Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bermuda yard sales.

This Saturday, I hosted a yard sale, along with several other neighbors, here at our condo complex.  I am a huge yard sale junkie, from years back, and I credit that to Jeff's mom - Grandma H.  I think she turned me on to them and I haven't looked back since.

I've hosted a few of them over the years, most notably the epic moving sale we had before we came to Bermuda.  The best "sale" of the day, actually involved a neighbor returning $300 he had found stuffed in one of Jeff's old opera textbooks.  Nice one.

Yard sales in Bermuda are another species from the jam packed ones I'm used to back home.  I think part of it is that the culture in the US is definitely more disposable.  We buy things, they break, we toss them.  We replace them with cheap goods fromTarget and Walmart, and toss out clothes, books, shoes, broken furniture, etc.  If we are ally feeling charitable, we call one of the Veteran donation centers and have someone pick up our crap off our front steps.

It's different here on Bermuda.

I don't claim to be an expert, having lived here for only a handful of years.  However, the attitude here is notably different.  Yard sales aren't full of things to be had for cheap.  Sometimes you get lucky and find some stuff.  But most locals hold on to things.  They repair them, they repurpose them, they pass them down to friends and family.  Stuff here is EXPENSIVE.  This is not a throw away culture.  You make do with what you have because the stores aren't always reliable for finding what you want, and importing things here is costly.   If you travel you can pick up things, but then you have to pay 25%  duties on it.

Your best bet here is to stalk the "moving sales" or "leaving the island" sales that crop up when ex-pats go home.  To save costs on the containers, many people will unload lots of things.  Its not cheap, but it is cheaper than buying brand new.

One of the neighbors joining the sale on Saturday is moving, and she has listed lots of stuff.  Because I placed the ad, I have been getting lots of emails about it.  The rest of us are getting rid of odds and ends, kids clothing, women's clothing, stuff that is occupying precious space... I'm trying to clear out the closet in the guest room so I can make it a proper nursery.

Bye bye Karl Lagerfeld tuxedo that Jeff wore to our wedding.  He hesitated when he saw it hanging there this morning .., I could see him picturing  whether there would be an occasion to wear it again... Or fit into it again.

My rule of thumb, "if you haven't worn it in 2 years, let it go."


We had a lot to let go of.  This is just a fraction of what fit on the front steps.  The rest is tucked into corners and spilling out into the driveway.

Doing the sale with neighbors definitely is a good idea.  We had quite a bit of traffic.  The kids helped out by selling baked goods.


Nutella bites

and a new recipe, courtesy of Bakerella - Lemonies!

The baked goods went faster than most of the yard sale stuff, which I was practically giving away.

The kids also helped out by buying things off of the neighbors' tables. Three Christmas wine glasses, anyone?

Having a yard sale takes a lot of work.  I've been setting things aside for months now, and organizing them.  There's also the cleaning, and lugging tables and heavy items up and down stairs.  There's putting the word out, which is a little harder here for some reason.  I used the local version of Craig's List, which is called "EMOO," as well as posting it on facebook and notifying friends. 

All in all, I am glad I cleared out some space and made a little money.  The remainder of stuff I am giving away via Bermuda Freecycle, donating to friends, and local charities.  I think some of the BDA mentality has rubbed off on me - I hate just throwing stuff into the garbage. 
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