Who Stole Our Signs?
The Liberty Ridge Garage Sale was, for most residents, something of a bust. To begin with, even though the notice of the planned neighborhood-wide sale was mailed to everyone, many people seem to have failed to notice it; and when they did, they weren’t sure that it was actually going to happen. The management company received about a dozen responses, but in most cases those submitting the forms never received a confirmation.
Others seemingly got wind of the planned sale, but weren’t sure who to ask; a question about it was posed on the NextDoor site, and answered by someone who also wondered if it was happening before I could give it a definitive answer (and even then I was still uncertain as to whether it was both Saturday and Sunday, or just one day).
But perhaps the most important problem was that someone stole our nicely-printed signs. The management company had ordered up ten of them, in bright yellow, and put them up early in the neighborhood, in part in order to get the word out. A day later, they were all gone. Someone had gone around and removed every single one.
So even though these signs cost us about $25 each, we had the management company order another round — most of which were also stolen when they went up on Thursday. (Three of them survived, apparently because they were in out of the way places that the thief did not see, including two at the top of our street, Revere Road / Drive.) Compounding this problem, only one ad got into the papers, and other notices that should have posted online didn’t get in until we took care of it the night before.
The whole thing probably would have been a complete failure except for the fact that we resurrected some of our old hand-painted signs, and put them in various places on Friday evening. These are so ugly that no one would bother stealing (though we did get one complaint that they were defacing the neighborhood). Still, however, except for our own sale — which most of the signs pointed to — most people I spoke to at around 2:30 in the afternoon reported a very slow day, and said they had sold next to nothing.
A few other things were missing that might have helped. In past years we published maps of the neighborhood, with the sales marked. This time, there was no way to know if there was a yard sale in a particular court without entering that specific court, since only a few were visible from the road. Even small signs, or balloons, or other markers would have helped people know where to go. In the past we’ve also put up many more signs, and some of them even as far away as Martinsville Road.
It’s unfortunate, and we apologize to those who were disappointed. Perhaps next time we’ll be better organized; but it’s a time-consuming and largely unrewarding activity. For most people it may be easier to give their surplus items to charity and claim a tax deduction for their value.
In the meantime, if anyone saw anyone removing the original yellow plastic signs, please let us know (you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org); we’d love to nab them for this mean-spirited action. Thanks