Memo to the yard-salers of Asheville

Yard Sale season is in full swing. We are flush with bright days and good weather. Time to clean out your house and hopefully offset a utility bill or two during these hard times. We at the Junker’s Union, as always, are here to help. 

Keep the signs simple: The junkers are driving by at 30 mph, please give clear directions. Photo by Whitney Shroyer

First off, thank you for you efforts. Getting up early on a Saturday is not easy, and neither is patiently haggling with some 12-year-old kid over your daughter’s old Pokémon cards. You may be wondering if it’s worth it. The Junker’s Union assures you it is. After all, Goodwill stock is leftover yard sale goods, and flea marketers traffic in marked-up yard sale goods.You yardsalers remain the source of much of the junk-blood in our community.

But it is important to remember that we exist in a symbiotic relationship. You need us as much as we need you. We come pick your yard clean and give you some money, and hopefully you get a nice dinner out in celebration on your newfound room to breathe.

So, in the spirit of mutual benefit, our current secretary has typed up a few suggestions, to make this process run as smoothly as possible. We know it can be hard, letting strangers into your yard. To the many of you who already follow the unwritten contract between junker/junkee splendidly: May your yard sales always bring three figures. 

Also, to those who perceive an anti-baby bias in the suggestions below, the Union has nothing against babies or their yard sales. But if our secretary offends, take it up with him.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we’ve got to start somewhere.

Put some time into your Craigslist announcement. You do your bottom line a huge solid by putting a little effort into that Craigslist/IWANNA listing. It is NOT an afterthought, so stop writing it like one. Hint: The words “too much to list” have never sold anything, nor have they attracted any buyers.

No cat nappers. I respect your desire for “no early birds.” But that time on your sign? That’s when you open, not when you start trucking your stuff out.

Keep your utility pole signs simple. I’m driving by at 30 MPH. I can’t read your street address because your sign keeps going on about how AWESOME your sale is going to be. Point me in the right direction and I’ll see for myself. Exception to this rule: Baby Stuff yard sales. Please put “Baby Stuff” on your sign, so I can skip it.

Estate sales mean somebody died. Or at least went to The Home. “Estate sale” is overtaking “moving sale” as the most abused word in the yard sale lexicon, with “multi-family” running a distant third. The next time I see modern baby clothes, toys and furniture at an “estate sale,” I am asking how the baby died. 

• If you’ve been having a “Moving Sale” every weekend for the last six months, you’re not moving.

• If your yard sale consists of three piles of clothes and a few kitchen utensils on three blankets, it is not “huge.”

Your yard is not a museum. If it’s in the yard, it’s for sale. Don’t bring out a pile of stuff and decide to keep it at the last moment. What do you think this is, Ghost World

• In yard sale economics, the lower the price, the more money you make. 

More yard sale economics: Yard sale depreciation works much more radically than real-world depreciation. A $10 retail item you bought two years ago might be worth seven, hypothetically, according to the rules of depreciation. But in a yard sale? It’s a buck. Hey, it’s your yard, it’s not like you got overhead.

Your yard sale is not over until you take your signs down. Removing your signs is the necessary final curve in our little circle of life. You clean out your house, we clean out our pockets, you clean up the streets. ‘Tis not for our benefit that we make this suggestion, but for the beauty of our fair city. Remember: The signs know where you live. You have been notified.

Not so hard, was it?  And we didn’t even ask you to tag your stuff in advance. Thanks again from Junker’s Union Local 3313!  See you at your place, bright and early!

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