Today I created my very first Craigslist curb alert. More accurately, a friend created one for me. For folks who don’t know what this is (as was the case for me before today), a Craigslist curb alert is a notification on the website about garage sales. In preparation to move to Wisconsin I’m putting the Minneapolis house on the market, and step one is to clean out nine years worth of junk from the basement. A friend informed me that 90% of “junk” would be snapped up by others if I put it out for free. So I gave it a try.

The first customer arrived 15 minutes after the announcement was posted, and he was followed by a steady stream of others…and the first guy returned an hour later (!). When I left for the airport two hours after the announcement was posted 80% of the items were gone; maybe when the friend takes in leftovers tomorrow his predicted 90% mark will be met.

The most interesting thing about the curb alert? A very rich assortment of people picked up stuff. There were recent immigrants who walked over from a nearby public housing project, as well as people rolling up in BMWs. There were blacks, whites, Latino/as, and Asian Americans. Children hauled items alongside the elderly. The scene was a little United Nations!

One family tried to give me $5 after taking several items. I hope I did not violate some Craigslist rule by refusing it. I was just happy that I was saved a trip to the city dump!