Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Yard work time in town
My P.E.O. chapter holds a rummage sale as an annual fundraiser. The rationale is that by having the rummage sale, we only have to work hard this one weekend every year. This brings in money from the community and also does a service in offering better used goods at an affordable price. Another kind of fundraiser might involve selling something, such as nuts, daffodil bulbs, or wrapping paper, and of course, no one wants to do that! So, every spring we gather up rummage and head to the multi-purpose room of a local church where we spread it all out as appealingly as we can and then open the door to the public.

Just a few blossoms cling to the cherry tree
The sale was last weekend. I’m one of our best customers. This year I came home with “Cornflower” casserole dishes, a serving bowl, a Dritz sleeve board (ironing board for shirt sleeves), “like new” cushions for my dining chairs, as well as other odds and ends. And of course, I make a nice monetary donation for these things. But when it comes to donating things for the sale, most of what I take doesn’t sell. I’m not sure most of what anyone donates sells. And yet, once again, we had a successful sale.

We always have a lot of rummage left over. Dishes, china, and crystal typically don’t sell. This year we were fortunate in that someone purchased a set of 36 cut glass goblets at $2.50 each -- $90, a fraction of their original value but money we were glad to have. However, a pretty set of dishes and two punch bowls were left.

Then there are the knick-knacks and decorative items. They cost a bit when you buy them new, but at a rummage sale, it’s disheartening to see that they are mostly unwanted. “I spent how much to buy that new?” I ask myself, “and there it sits.” On the other hand, jewelry sells well.

Cherry tree is mostly past
I donated Hallie’s handmade doll, a gift from Mike's aunt when she was a little girl. Unfortunately she didn't like it -- and I guess no one else does either because it didn’t sell, which leads me to wonder if anyone ever cares about these things. I follow bloggers who do creative things with new as well as recycled items, and I admire their creativity, but are they really successful? Is there a demand for these things?

Of course, one can argue that at a rummage sale you don’t see a broad segment of the population, and that may be true. On the other hand, I think we see those who buy to collect or re-sell. And after all, we did take in over $2,000, so something must have sold. It’s just that when I look around at the end of the sale, it seems like we didn’t sell anything. Then the stuff has to be packed up and carted off to some other thrift venue. KW

[I didn't take pictures of the rummage sale or the rummage. We'll just have to content ourselves with springtime pictures.]


Chris said...

I can remember going to rummage sales and buying stuff for my dolls. Maybe at the Methodist church? At this stage of my life I'm more likely to be getting rid of stuff so I'm better off not going. Glad you found things you wanted and that your group had such a successful sale.

Kathy said...

The Christian Church had rummage sales, too, but we didn't buy anything there. Stuff has changed. Values have changed. But I am not a yard sal-er per se. I work this particular sale. And as terrible as this may sound, one reason it's successful is that every year someone dies or downsizes, and much of the stuff is "a cut above." If my group had to depend on people like me, we would make very little. My cast-offs are so specialized that they have to find a broader market before people are interested.

This year two members downsized, and Dorene lives across the street from one who died and the family happened to be cleaning out at just the right time.