Suz, the GREATEST GARAGE SALE SHOPPER IN THE WORLD and I ventured out Saturday morning to see what was shaking with garage sales.
She can find anything. I mean it. A genuine David Yurman bracelet in a pitiful house with
nothing but Tupperware lids for sale? She found it.
On our route is the Mean Ladies Church. These gals put on a sale twice a year or more.
We go with reluctance. MLC breaks all the rules for a successful church rummage sale.
First, they are crabby and disorganized. They put out the same stuff every sale. Instead of getting money while the sale is on, they keep the same prices. After the sale, they box up leftovers for the next sale. Don’t do this. Get your money while you can. Sell if off. Leftovers don’t make your money. They operate from a spirit of scarcity.
They’d do better if they sold everything for .50 a bag the last hour of the sale. Then, they could ask for congregational donations to replenish their merchandise. If your church has regular sales, people know to donate whenever they clean closets, etc. The MLC put raggedy moldy stuff back into roach infested boxes to store at the church for the next sale. Yuk. The church is in temporary quarters after the hurricane so it makes no sense to keep junk. Sell it! Create good will as a generous church sale.
It’s like selling old bras and drawers. What’s the point? If you see anyone looking at a table of old underwear, give it to them. If people are buying used underwear, they need underwear. Give it to them. The Kingdom still has a chance to come in whether you make .25 on a worn out bra or not.
Basic Concept (write this down): Every time a person enters your church, you are given an opportunity to welcome them to your community of faith. Having a rummage sale? Be SURE to have information about your faith community available. Times of service, children’s programs, mission opportunities, how to contact your pastor—put all this in visiting hands.
We Presbyies have mixed feelings about rummage sales. One groups says that regular tithes and gifts pay for all programs. Particular programs are financed by the entire congregation through holy stewardship. Another group says, "let the kids raise money for their programs with rummage sales and spaghetti suppers." I say, fully fund youth ministry so that kids can attend conferences and concerts. If the kids want to give money to Heifer International or Habitat, have them earn the money at home.
The MLC holds on to stinky clothing, moldy Reader’s Digest books and tupperware lids month after month. They don’t lower prices, they don’t welcome shoppers and they take forever to add your money so you can run to the next sale.