Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bountiful Baskets And Some other Real STEALS

I LOVE having garage sales.  Even though I don't personally shop at garage sales on a regular basis, I manage to have one of my own a couple times of year.  I love the thrill of the sale; I don't care if it's just the 50 cents I make on selling a bottle of cold water.  (Yes, I put out a cooler and I sell bottled water for 50 cents a piece and I double my money on what I paid for the case.)  I love clearing out my stuff and OK, of course I love the money but I also enjoy (for the most part,) the people that I meet at garage sales.  I don't like the people who want you to give away your stuff for free because IT'S A GARAGE SALE.  My stuff is priced to sell so that I can avoid haggling over every item; but if  you are  bold enough  to endeavor to offer me less, I welcome the challenge and depending on the kind of day it's been, sometimes I even give in.  But then there are those who try to take advantage and those are the people who give garage sales a bad name.
This past fall I had a garage sale and I decided to sell some of my scrapbooking stash.  I planned to sell patterned paper and cardstock 8 sheets for $1.00 because the best deal I've ever seen in a store is 5 for $1.00 and I even commented to a (pre-garage sale,) that this was such a good deal that if someone wanted 10 for $1 I was going to say no.  Well, the morning of the sale Nicky had pulled out this little I don't even know what to call it.  It was something with the Sun's (basketball team) Gorilla and I think it had a spring like he was trying to shoot a basketball.  Believe me my poor description is not taking ANYTHING away from what this was.  Anyway, Nicky had won it at some assembly and had no use for it, so off to the garage sale it went.  A lady was interested in buying it and she asked me how much.  I said "I honestly don't know.  What do you think?"  She didn't know either, so I said "Well, since you don't know and I don't know, why don't we just say $1.00?"  She was surprised by this and said "Well I  think it's worth more, so I'll give you 2."  WOW!  This was not your typical garage sale conversation for sure.  A while later another lady came.  She started looking at my scrapbooking stuff and said that she'd never scrapbooked before, but she had just lost her job, so maybe it would be a good way to spend her time.  We talked about scrapbooking a bit and I explained some of the basics.  She started gathering items and when I told her that the paper was 8 sheets for $1, she asked "could  I have 10 for a dollar?"  in the spirit of the lady who paid me 2 when I asked for 1, I said "OK."  She then asked how you adhere the pictures to the paper.  As I knew that she was going to be low on money, I advised that she use a glue stick as opposed to buying an adhesive runner.  I then remembered that I had an unused scotch tape adhesive in my house and since I didn't really care for it myself, I thought  I would give it to her.  I told her that I was going to go inside and look for it, but I couldn't find it.  I came out and told her that I couldn't find it but if she wanted to wait a few more minutes I would look again and she agreed.  I  came back a second time still empty handed.  She then asked "If I give you my phone number, will you call me if you find it?"  I was speechless for a moment (yes, ME!)  But then I said "OK."  She then started to show me her items so that we could figure out how much she owed.  I charged her less on EVERYTHING and she was aware of it; and when it was time to count up the paper she said "You said it was 8 for a dollar, but I could have 10 so I took 11."  WHAT??  OMG, I couldn't believe this woman's nerve;  but it reminded me of Truvy's line in "Steel Magnolias" when she says " In a good shoe, I wear a size six, but a seven feels so good, I buy a size eight;"  only what this lady was doing wasn't quite as charming.  Did I agree to it, of course because I was stunned by this woman's audacity.    And after I gave her the total amount of her purchase, she didn't quite have enough and she wasn't even apologetic about it, she just expected me to take what she was giving me and I did.  Now while I was looking for the tape runner I came across an album that my Aunt had given me, and that I wasn't going to use; so I brought it outside to sell.  She wanted the album and I wouldn't bend on the $3 price, so she went to her car to see if she had more money.  YES, you read that right.  She made no effort to go to the car to see if she had more money for the amount that she was shorting me on the first purchase; but NOW she was going to go to the car for more money to buy something else; found the $3 but never made any attempt to reimburse me for what she was shorting me in the first place.  Can you say Chutzpah? 
I set up again on Sunday, and who do you think came back?  That's right!!   She bought a couple more items and asked if I had found the adhesive that I had said I would give her (yes she did;) so  I went back inside to take another stab at looking for it and luckily for her I found it.   She expressed her gratitude but then tried to pay me 17 cents for something that I was asking 25 for and I said no; so she went to her car and got the extra 8 cents and she has been my running garage sale story ever since.

