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    Entries in garage sale (2)

    Tuesday
    Jul122011

    A Way to Meet Your Community

    Just a few more recommendations for your sale and you’ll be on your way to some extra cash.  If you’ve never been involved in a sale before, or if you’ve never even stopped at a yard or garage sale, you will be surprised how much fun they can be.  Now, please don’t misunderstand, they are also (or can be) lots of work.  And part of that work comes at the beginning.  In my experience, gently used items, well displayed, and priced to sell will not come back into your home.

    I don’t mind digging through boxes at a sale, but if I have to do a lot of stooping, bending, or hunkerin’ down to dig, then I give it up after just a few minutes.  Especially if I’m in the hot summer sun.  Folks will stay at your sale for a longer period if you have most items at table level.  Furniture, large appliances, light fixtures, and etc fare well off a table and arranged nicely in the yard or down the driveway.

    Clothing is easier to look through when on hangers, but pants, jeans, and short are okay folded on a tabletop.  Do take time during the sale to restack, and/or refold, to keep your tables tidy.  Baby, toddler, and younger kids’ clothes also do well on tables (or lidded tubs, upturned boxes, or makeshift tables).

    Group your sale items together - home decor, kitchen items, electronics, tools, men’s clothes, women’s clothes, children’s clothes, miscellaneous, etc.  Provide information (or be prepared to answer questions) on electronics, appliances, tools, and machinery.  Have extension cords ready for those who wish to see the product working.  If something doesn’t work, and you know it, put that on the tag or information sheet.  Price it accordingly and someone may pick it up for their repair shop.

    If you don’t have the original information booklets for your appliances and electronics, make sure you know enough about it to answer your customer’s questions.  Most folks won’t buy such items if they can’t get their questions answered.

    When I stop at a sale, or go into a thrift shop, and find nothing priced, I leave almost immediately.  I don’t want to spend my time tracking someone down to ask about prices.  Give yourself enough prep time to price all items.  Put your prices on stickers (pieces of masking tape, blank stickers) or tie-on tags.  Really, anything that will stay put for the duration of the sale.  Determine your bartering (“haggling” in our family), or negotiating practices ahead of time.  Meaning, will you or won’t you go down on your prices?

    Jewelry can be priced and displayed in small boxes, baskets, or on a separate table.  Placing them in small bags and then pinning them to a board also works well.  Tape or pin linen sets together.  Put sizes on all bed linens and clothing (or be prepared to answer lots of questions).  Group sets of dishes, or glassware, and price as a set.  Keep small items contained in display boxes (shoeboxes are great).  Don’t be afraid to ask your shopper’s children NOT to play with the toys or games for sale.

    A few other considerations:

    • Will you provide bags for your customers?  Start saving your store sacks now.  Small boxes also work well for your customer’s use.
    • Construct a separate space for collecting payment.  A card table set up under a tree or on the porch.  Take your time when adding up merchandise and making change.  Don’t let the long line of paying customers frustrate you into making mistakes.
    • Have a couple of helpers.  Your older children are the perfect choice for sale helpers.  Extended family and friends are usually willing to sit with you and it makes the day even more fun.
    • Ahead of time, gather chairs, yard blankets, snacks, and drinks for you and your workers.
    • The spring and fall months are excellent times for sales.
    • Be helpful, considerate, and friendly.

    As I mentioned in a previous article, we love to visit with those who frequent our yard sales.  We meet new neighbors or have a friendly chat with those we know.  Engaging the shoppers in conversation may provide interesting information, business contacts, or opportunities for service.  The extra income is nice and de-cluttering is great, but there is also much more to experience with a good sale.  Involve the whole family, take the time to prepare, and have a grand experience!

    Companion Articles:

    Yard Sale Post 1

    Kids and Sales

    Tuesday
    Jun282011

    Havin' a Sale

    Well, I’ve been away from the keyboard for a few days, but my mind’s still on overdrive.  I hope you enjoy the new articles on all four of my journal pages!

    So, here is the promised first post on having your very own ‘sale from home’ (click on the linked phrase to read the original article).  I guess it doesn’t have to be from your own personal house—any yard, driveway, parking lot, garage, or patio will do.  Even inside sales are fun!  For those working on cleaning out and getting their lives organized, a sale at the end of your hard work really pays off.  Pun intended.  My articles on organizing your space have some great tips.

    Once you’ve decided to reduce your life’s clutter, there are several options for dealing with that pile (or box, or bag, or tub) destined for removal.  Give those items away, sell them, or trash them.  In the spirit of recycle and reuse, you should opt for the first two, leaving the last choice for the bitter end.  If you choose to ‘give away’, do find a person, family, or other source that can really use what you have.  Community organizations that might be interested are Goodwill Industries, Council for the Blind thrift shop (or other social service resale shops), local hospital auxiliaries, homeless shelters, etc.  Only pass along your gently used items.  Nothing very dirty, greatly broken, or missing parts.  Goodwill and other agencies do use their thrift stores to provide job opportunities for those in need - refurbishing donated items for resale is one of their services.

    Passing along your “no longer needs” while picking up a little extra vacation money is a fun way to spend a couple of days.  There is a saying: “You have to spend money to make money”, but it doesn’t have to be so in this case.  (After a little research, I could find no source for that quippy little business adage)  Spend time and energy?  Yes.  But not lots of money.

    Here is a short ‘To Do’ list that will help you prepare:

    • research your community’s regulations on yard sales
      • contact the city administration offices, Mayor’s office, or local town council
    • set date(s) for the sale
      • talk with others in the area to find out which days are best for sales (Thursday and Friday works well in our area)
    • prepare your items for selling and display
      • tidy, price, fold, hang
    • gather or construct display areas
      • tables of all sizes (borrow what you don’t have), sturdy tubs and boxes with lids, clean tarps or plastic tablecloths laid out on the ground, old doors atop saw horses, etc
      • build hanging racks for clothes (most folks look through hanging clothes better than those on tables or piles on the ground) - ladders, old clothes racks, pipes or poles between ladders, etc
    • configure your cash box or money tray
      • any container with a lid, an old cash drawer
      • start with some change - coins and bills (ones and fives)
    • consider advertising (here is where you may spend some money)
      • signs along roadways and in intersections (check city regulations)
      • newspaper, radio, email loops

    Do not let this list overwhelm you - begin early, stay focused, keep organized.  It can be quite an adventure!  The next article will help you with other preparation and how to enjoy your sale days.