Gabriel has been saying for a few days now that he wants to hold a garage sale. He wants to sell some of his toys to raise money to buy new Lego kits. I put him off for a few days, asking him questions like what he was going to sell, how much he was going to charge, when he would set up this sale and who he'd sell to.
But today there was no more putting him off. He'd gathered his sale items, made price tags for everything, made a sign that said "Small Garage Sale Today," and then asked for help with a table. I told him to use our plastic kids' picnic table -- it's his garage sale, why should I do any heavy lifting?
And he did. He set up the whole thing single-handedly, then was open for business all afternoon in our front yard. He even had his wallet and a calculator to make change.
He was completely unswayed when I suggested that his items were a tad overpriced. $57.50 for a box of used Snap Circuits, with missing pieces and a tattered manual, was about $50 more than I'd ever pay for something that cost about $60 new. His Lego cars, obscured by the Snap Circuits, were all priced at over $7, more than the kit costs new. He absolutely would not drop his prices.
He did accept other advice of mine, however: he made his Small Garage Sale sign lettering more visible, and used tape to keep his prices from blowing away. I explained to him that at garage sales, people often negotiate, which he was shocked to hear. "At Toys-R-Us, the price is $5.99 no matter what!" As gently as I could, I warned him not to be disappointed if he didn't sell a lot today; our street doesn't have a lot of traffic and Sunday afternoon past prime garage-sale-shopping time.
He did attract one customer though. Julian bought 3 items that he could easily have found under the couch tomorrow anyway.
A neighbor took pity on the boys and "bought" two oranges off our orange tree for $1 though. I took tremendous amusement, and some pride, from all this, while relishing the value in the lesson. Still, I am his mother, and went out to put sunscreen on him and bring him some apple slices and ice water.
Gabriel said later, "I wish I were rich!" No doubt about it, we have a budding capitalist on our hands.