One man’s trash is not necessarily another man’s treasure. A “sale” is a transaction between two parties at a mutually agreed price. The seller’s valuation of the item may not be the same as the buyer’s valuation. The result is “no sale.”

In the auction world, the rule is: “a dime on a dollar” and the auctioneer typically takes a cut of 20 percent. Usually, a good auctioneer can sell three to four items a minute. What is “dear” to the seller has no meaning for the buyer. Consignment shops have a worse problem. They have to double whatever they price an item for in order to pay the rent, the payroll and other costs of operating a store. If they cannot sell an item, it just gathers dust.

The local HELP Center has an even worse problem. At the end of Idyllwild’s annual spring cleaning of Memorial Day yard, rummage and garage sales, it was inundated with leftovers that did not sell. They have to sort through the tax-deductible donations to separate the trash/junk from the salable and dispose of the junk.

The key to a successful “sale” is to price an item so low the buyer never hesitates because it is “such a deal.”

William R. Farout


  1. Dear Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce,

    I’m writing to express the hurt our family experienced visiting Idyllwild on the day after America’s worst racist murders since the Birmingham church bombings.

    There, front and center in your town square, was the confederate flag on prominent display at your central mall’s flag store — for sale I suppose and, this day, given pride of place over all other flags for sale.

    No doubt your store’s owner has a ready answer for complaints of this sort. Perhaps you do to. But on a day and week like this one I have to ask you, where exactly is your conscience?

    Tim Gould