So last Saturday my friend / neighbor Jen and I had a garage sale.  Jen left around 8am to go pick up our Bountiful Baskets (which I'll get to after this segment) and so I was left in charge of her treasures.    A few people showed up at once and one of them was a woman who drove a SUV and was wearing nice work out clothes.  She picked up a number of Jen's items along with one item of mine that I had priced at .50 and then she came over and asked me if she could pay $2 for everything.  $2 was  just not enough considering the reasonable prices that Jen was asking, so I told her $3 and she agreed.  She took the items  to her car and stayed there for a while.  She then rushed up my driveway and told me that she only had $2.40,  so she put back my .50 item and handed me the money (all in change by the way)and then rushed back down the driveway and sped away in her car.  As I  stood there counting her money, I found that she had only paid me $1.85 and I was flabbergasted.  What in the world is wrong with people?   I guess I shouldn't be surprised though because I actually had someone STEAL a perfume that I was selling.  Yup, a $40 perfume and I asked $5 (it had been used once only) and the woman STOLE it.  Do I still LOVE having garage sales?  I sure do.  I made $139 in a couple of hours, selling mostly things that we had come by for free,due to the hotel lost and found and Luis'  gift for finding things.  I also sold 17 of  the flower hair clips that I've been making, so I was satisfied; AND I walked away with a blog to boot.

Now,what would a "Bumpy Ride" be without a suggestion for THE GREATER GOOD?  A couple of weeks ago I purchased my very first BOUNTIFUL BASKET  and I can't say enough good things about it.   Bountiful Baskets is a produce co-op and it is offered in several states.  They Use collective purchasing to get high quality food at prices usually reserved for grocery stores and restaurants, which helps the participants to save money while working together co-operatively within our community.  So here's how it works, the cost to participate is $15 per basket, plus $1.50 processing fee, (and there is a $3 fee the FIRST time that you order.)  You have to place your order on Tues or Wed between 9AM and 9PM for the upcoming Saturday and you choose your location.  You're pretty much ordering blindly because you never know what you're going to get in your basket, BUT you will always get one basket of fruit and one basket of vegetables.  You report to your pick up place at the designated time and they have the fruits and vegetables separated into laundry baskets and then you transfer them into your own laundry basket or recyclable bags.  
This week I got:  A cantaloupe, a honeydew, 3 - 6 oz. containers of blackberries, 8 kiwis, 9 bananas, 10 apples,
4 LARGE artichokes, 4 Roma tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 2 - 6 oz bags of radishes, 1 large head of romaine lettuce and spinach.  Now, will my family eat it all - NO!  But I can tell you that the things that we will eat, totally make it worth the purchase price; we have definitely been expanding our fruit and vegetable horizons, we're trying new things and new recipes, and we are eating a lot more fruits and vegetables.  The fruits and vegetables have been lasting longer than those that I typically buy in the grocery store and the quality has been terrific.   There are also add-ons that vary from week to week.  I've tried their Easter cookies, which were excellent!!  We got 20 large cookies in the shapes of Easter eggs and rabbits as well as 4 different colored frostings, all for $10.  The cookies were delicious and tasted homemade.  I've also bought their tortillas.  For $10 you got 4 packages of LARGE flour tortillas, 2 packages of small flour tortillas and 2 packages of corn tortillas, and they were terrific.  I actually split the order with Jen because even for a tortilla eating family like mine, one order was too much for us.  The tortillas freeze well and surpass any that I've bought in the store.  I should also mention that you can choose to order an organic basket for $25 instead of the regular basket for $15.  Bountiful baskets is run by volunteers, and you're told that on days that you volunteer, you get to take home extra fruits and vegetables.  They also tell you that if you don't pick up your basket, it will be donated to a local fire department; which I really like.  For me, one of the nicest features is that there is no commitment on how often you order. Of course being the Queen of  SECOND GUESSING MYSELF, my fear is that I won't order one week and then I'll miss out on something great.  And, I have to say that the one week that I didn't order, (because I still had a good amount leftover,) I spent just about as much at the store buying the couple of things that I did need to replace like lettuce, tomatoes, bananas and grapes.  So, if I've peaked your curiosity, check out and see if there's one near you.  If you do, please let me know, because I'm always interested in everyone's feedback and I just love trying to make your lives a little bit better.
Till next time...


Anonymous said...

Thx ur share........................................

Michelle said...

I love the garage sale tales!!! What pieces of work people are. You are the Queen of Tolerance, I must say! I agree completely on Bountiful Baskets, thank you for giving them their due - I hope your blog inspires more folks to use the BB co-op. Excellent Blog!!! Get crackin' on the next entry!

Joni Parker said...

I was at SFIO and reading the DT bios and saw that you were in Peoria (I live in Glendale), so I popped to your blog and I must say that I've enjoyed reading your posts!! Much fun...and we've been looking for a co-op for veggies that didn't have a permanent weekly I'm thrilled to tell you I'm headed to check out the baskets! Love your Garage Sale stories..... I HATE having garage sales since those same people seem to visit my house and they drive me NUTS!!!!

Mirth said...

I stumbled on to your blog because I was looking for reviews of Bountiful Baskets (after I had already signed up for this week). I'm glad you liked your experience and I'm looking forward to trying them out. My husband is skeptical so I'm really hoping it exceeds his admittedly dismal prediction of small amounts of rotten fruit and too many gourds. Also, your garage sale tales remind me why I only do them if I have to, and then preferably with others who actually enjoy doing them. Garage sales bring out the absolute worst in some people. I'll be back to read more of your blog.