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My challenge to money man Dave Ramsey

May 28, 2013

yard sale


by Jamie Brazil, Portland
Her blog
Author of Prince Charming, Inc.

I’ve shopped and loved garage sale for decades now.  I’m a self-styled expert in the new-to-me treasure hunt. And I also know there are there are three types of sales to avoid at all cost… plus, I’ve got a beef with author and radio show host Dave Ramsey, who, in my opinion, is not doing his fans any favors when it comes to selling their stuff.

The three types of yard sales to avoid:

The first is the dead person sale.  Meaning the body of the deceased has been in the house a long, long time before it was removed.  Last June I happened upon one of these sales. A gal I know was there first… and went in.  She exited with a plastic Fred Meyer bag full of jewelry – much of it gold – for a couple Andrew Jackson’s.  Her face was flush with excitement.  Mine was barely holding back a gag reflex as corpse-stench stench wafted out the front door.  I have my limits.  Even for a bag of gold I wouldn’t cross that threshold. (Would you?)

The second sale to avoid is the nicotine-stained nursery sale. Cigarette-yellowed cribs, playpens and clothes all cigarette-yellowed.  I’m not offended by this.  I’m heartbroken.

Finally, the third and final sale to steer clear of (again, in my opinion) is the Dave Ramsey sale.

Dave… financial whiz and garage sale guru?  I have nothing against his genuinely helping people to get out of debt, but seriously, based on my real-life garage sale experiences, Dave Ramsey might as well be the Queen of England when it comes to nailing a few signs to telephone poles and hawking cast-offs on the front lawn.

I’ve been to many “Dave-says-sell” and “Dave-says-trim-the-fat” -sales.  (Why why why do sellers brandish the Dave Ramsey name in their ads? It’s not like he’s actually there at the sale! Furthermore, by using his name in their ads it almost seems like the sellers are not taking personal responsibility for selling their stuff!!! “Dave told me to do this! It’s not me, really!” Sheesh, that was a long rant!!!) These days I only accidentally stumble upon “Dave” sales.  When I read the sale ads I usually make a note to AVOID those addresses if I’m in the neighborhood.

Without exception, the Ramsey-ites overprice their stuff. Really overprice their stuff. It seems that, collectively, they have never set foot in a Big Lots, Marshall’s, or even a Harbor Freight.  Discount merchandise?  Really? Or maybe the sellers are just super-attached and conflicted about selling their stuff?

Either way, they are wasting my time and gas.  And they are racking up more debt… debt of a different kind…   the karmic debt of every shopper who walks away pissed off that these sellers wasted their time and gas on stuff they could buy for less at discount retailers.

Though it may sound like I’m coming down on the formerly-prolific-credit-card-spenders, I’m not. I’m taking issue with their leader, who seems to have forgotten to add in lessons on fair market value! Because who really needs an old DVD player priced at 50% of its original value, or $5 garage sale DVDs you can find for $3 each at Walmart?

Sure, I could make an offer. But when the starting price is so high I just shake my head and leave.

C’mon Dave, steer your garage sale sellers to reality this summer!

  
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