Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Have a Yard Sale: Part 1

Yard sales are THE BEST!! From a buyer's perspective - you will never find a better deal than at a yard sale. I've managed to find an Ann Taylor sweater for $2 (I get compliments every time I wear it), Claire V. and Vera Bradley hand bags for $1-$5, and Christian fiction books for $0.25/each - score! You can also find necessities. One Saturday morning before my weekly yard sale adventure, my blow dryer started spitting sparks at me - yikes. So I kept an eye out and found one at a church sale that day for $0.50. It would have cost me at least $20 at Wal-Mart. And I like it better than my old one.

I could go on forever -but I won't. This weekend I'm having my own yard sale and it inspired me for this blog. It's a great way to earn some money and get rid of your stuff. Some people think it's not worth the effort, but let's think about this. You drag stuff (that you don't want) out to your front yard, people come by and PAY YOU to haul it away for you. How is that not awesome?

Having been to so many I have seen that there is very clearly a right and wrong way to conduct a yard sale.

1. Price everything. I have a few theories as to why people don't price their "merchandise". a. They're lazy, b. they don't have time (and I get that, really I do), or c. they think if they don't price it, maybe you'll offer them more than they want for it. Riiiiight. That will never, ever happen, so just go ahead and price EVERYTHING. Yes, it takes time, but it will save you from having to figure out how much you want for something 100x over the course of your sale when somebody yells "How much ya want for this?!" Most of the time, if someone doesn't have their stuff priced, I won't even bother asking how much they want for it because I assume they want a ton. They may only want $1 for that box of sparkly antique Christmas balls, but I'll never know and they'll end up taking it back into the house with them.

Oh, and by the way, when you ask someone how much they want for something, for every second they pause, the price is going up in their head. Me: "How much do you want for this picture frame?" Them: "Um... (tick, tick, tick)...$6" Is she crazy?! Me: "Thanks." Put the frame down, moving on...

2. When someone says "Will you take $2 (or whatever price) for this set of Garfield mugs (or whatever treasure)?" your answer should always be an enthusiastic "YES!". The point of a yard sale is to get rid of your unwanted stuff - not to make money. Making money is the bonus. If you turn down offers, you may not get another and you'll end up taking your stuff back in your house where it serves no purpose but to add to the clutter. Repeat after me: "Anything is better than zero."

Females especially are prone to saying things like, "I couldn't possibly take less than $10 for that." Sure you can! If you don't, you'll be taking it right back inside with you at the end of the day. Just sayin'.

3. Most of your stuff should be in the $2 and under range. What? Are you serious? But I paid $55 for that sweater. Um, I don't care and neither does anyone else. Do you know how many times I've heard, Me: "You want $55 for these Harley Davidson boots?", Him: "Well they cost me $150.00 new." Yep, again, I don't care. This is a yard sale. If you want big prices for your name brand stuff, you need to take the time and effort to put it on eBay or Craigslist or some other venue other than a yard sale. By the way - Harley Davidson stuff does extremely well on eBay - as well as a whole bunch of other stuff that I'll share in another blog someday.

4. If you have some things you can get a little more for - like CD/DVD players, almost new lawn chairs, furniture, foot spas, etc., price them at odd numbers. For example, I had a tv with a VHS player that I wanted $15 for. I put $17 on it, so someone could offer me $15. They would feel like they got a deal, I would get what I wanted. Some teenager came by and bought it to play video games on - and paid me the full $17 - very cool.

5. If you're one of those people who thinks this is too much work, here's a tip: You can find little round stickers, specifically made for yard sales, at Dollar Tree or pretty much any office supply store. And they already have the prices on them! Divide your stuff into piles - the fifty cent pile (not the rapper), the $1 pile, etc. and have your kiddos price everything. Kids love to sticker things :) See, this is getting easier by the minute.

6. Always have a "cause". It will help motivate you when you don't feel like messing with it. For example, the yard sale I'm having Friday is to raise money to spend at the outlets on vacation. Previous causes have been - landscape stuff for the yard, highlights for my hair, etc. Yes, the "cause" is usually me. But we're on a budget remember? So having a "cause" makes the yard sale more fun, knowing it's going toward something fun, and it keeps me from steering off budget for the little extras.

This is just the beginning: Part II to come soon. :)

"I like her. She talks about things. We never talk about things" ~Sense & Sensability

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