I am not particularly organized when it comes to putting on big events, but fortunately there are others in the neighbourhood that are. They usually put on a sidewalk/yard sale every year, and I just tag along and try to get rid of some stuff.
Over the past few months, we thinned out the kids' toys and put them
in a box in the basement. I had tried to thin out the books as well, but there
was no movement on that front. I wasn't quite ready to part with some
of the childrens' DVDs, though they haven't watched them in years, so
I'll plan to put more of them out next year. I did consider putting out
a bunch of jazz and classical CDs, but right now CD generally do not
sell. LPs, even lousy ones, do better in the yard sale context. I'll
try to take them back to the one local shop that still pays for used
jazz and classical CDs.
The main thing that I managed to sell was a bunch of Lego sets. I tried
to put them together and decided that 95% of the core pieces were
there, plus all the instruction books, so it was ok to sell them as
individual sets. The more interesting sets were the Harry Potter Knight
Bus and an Alien Invasion set. The kids never were really that into
Lego, at least in part because 1) my son felt bad about mixing up the
pieces from different sets, so that limited his creativity and 2) my
wife made a fuss if they strayed from the play area and eventually no
one wanted to bother. It was so different from my experience growing
I sold the whole bunch to one woman and threw in a free pair of bunny ears. I did warn her that there were a few missing pieces, but that the core pieces were all there. I even turned up all the dinosaur teeth for another set.
It looked like rain, but actually the rain held off
all afternoon, and it is just starting now (unfortunately I need to
head back out). Some folks down the street managed to put out tables and tables of stuff. I was actually quite good and only picked up a single book from a neighbour (apparently he and his wife had been at an event and John Irving signed one of his new novels and they were willing to part with it -- of even more interest is that John Irving has moved to Toronto -- I had no idea). Thus, I got rid of more than I brought home, which is really the primary goal of these sales.
Fairly shortly after I sold off the Lego sets, I just put out a free sign for the rest and then walked away. Most things were gone when I strolled back. (Others held out longer, but eventually started giving away a lot of stuff.)
My son and I then left for TCAF at the Toronto Reference Library (where I did manage to spend on comics what little cash the sidewalk sale had brought in, mostly on the Toronto Comics Anthology). TCAF is on tomorrow for those interested. I know I won't be able to go back this year. All in all, a pretty good day.