Friday, July 20, 2012

Yard Sale Eve

Today, H, L, K and I spent several hours cleaning our garage and rummaging through its contents finding more stuff to sell.  There is a lot out there that only C can decipher and decide upon, so he'll be doing that throughout the course of the sale, providing fresh inventory all morning long.  The garage wasn't even on my head-swirling list, but it is surprisingly relieving to have it all cleaned (especially knowing people will be getting an up close look at it tomorrow).

S watched the younger kids again and Z, he pretty much drove everybody crazy.  But I'm sure the house being turned on end and emptied of its contents little by little is very unnerving for him.  So we do what we can to get through it and Sunday, things will be back to normalsville.

Meanwhile, we spent several more hours this afternoon, creating signs to put up around the neighborhood and pricing items which are piled in heaps in our front room ready to go out on the lawn and driveway bright and early tomorrow morning.  Pricing stuff is a little bit of a challenge especially when we're considering sentimental value over actual value.

Putting a 50-cent tag on Z's favorite stuffed animals hardly seems justified, but really, most people will probably try to bargain down from that price.  It's the way it goes.

I did create a free bin for all those beloved McDonald's (and Burger King, Carl's Jr., Taco Bell, etc.) toys and some other ones that seem like they were probably better as part of a set ... but the rest of the set is long-gone.  Kids love free bins at yard sales.  Parents love free bins because they can cheaply get something to satisfy their kids and it takes the kids a good ten minutes searching through the bin for just the perfect free toy, so parents can shop the rest of the sale in peace.

So this evening, I longed for a bit of a rest after extra tiring days of late, getting ready for the sale.  But before I settled in with the four kids (C and S are gone as usual on Fridays) for a DVD movie night, I needed to run to the store to try to get some small change (since I forgot to go to the bank during the day when it was open).

We headed to WalMart.  Mistake.  WalMart has lots of good convenient stuff, so you'd think that maybe they have money there, too.  But apparently not.

First, I tried the Money Center.  Money is in their name.  I stood in line with fidgety, tired, hungry kids in tow and when we got to the front finally, the lady kindly tells me that they cannot give me small bills in cash back from my debit card because they don't have small bills.  They referred me to the cash registers.

I circled the store for a few minutes and picked up a few items we needed and some Gatorades for the kids, which were on sale for $1.00, because they were all dying of thirst apparently and I was feeling kind.  We headed to the register.  I stood in line at the register.

As this lady was ringing up my purchase, I mention that I would be asking for cash back on the purchase and could I please get it in ones?

She said, "Oh, we don't give small bills for cash back.  You'll need to go to the Money Center for that."

I said, "That's funny, the Money Center said I needed to come to the registers."

She said, "Oh, we never do that.  Then, I guess you'll have to try Customer Service."

So after checking out and getting no cash back, I went to Customer Service, with my frozen items melting and kids hungrier and more fidgety than before and I waited in line.  When I got up to the counter, the man said, "May I help you?"

I said, "I'm not sure.  I went to the Money Center and asked for cash back in small bills.  They referred me to the registers.  I went to the registers, bought some stuff and asked for cash back in small bills.  They referred me to the Money Center.  When I explained I'd been to the Money Center, they then sent me over here to Customer Service.  So can I get cash back in small bills here or no?"

He said, "The Money Center is supposed to do that."

I said, "Well, you'd think so, but they don't."

The lady also working in Customer Service finished up with her customers and overhearing our conversation, said, "Well, we could do that here, but we'll charge you $3.00 and we can only give you like ten ones."

I said, "What about rolls of quarters?"

She said, "We don't sell our quarters."

Heavy, heavy sigh.

There is something terribly wrong with the world if I have to pay $3.00 to get $10.00.  What is this exchange rate?!  And why does nobody at WalMart have money?  I don't get it.

So frustrating.  And it doesn't help that I'm tired and have a bunch of kids who are not appreciating the sick humor of the situation the way I clearly am.  <Insert maniacal laughter here.>

We left WalMart.  Until next time.  I know we'll be back soon.

I called my sister and she decided to raid the girls' piggy banks (we'll pay them back) for small bills and quarters.  So we'll start tomorrow morning with $17 in small change.  I pray it's enough and that everyone who shops our sale brings small bills themselves.

C said he'll post the signs tonight when he gets back or tomorrow morning early.  D and girls will be over bright and early tomorrow morning so we can haul stuff out.  I plan to be out there by 5:30 because I know how the crazy shoppers are ... our signs say 8:00am, they'll be here by 6:30. 

Sleep well, Readers.  I'll let you know how things go after the fact.


  1. So, now that I've read the plan and your FRUSTRATING small money escapade; I hope you did well on the yard sale. I'm optomistic everything went well and you probably have too much small money. :)

  2. Thank you, Mom. I posted an update in the next post. :)