How to Have a Better Yard Sale: Provide Each Item’s Backstory

Nancy had a yard sale this past Friday and Saturday.

We used to call them GABBY sales: Garage, Attic, Basement, Back Yard… some places they call them tag sales.

I decided I could 1. Vamoose, skeedaddle, disappear, or 2. set up a card table and for 5 cents provide the backstory for every item, so the potential purchaser could make a more informed decision. I thought that sounded like a whole lot of fun. But the temperature was black-leather-seats-in-the-sun hot and the wind was River-Rouge-steel-plant hot.

I chose #1. (Which turned into be a morning of running errands.)

Should have picked #2.

There’s research to prove that backstories sell more junk. Essentially that’s what Antiques Roadshow does. These people that show up at the event don’t have a clue what they are toting. So PBS drags in some “experts” (always from another contrasting-accent part of the country) to give the poor schlubs a backstory.

…Significant Objects. For the experiment, each writer is assigned a seemingly insignificant object that has been purchased at a Thrift Store for a few dollars and tasked with creating a story about it. The narratives will not only be posted on the website, but used as the product’s description on eBay where they will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with all proceeds going to the author.


As usual, I was thinking way too small. 1. I was limiting myself to our yard sale junk, and 2. I was only going to charge a nickel.

On second thought, I was only going to charge a nickel for my lies. These guys are going to tell whoppers and rip off some poor Morman Gramma from Utah.

I think eBay will frown on this.

If not, be on the lookout for Blanket Jackson’s pink flannel slippers worn only on the Squirmy Wormy at Neverland Ranch.

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