Yard Sale Bully

On early weekend mornings she comes searching around town
But perhaps you knew that when you laid your blanket down
On high alert she smells and seeks and swoops down without fail
On her unwitting prey those choosing to have a yard sale

She may intimidate you as she eyes your table mats
And tells you grandma’s antique tea set really ain’t all that
Calls it an imitation says the quality’s just schlock
And that she bought a nicer one for 3 bucks down the block

Or she might work your sympathy as she moves for the kill
And offer you a crumpled up and taped one dollar bill
Would you be so kind to take it for that old crock pot?
Unfortunately it seems that dollar bill is all she’s got

And then she asks for you to throw in more random detritus
A mirror, an unopened tube of cream to sooth arthritis
And a box of crackers that it seems you never ate
Some pool toys that you never even bothered to inflate

And before you know it she goes limping down the lawn
With your finest jewelry, comic books and your first born
In fact it seems this woman fought and bargained pretty hard
When she asked if yard sale meant you were selling your yard

You don’t know whether you should be more outraged or inspired
As it comes to dawn on you exactly what transpired
She takes her new acquired goods, yours from days of yon
And spreads them out on what now does appear to be her lawn
Horrified you see she takes the contents of your closet
And quickly sells them off at considerable profit

I’ve been wanting to write a poem about a yard sale for quite some time but don’t think this would have seen the light of day without inspiration from the lovely Stephanie at Once Upon Your Prime. Thanks to a woman who knows what having a yard sale is really all about.


75 thoughts on “Yard Sale Bully

  1. We’re having a yard sale next weekend and I’m dreading it already. The yard sale bully will no doubt be visiting my yard. 😦

    • Oh my goodness. You will have to let us know how it goes and I wish you the best of luck. I was struggling with this one until my friend Stephanie posted something on FB about what it was really like so prepare yourself!!

  2. I laughingly identified with your take on bartering at stuff sales. So true! That photo of stuff is amazing. In this part of the country, it would be a moving out sale.

    • Is it really? The closest I’ve had to a yard sale was when I lived in NY and just put some of my old junk on the street and told anyone who was interested that they could pay whatever they want. A much better vibe apparently.

  3. This reminds me so much of being dragged to every yard sale in town by my Grandma Jean… aka the yard sale queen. She knew all the other regulars, including the bargain bullies and the ghetto kelps. That’s right… there was a roving band of women who would steal items that cost a quarter just for the rush of it! I’m sorry I didn’t fully appreciate this one when you read it to me last night!

  4. I think I’m the bully in this scenario! I’m really not though. I just research how much an item is worth and know how much I’m willing to pay, in order to re-sell it. “Junk” is my treasure.

  5. The thought of a yard sale – either having one or going to one – strikes terror in my heart. I am simply not a haggler.

    Years ago we were heavily involved in our local Boy Scouts troop. Their primary fundraiser was a massive spring yard sale. I got ‘demoted’ to hotdog sales when I refused to sell anything to a particularly pushy woman.

    • I think the whole thing started going when I thought of the detritus/arthritis rhyme. Then I thought, wait a minute, I’m on to something here. I can do this. Thank you for recognizing.

  6. We don’t have ‘yard sales’ over here, we have ‘car boot sales’ which I expect over there would be ‘car trunk sales’. The same sort of persons frequent them as in your excellent poem.

      • Not really, some or all is just junk that you want to get rid of. There used to be stolen property but they are pretty well regulated, like most things, these days…or should be.

      • Right. When I lived in NY there was plenty being sold out on the streets and I’m sure quite a bit of it was stolen goods. Now they regulate selling on the streets much more which is kind of a shame because it was part of what made NY NY. Plus you never knew what you might find.

  7. Seriously funny and one reason why I avoid garage sales. I am terrible at bargaining and have not a clue if what I am looking at is worth what the price says. I am fortunate enough to be able to afford new, although even with that, I would rather put patches on my jeans, sew or embroider holes in my clothes, and hang on to what I do have rather then buy the junk that is hanging on racks in stores with a price tag that is outrageous. I don’t care for style, what is in, and what is not, and never have. I dress as I want to. GREAT post, Marissa. LOVED IT!!! ❤

    • Thank you Amy! I rather agree. I like finding treasures at thrift shops but I never seem to get as lucky with yard sales. I rarely stop for one but if I am walking by I will stop to visit. My rule is that everything should be sold at an outrageously cheap price or forget it…but I won’t haggle, I’ll just walk away.

      • Now there is hubby. He is outright embarrassing. He will haggle and talk down the price to the point I KNOW it is outright robbery …. and here I am turning 3 shades of red and wishing the floor would open. I swear that man would haggle his own mother (sorry, Mom) but nonetheless it is true. Hehehehehehe

  8. Oh, the yard sale bullies would ask you to throw in things and even crackers! Lol
    Before I left my house behind I took my favorite things and put them in my one bedroom spt, then took antiques to a shop here in Delaware which is owned by a former race car mechanic. He bought things for good prices and would show me last bids on Ebay so I knew how much he would profit. His wife was my kids favorite school lunch lady 🙂
    I did sell things to auctioneers and antique experts at opening hour of garage sale but wanted to try and get rid of things.
    This is long, but I was stubborn wth bullies and stuck to my orices. Later, might even give away to nice people who liked my stuff. 🙂

    • Yes, it’s a good thing to do these yard sales and try and auction things off and sell things but it’s good to know who you’re dealing with and what the items are worth beforehand. In my opinion, everything at a yard sale should be super cheap since I see everything being sold as something the seller wants to get rid of.

      • Oh, I agree, Marissa, that getting rid of stuff is the primary goal of garage sales. I am slightly diabolical and stick to my prices with those “bullies” preferring not to “fold” or “give in” to their bullying. As the day passes, though, I tend to lower prices. My last huge garage sale I gave away boxes of stuff. Saved hauling to our local Goodwill!

  9. Your poetry is the best beyond a doubt
    Is there a topic you can’t rhyme about?
    Compared to you other poets work pales
    I’ve never seen rhyming verse about yard sales.

  10. Who but our Marissa could ever rhyme something with arthritis? You truly do amaze. Am also quite sorry to report I have met this YS bully just this year…….another one that amazes me, but not in a good way!

  11. I’m keen to buy a ‘yard’…never come across one yet clearly they are in much demand across the pond! Do they come in various colours and will one fit in my wallet?

    • Oh, come on now Mike. The last time you showed up at one of these yard sales clearly off your head waving your wallet around and demanding they sell you ‘their finest yard’. I think that’s the last yard sale you’ll be attending!

  12. Well I finally made it here! Sorry but I really wanted to saver it. And saver every word I did!!! Soooooo funny! Thank you for mentioning my blog, my friend. And love your line about her taking the eldest child! Here’s how it would go down if it was the “memorable” woman at my garage sale….

    Will you take 50 cents for your precious first born?
    Her eyes just don’t sparkle and her smile’s rather worn.

    Ha! I sure hope my garage (garbage?) sale days are behind me now!

    Great job with this topic, you!!! I

    • Thanks Stephanie. And I hope you don’t mind my shameless self promotion but after trying with this subject for so long, and then finally getting the inspiration from you, I just really wanted you to read it, so thank you so much for actually taking the time.

      I love your little two liner there. It could knock all these lines I wrote out of the park!!

      Yes, really hope your garage sale days are behind you too and all is well with the move.

  13. Pingback: Grammatically Yours: A Guest Post by Marissa Bergen | Lipstick and Laundry

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