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Hi, Sharks. My name is Marshall Windbag the Third, and today, I want to talk to you about an amazing investment opportunity.

This isn’t some get rich quick scheme, but it also isn’t some get rich slow scheme. I guess it would be best described as a “maybe probably get rich at some point” scheme.

Yard sales. We all see the signs, but most of us are unwilling to go out of our way to check them out. But maybe we should! You don’t need to be a world class economist or Norman D. Rockwell-efeller (patent pending) to know the importance of real estate and the American Dream.

Let me ask you this: Who usually runs yard sales?

My observations tell me it’s everyday people looking to get rid of some stuff—those who are willing to get less than what it costs, just to de-clutter. They aren’t usually super-savvy businesspeople who have a mastery of professional non-gendered pronouns like you and I. Also, anecdotally they are usually rundown, either by the accumulation of life’s small disappointments or by a long day of haggling over the pricelessness of nostalgic junk.

Maybe you’ve picked up the trail here, but if not, I’ll make it clearer. There is a great, wild potential for major investment plays at nearly every single yard sale in America.

Now let me ask you another question: What is the best way to make money in America?

Not counting stealing from impoverished groups, grifting from the less fortunate, taking advantage of systematically instilled gaps, cheating the common person, playing the lottery, and running big pharma?

Without a doubt, the answer is real estate! Ask your certified financial advisor and they are legally obligated to tell you this truth, so long as you ask it in that exact way.

Real estate values in “good neighborhoods” are a can’t miss proposition! BUY LOW! SELL HIGH! HOLD MEDIUM! Well, have you read the headlines recently? It’s common knowledge that the Earth’s size is very much a set value. A constant. BUT if you really look closer, you’ll notice that things like global warming are actually taking away livable terra firma from Earth! Any environmentalist will tell you the same thing and then ask you to sign a petition about it.

DON’T SIGN! The play here relies in part on there being less land.

Okay, okay. You’re starting to get it now, I can see it in how quickly you are reading this prospectus. Supply and demand, right? It’s a thing. An important one. Like me, you could have dropped out of econ on the first day and still taken that lesson to the mattress. If there is increasingly less supply of land, demand will grow.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little bit of that sweet sweet land, if you know that demand on it was rising?

So, how do I get the land, and what does this have to do with yard sales?

Well, in a sense, everything. The problem with land is that it often is sold in big, expensive pieces. We don’t need a lot of land because we aren’t developing it! That’s a whole different game that is far riskier in my humble opinion. We ONLY want tiny fractions of land.

Step One: Flattery Will Get You Everywhere.

Amble up to your run-of-the-mill yard sale junk peddlers and see how they’re feeling. “Ooooh lovely dollhouse! My oh my, are those the workout VHS tapes that you used to get yourself into this fine shape you are presenting today?” (Say this no matter what. UNLESS they are morbidly obese and the compliment feels like it may be condescending! In that case ask them about their remaining cookware since they seem to be so versed in delicious foodthings.)

I also like to ask a seemingly friendly and innocuous question like, “How’s the day going? You moving much stuff?” This will help you take the temperature of the sellers, how desperate they are to make a deal for a little more scratch.

Now, you are now equipped to begin expert negotiations.

Start by asking them how long they’ve lived in this home. A great way to do this is by asking something non-threatening such as, “How long did it take to acquire so much of this stuff you got here?!?!” That will give you a sense of their ties to the land.

Take another lap, this is a dummy lap. Find something that says you are to be taken seriously as a buyer and as a generally aware person. Bonus points if it is a lawn care product. Don’t worry, you don’t have to actually buy it. A little more back-and-forthing, and you are ready to pounce. Tell them you really like this lawnmower but can you just try it out for a second and give them some help on the old lawn? After mowing a two-foot-by-two-foot square, now the gamesmanship goes up a level.

You can explain that the mower is certainly satisfactory, but now that you think about it, you’d actually prefer to buy the two-foot-by-two-foot square of land from them. They’ll be taken aback, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it. You can explain that you don’t actually want to take the land away from them and that they can still use it however they want.

Consider it free rent for as long as they own the house. Offer them a couple hundred for the plot, and if there is some hesitation, tell them they can pick whichever four square feet of land they would be happiest to sell. Even the area where the tree’s roots are jutting up or the creepy land under the deck.

Now you’ve got the hooks in.

For a couple hundo they can take the family to a nice dinner or take the kiddies to see a ballgame, and tangibly, they lose nothing. Plus they dine out on a quirky story, for years!

You’ll have to draw up a quick receipt, acknowledging the sale and have them sign it. Maybe take a selfie together as a gag that is most definitely not a gag and very much the evidence you’ll need later. Because, and here is the prestige of it all, when they sell the house, you have a claim to a portion of the sale.

Do you think this is stupid?

Because I have a garage FULL of handwritten deeds to micro plots of land all over the country. Those babies are winning lottery tickets just waiting to be cashed in. And since we already agreed that the lottery is a Top Five way to make money in America, and the No. 1 way without trickery, I’m sure we agree that this is genius.

Thank you, Sharks!


Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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