Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Deviance For The Lord

We had a church sale this weekend. For those unfamiliar with the concept, our church put a request our for unwanted goods to be donated to the church. They would clean them up and sell them in a one-day event to raise some cash to help pay for repairs and other church-type expenses.

The result yielded two entertaining things for me. The first is that people are hilarious when it come to donating things to this kind of event. Several times a year our city has a bulk pick up day for large trash items that aren't usually picked up. Those that miss these days apparently feel the need to bring these items to the sale. Among the useful items like books and dishes we received such gems as a 50's style hair dryer, broken pool cues, a 3-legged desk and computers that any museum would be proud to own.

The second entertainment to me is the same one that is consistent with these kids of sales. No matter if it is a church sale, yard sale or any similar event, the bargain hunters emerge. This delightful creature is less concerned with acquisition of actual useful goods but is more concerned with getting a bargain. They would purchase any items that had a particular use so long as you will "cut them a deal" on it. We actually had people bargaining over items that were tagged at 25 cents. You can't actually do much with this sum of money aside from placing a phone call, but apparently these people had to stretch them.

As is typical of me I feel the need to play these people. Haggle at a church sale that I am present at with discretion folks. When asked about deals I would simply up the ante. At 25 cents for a paperback novel (typically $7.00 new) I had people asking would I take 20 cents. My response was that we could only do that if they were buying 10 or more books. This basically made them take the 3 books they were holding and grab 7 more. I mean, you can't walk away from a bargain like that can you? This mad a 75 cent purchase into a $2.00 purchase. The old folks at the church were howling with glee as I shifted the piles of crap into visitors' cars.

The best part came when we had everything piled up for donation to shelters, which is what we do with unsold goods at the end of it all. Some guy pulled up and asked how much for the books we had left. There were about 120 books left and we were dumping them for nothing, but if this guy was going to pay I was going for it. When the dust had settled I had loaded the books in his SUV and relieved him of another $20.00. It's fun being me sometimes, but at least it's for a good cause.


Blogger Armans said...

I find it funny (but also somewhat sad) that someone would have to bargin for something as cheap as a quarter. I mean, it's a sale to help a church for crying out loud - be a little generous...

Good job on moving the materials and getting your money's worth out of them though.

10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

People always use them to get rid of stuff that would be better off in the garbage.

11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Katya said...

people always want something for nothing...when its for a good cause i don't mind, i love buying old paperbacks, and 25 cents is a steal...some people are so tight...lol


12:46:00 PM  
Blogger blue2go said...

25 cents is already such a good deal, but you're right, certain people LIVE for deals. So they can brag about it to their friends, I think!
You did really well in getting more money for them!

12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Good job RP! Sounds like it's fun being you, too.

I haggle if I know it's expected. Let me know where and when for the next church sale, and I may try to get some 15 cent books from you. ;)

(P.S. The guy probably took the books to used book stores. Probably not worth the trouble for the church volunteers, but I would guess he made a profit off them.)

1:32:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...


I recognize that computer from my high school! Cheap bastards!

1:32:00 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

20 bucks for 120 books. Good deal, but did he even look at the books he was buying?

If I was there I probably would have bidded $22.50.

You never know what you could find.

2:36:00 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

That's pretty funny, especially considering the venue. I'm not a bargainer because I hate to haggle, but I do admit I sometimes think I can relate to the mindset of these people. Ok, I guess I'm just a cheap bastard.

2:56:00 PM  
Blogger deni said...

I think that is so funny when people haggle over a nickel.

Really, I just wanted to stop by and tell you thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such an encouraging comment.

I really appreciate it.

4:55:00 PM  
Blogger Hick said...

I love this post. You make me laugh the way you just go for it.

10:56:00 PM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

I echo the first comment...

However, I would be saying something like..

"hmmm.. 20 cents? You know you're trying to cheat the Lord, right? When you go screeching off the highway and you cry out to Him to save you, do you really want Him to barter?"

1:08:00 PM  

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