Everything is $1. No bags, no haggling, no talking, NO EXCEPTIONS! A Karmel Knocking Around yard sale!

OK…well…we did have SOME bags. But there was not going to be ANY haggling.

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We have been trying to rid ourselves of “stuff.” Melissa is a real minimalist and I, although a past collector of different kinds of “stuff,” I have moved toward lessening the load and clearing space. We have slowly, but surely, been dispensing of things but how to move things quicker?

We both love exploring garage/yard/estate sales. But we both hate the nonsense and the haggling…the badgering…the pestering…that goes along with that. So we decided to see what would happen if, instead of just getting frustrated and tossing everything, to have a sort of Karmel Klearance of sorts – let’s sell everything for just $1 – no negotiating, take it or leave it – and see what happens.

We put an ad in a few places and set the time for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. Especially once the spring comes, Fridays tend to be the big day for veteran yard salers. We were up and ready to set up early, but, alas, not early enough to get our Wawa coffee. Because before we could even set up…before we could even get everything out of the house…some gentleman was already poking through everything…everything…AS I WAS PUTTING THINGS OUT. Right up my…

The early birds were at it early.

Anyway…we had a lot of early birds and a lot was going quickly. The gentleman I already mentioned kept coming back but ran out of paper currency and had to give me four quarters for the last item he took from me.

Oh…by the way…I’m sorry if anything you see in the picture was a gift you might have given me.

Just some of my “stuff.”

By 10:30 a.m. we had sold 150 items. Yes…we had a lot of STUFF out there. And whatever didn’t go, was NOT going BACK IN THE HOUSE! That was understood. So whatever wasn’t sold, was either going to be donated, or put out on the curb for FREE at the end of the day.

It really wasn’t about the money. It was just that, not only did we want to rid ourselves of stuff, we always hope it will go to good use, by someone who really wants it, someone who could really use it. And, of course, it was also a bit of a social experiment, or challenge if you will, to see if we could easily sell off everything if we said that everything was just $1 and no negotiating…take it or leave it.

Even though we had set the time until 2 p.m., by noon, one of us, well I was too, cooked. So I suggested to Melissa, why don’t we just put a canister out to collect the money, and leave a sign out there, much like the Amish families do in Lancaster, PA? The honor system.

Going with the honor system.

We did that and went in to change our clothes to get a bite to eat and run some errands. And, what do you know, two people were buying something and putting money in the plastic canister. We got excited…and it turned out they were Lauren’s friends coming to pick her up. So I wasn’t counting that as the real test.

In the meantime, before leaving the house, I was splitting up the take and my side of the ledger came to 156 items sold…I had $156 in my pocket. There were a few contributions from family but, rather than trying to figure anything out, I just divided it up. I gave my son Eddie, my daughter Beckie, and my sister Audrey $35 each ($105 total) and gave Melissa $50 for her cut as “the house.” She didn’t want it, of course, but I insisted since she stored and hosted, and whatever.

We left to run our errands and stopped to give Eddie and Beckie their cuts. And I texted Audrey that I was leaving her cut for her on the counter.

She responded, “I’m not taking any money. You keep it or give it to the kids.”

I said, “Seriously. Then send it to Michelle (her daughter). Spiritual thing. Good karma.”

Errands. Dinner. Head back to the house and get there at around 7:30 p.m. We pulled up and saw that the canister…was gone. But…

…as Melissa got to the door…there was money stuffed by the door knob. She looked and said, “Wow…$14…someone must have bought some things.”

Signs of an honest person.

A ten dollar bill and four ones. Faith restored in humanity.

As it turned out, it was Lauren who put the canister in the house when she left for work. We realized that there were, in fact, some items that were gone since we left. But not much.

Sitting at the kitchen table, Melissa said, “Here, I feel bad, take the $14. You gave everyone else the $35 and you got nothing. ”

As she handed me the money, the bills shifted, and there, in addition to the ten dollar bill and four ones…was a 20 dollar bill. We looked at each other.

“I didn’t know there was a 20 dollar bill there. I didn’t see it,” she said.

“Oh my God…I have $35 just like everyone else.”

“No…it’s only $34,” she responded.

I put my hand in my pocket, and pulled out the four quarters the gentleman had given me. “$35 Melissa.”


The Universe shows you some great experiences, teaches you some lessons, and sometimes even bestows upon you some kindness, when you are knocking around.

We don’t know who you are, but thank you.

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