Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows what the dreaded tire kicker is. Are you one? Maybe. Some will say they are the discriminating shopper, who takes their time, others will say there the person looking to get something for nothing. A tire kicker is a person who will come into a store, look at an item ask a million questions, and then leave sometimes coming back three or four times before they purchase if they eventually do.
We are all tire kickers to some extent, and it is probably a good thing we are in todays economy. A person has to check and double check a price sometimes, especially if it is a large ticket item like a car or major appliance.
Interestingly enough, the rare tire kicker has begun shopping at garage sales, they will come look at an item and then come back once or twice. The problem with doing this at a garage sale is all too often the item is gone by the time they finally make up their mind to purchase it.
For several years now we have held an annual garage sale on Memorial Weekend. Why? Well because it has always been a very good weekend to do this. When one lives at the shore, quite simply the “Bennies” arrive in droves and can't help but shop.
I was very curious to see the tone and flow of business this year, for several reasons. Garage sales are at the bottom of the food chain as far as retail goes. It is when most people try to get rid of some stuff they have had hanging around in the hopes that someone else will want that stuff.
The other reason is I watch the trends in sales and over the last several years what I have noticed is people are being far more cautious with what they spend. They are coming out, kicking the tires but not spending, the market has changed from wants to needs. Most people are buying what they need.
The news media is full of people desperately chirping and trying to convince us that the economy is recovering, for me at least that isn’t what this kind of buying is telling me. People are still worried and being careful. It is hard not to wonder if the the media doesn’t think we do not have an ounce of common sense.
There are always people looking to buy used items, it is frankly human nature. Why pay full price when you can get a bargain, right. Who hasn’t at some point in their life, had to watch what you spend, whether its a young person getting their first apartment and trying to furnish it inexpensively or if you're an older person just looking for a bargain. We can now include the tire kicker into the equation. Yes they have arrived on the garage sale scene, so sit back and be amused I know I am.