Cheapskate: Tag Sale

A few weeks ago Renaissance Man woke up and decided he and PrissyBitch had too much crap. So they decided to have a tag sale…or as  they call it, a yard sale. Knowing that I’d been on a Stuff Boycott since before Christmas, they extended an offer to join them. So I went through every closet in my apartment, the bins under my bed, and my trunk…and then I hit up the AsianPersuasion and Clamp for their crap. On Friday night I dragged it all over to PrissyBitch’s and started organizing/pricing and ran around Bridgeport posting signs. Then, we woke up earlier on Saturday morning than we do all week long…

Insanity ensued.

People who frequent tag sales on a regular basis are…well… a little loopy. But when you’re throwing a sale in a nice suburban town the crazies are mostly just intense soccer moms and grandparent-types with nothing better to do. In Bridgeport, it’s a whole different game.

One of our first visitors on Saturday was an obese lady in a car that was emitting fumes and a death rattle. She pulled up, surveyed our stuff, and then yelled, “You got any stereo equipment?” PrissyBitch and I were on the front steps, drinking caffeinated beverages and eating bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches from Duchess. We told her we had earphones. “Are they Sony?” They were not, we told her. Then she made the mistake of asking the Renaissance Man about something who answered a question or two but then said, “I gotta eat…get out and look!” Then he took a bite of his sandwich. She said she would come back, and her car death rattled its way down the road.

Most of the day was filled with nice ladies, and kindly old men. But then there was this group of women from some country where they, no doubt, go to a market and haggle over chicken feet every day. So, as you might imagine, they take tag sales very seriously. If something was marked for $5, they would offer $4. We would accept. They would then offer $3. And they seemed to want to buy almost anything, including clothing that was 4 sizes too small. By the time they left, we hated them… and had decided they were scam artists. After agreeing on a fee of $18 for everything they wanted to buy, they handed PrissyBitch $23 and asked for $10 back. When she looked at them like they were out of their damn minds, they said, “Oh, sorry, we mean $5.”

We are 78% sure that PrissyBitch will wake up to find a headless goat in her driveway before the week is over.

And then there was Connecticut’s version of the Uni-Bomber. At first he didn’t seem all that strange except for the fact that he was at a tag sale in the first place. He rummaged through our stuff, decided to buy a few things…and then lectured us for 15 minutes. It started with something about those state quarters and how if you find a certain Minnesota quarter it’s worth a ton of money. But then he started on subjects we knew a lot more about than him, but refused to speak about because we didn’t want to encourage him. Had we seen Food, Inc. he asked? Of course we had. Had it changed our eating habits? No, we were local/organic food weirdos long before that movie. Then he started in on “Clean Coal” — which doesn’t exist, and is a pet peeve of mine — but we just kept staring at him blankly. Then he got started in on taxes and something called “basis”, and it was around this point we started considering giving his money back if he’d just agree to go away. I won’t bore you with the details but he was vaguely insulting (“You girls should stop selling stuff and educate yourselves…”) and I will now purposely avoid ever learning about “basis.”

Day two of the big sale was slow, except for a few church rushes. We were so happy not to be bothered by the Santeria ladies and the Uni-Bomber that we practically danced a jig… and then we heard the death rattle.

This time, she had two fat kids in the car with her and she wanted to know if we still had the headphones. We did not. She asked about some other crap, and we gave half-hearted answers. Eventually, she decided to get out of the car. But when the children started yelling at her at her from the car instead of getting out and looking she said, “Kids are lazy. Want to buy stuff but don’t want to get out of the car…” We just looked on, dumbfounded.

The most disturbing part was when she spotted the creepy angel statue with a kid in its lap that we’d been joking about all weekend and exclaimed: “Oh isn’t that beautiful? I’m gonna put that on my baby’s grave!” This really brought the mood down, but then she decided to haggle over the $3 price tag. It’s not easy to play hardball with someone who has just announced her intentions to use a cheap piece of crap to decorate a grave. Don’t worry though, because after we made a deal with her on just about everything she bought, we heard her announce to the lazy kids in the car, “You see how they don’t want to come down on any of their prices?”

It was about this time that we started to go crazy/suffer from heat stroke. This happened:

All-in-all it was a successful  couple of days, and we’ve decided to do this more regularly to get rid of crap we don’t need and help fund our roadtrips. As we found out, you can sell almost anything, including a Bump-It bought at another tag sale, and a picture your cats threw up on.We think it’s a great, green way to give the shit you don’t want a new life, and the only way you’ll make money while sitting in lawn chairs, drinking beer. So if you’re looking to make a few extra bucks, consider taking advantage of the spring weather and plan a tag sale.

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