Sunday, May 9, 2010

Yard sales and resolutions

I am very happy to report that I fulfilled one of my New Year's resolutions this past weekend. I had my first ever yard sale. It was a weekend with beautiful weather -- great, and I made a few extra dollars -- really great, and it's over -- really, really great.

It is wonderful to be able to check off a couple of my resolutions. I can only half check off the one about cleaning my basement, but getting rid of so much stuff made a real difference in my sad and overcrowded basement.

We started on Friday, which was by far the best day. We were busy all day long and sold about half of what we had -- at least -- on that day. Saturday was just OK but I think most people were out shopping for Mother's Day and couldn't be bothered to stop at yard sales.

I also think pricing things low and being willing to come off of most prices made a difference.

I was very lucky to have help from my husband on the days before the sale and my son and his wife and daughter came the night before to help me with pricing. I really didn't have any idea about pricing and she is an expert in that area -- a great person to know (her parents also lent me their tables and I really appreciated that!).

The most helpful person was my sister who is a great salesperson. She is so good and was so good to help me. She is my gardening partner and I really appreciated having her for a yard sale partner!

After having my first yard sale I do have some suggestions, though I am no expert:

To have a covered area, like the garage is wonderful when the weather is hot, as it was on Friday. It is always a plus when you don't get sunburned.

Having tables or shelves is very important. Even though I did have things on the floor, the things on the tables sold much better.

People are really looking for old furniture items. I didn't have much furniture, but it was obvious that was what many folks are looking for.

Don't price anything less than a quarter. If something should be marked less than a quarter, give them two or three items for a quarter. It is too hard to make change.

You NEVER know what people will buy. I sold an old lawn mower that didn't work. I made sure they knew it didn't work -- twice -- but they bought it anyway. This item was worth parts so it was good for that customer.

If something didn't work, tell them up front. Be willing to plug things in to let them know if they work. You don't want people to come back later. (They do know where you live!)

Now, I am taking my "stuff" over to my sister's to sell it in her yard sale. I will go over to her sale and help her there. It is a good idea to trade out work like that and it was fun being with her and working side by side.

It was nice to greet the people as they came up. Everyone was very friendly.

Think safety first: I don't think it is a good idea to be alone while having a yard sale. We kept our money in pouches around our waists.

Many customers told us they appreciated that we advertised it in the paper. We also put up signs at the entrances to our subdivision and afterwards took the signs down.

Would I do it again? Yes. I think it was positive, we made a little money and had a good time together.

Next, I hope I quickly get my basement in order.

1 comment:

  1. What an informative post! I'm glad to hear you had a successful yard sale.