thing. I'm not really in it for the money. I'm just charging enough to recoup my costs and feed the addiction of making them. If I got in it for the money and became successful, I'm sure I would quickly tire of making them and it would just become another job for money. If I ever do decide to turn it into a business, I have thought Etsy would be a good place to start.

kymber said...

Ed - i didn't want to shock you with saying that your pens are worth $200...but if i were making and selling those pens - that's where i would start. however, i really think checking into local boutiques and such would be a great place to start as well as etsy.

your pens are amazing works of art. anyone who appreciates beautifully-made pens will see that immediately. can i ask what you would charge me for one of those pens? i have already let you in on what i would pay....but i could send you some beautiful rose of sharon seeds (look up this beautiful bush on google) in trade plus some cash? back in the city i would have paid $200 but i just can't afford that right now. i can afford some cash and seeds for the pen and i would do a beautiful review for you on our blog. send me an email at kymberzmail@gmail.com and we can hash out the details.

also - can you check our blog's new header and layout and let me know what you think? i want to hear everything - the good and the bad. we are playing around with it trying to make it more personal and whatnot and welcome all criticisms. especially from bloggers who have been with us a while and who we trust. thanks buddy!

sage said...

It sounds like it was a great success... and I am sure your pens were a hit but I can also see why someone would have a hard time making up their mind

Ed said...

Kymber - I'll send you an email but as I said, I'm not in it for the money so $30 plus shipping is all that is necessary.

Sage - Thanks. More on pens tomorrow.

1st Man said...

Ed, I found you by following Kymber's recommendation. I don't see a place to 'follow' your blog but I'll definitely bookmark it. I would be interested in buying one but I have a question too. Have you ever made one using mesquite wood? I would be glad to ship you some in whatever size/shape piece you need, at my cost, just to give you something to work with. Our farm is covered in mesquite trees and the wood is gorgeous. I'm always trimming a branch or cutting one up for something. I might even consider commissioning one (or two) for us to always have a piece of our farm.

By the way, Kymber can vouch for me, I'm good people, ha!

Now off to catch up on your blog...

Ed said...

1rst Man - I haven't made one out of mesquite but I'm quite sure I could. All I need is a blank of wood about an inch square by about five inches long and I can go from there. Probably a couple blanks in case one gets destroyed while turning which happens from time to time. The caution is that I have made pens out of pieces of various types of wood but unless it has a really unusual grain pattern, they end up looking kind of plain. However if it is more something to remember a special place or item by and not just a beautiful looking pen, by all means it can be done.

If you are interested, there is a link on the top left side of my blog under the Email Me words where you can send me an email. I can give you a list of options (for themes) depending on what you are interested in and after receiving the wood, I can make you a pen or two. I just finished up a custom pen for someone who likes to hunt that is made of deer antler and has bullet shaped ends with a bolt action to work the pen and a rifle shaped clip. It turned out beautiful and I will post a picture of that here on my blog in a week or two.

warren said...

Doesn't it feel great to recover space and money after a purge?! We are overdue but so hate doing yard sales. It may be time though for our own sanity!