The professionals started rolling in at 5 a.m. Sunday, three hours early, to scan the massive piles of castoff items from Holmdel basements, attics and garages. They were followed by people looking for a steal, buyers for non-profit organizations, and the "just-looking."
By 11 a.m., more than 500 people must have cycled through, said a policeman. Plenty were ferrying piles of stuff back to their cars, parked along the service road.
Presented for sale outside the First Aid building at Crawfords Corner Road were heaps of items that represent the good life. There were ski boots and bicycles, and a meat slicer, an enormous wooden hammock, multitudes of hand-woven baskets, and an electronic name-the-U.S. Presidents game for little children. There was a chandeliers and suitcases, high heels, golf clubs and espresso sets. It took a massive effort by the entire squad, their friends and family, and their Explorer volunteers to take it all in over three weekends, price it to sell, and gather up what did not move by the end of the day.
"We haven't totaled up the final count," said sale organizer Mike Nikolis, the man in the black cowboy hat. "There's still a couple of items on hold for pickup and some money due in, but we did over $12,000 for the day. Not as good as two years ago, but this year we didn't have any of the big ticket items some people were looking for."
Nikolis said its cost $3,000 to execute the sale, when costs were factored in such as advertising, food and drinks for members, tables and tent rental, and the extra tarps needed to keep things dry in the night. Although the skies never stopped looking threatening, mercifully it never did rain on the day of the sale, which would have scattered the customers and soaked the merchandise.
Items that did not sell were sorted for donation or the trash, an exercise that took many hours. Volunteers were at the station until 10 p.m. on June 12.
"Apparently, not too many people want to invest the time or money in repairing a broken exercise bike," said Nikolis.