The second and final day of “Garage Con 2011,” my glorified garage
sale, was another success. I can’t say it exceeded expectations,
but that’s only because the first day exceeded my expectations for
the entire sale. The total sales over the two days were just under
three times the goal I had hoped to reach.
My hard-working son Eddie and I never had more than a handful of
customers at any time during the sale. We didn’t have three dozen
customers over the two days. But we had the customers I had hoped
for, avid comics readers who took full advantage of our low prices
on comic books, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers.
The customers came from Facebook, Twitter, this blog, Craig’s List,
and even the classified “garage sale” ad I placed in The Gazette,
our daily (Monday through Saturday) local newspaper. They came to
the sale from as far away as Columbus. Some of the those who came
on Friday e-mailed me Friday night to ask if we would be restocking
for Saturday. I couldn’t say “no” to such enthusiasm, so Eddie and
I prepared another 14 boxes of comic books, trade paperbacks, and
hardcovers for Saturday.
Scott and Brian, our Columbus heroes, made the round trip both days
and bought vast quantities of cool stuff. When an area mom came in
looking for Spider-Man comic books appropriate for a seven-year-old
boy, they even directed her to the Marvel Adventures digests that
we had on sale.
For my part, I tried to be entertaining without distracting anyone
from the important business of handing me cash. I told stories of
my four decades working in comics and also answered questions.
Important comics issues of the day were discussed. I even told my
Bozo the Clown story, which is something you have to look forward
to later this week...along with my blogs on notorious villains Rick
Olney and Jim Shooter.
At one point, I went back down into the bowels of my basement and
another storage area to look for more books. Alas, I was only able
to add maybe three-fourths of a box to the sale. To uncover more
books will be a semi-major excavation...with the ever-present fear
that, if I don’t move a box correctly, a huge honking boulder will
come rolling down on me.
While “Garage Con 2011" wasn’t everything I’d wanted it to be - my
poor planning didn’t allow enough time for area artists to be part
of the event - I was very pleased with the results. There seems to
be considerable interest in my doing more garage sales. I’ll try
to accommodate that interest as soon as possible. In the meantime,
here are a few notes from Saturday...
The best advice I didn’t take: lift with your legs, not your back.
I’m feeling the pain today.
A couple local customers were surprised I had posted a disclaimer
at the entrance to the garage sale. It read:
Not all comic books and other items are suitable for all ages.
We will be happy to answer any questions as to the appropriateness
of the items being sold here.
We reserve the right to REFUSE to sell items to minor age customers
if we deem them inappropriate to the age of the customers.
All sales are final.
Thank you for shopping with us today.
One customer said she appreciated the disclaimer and being directed
to items suitable for her child.
The saddest thing I heard: an avid Superman fan who, though he buys
every issue of Superman, has only read one issue in over a decade.
He doesn’t think these comics are worth reading and, by and large,
while I have enjoyed a number of Superman comic books in that time
frame, I find it difficult to disagree with him. The character is
deserving of better stories than he’s been getting.
Comic books, trade paperbacks, and hardcovers were the big sellers
on Saturday. One father and son bought over a thousand comic books
from me. DC, DC/Vertigo, and Marvel were our best-selling trades
We sold a handful of VHS tapes on Saturday. Based on the advice of
one of my blog readers, I’m going to hold off putting these tapes
in the trash. He says such tapes are “gold” on eBay and I want to
explore that before dumping what I have.
We didn’t sell a single copy of Shonen Jump during the sale. That
came as a surprise. I’m hoping they sell when I offer them online
in the future.
A number of friends and readers, including some from the comic-book
industry, have requested my sage advice on holding their own garage
sales. While I doubt holding one garage sale makes me any kind of
an expert, I will be writing a future blog outlining what I did and
what I should have done. But I need some time to digest this first
sale of mine before I can write that blog.
The bottom line...my garage sale was a success. I made more money
than I expect and my customers were delighted with their purchases.
It’s a win-win.
I will be doing more garage sales. Doing one as early as September
depends on how well my writing goes this week and if I’m able to do
any meaningful excavation of my Vast Accumulation of Stuff. Keep
watching this blog...and my Facebook page...for information on any
future garage sales.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.
© 2011 Tony Isabella