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    Entries in yard sales (3)

    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

    Friday
    Jun242011

    Daycation and a Rainy Day Today

    A lovely visit with my lifelong friend from southwest Arkansas just ended and we had a great time!  You were introduced to this kindred spirit early in my blogging journey.  She came with her husband, who was here on business, and we had a grand time over a couple of days.  My sister was with us yesterday, and during our ice cream feast (which included one treat of the “gooey, caramely” variety), I was instructed to post a journal on the merits of a “daycation”.

    And it is an experience just as you would imagine.  One day (or two), spent relatively close to home, that does not include thoughts of work, piled up laundry, unwatered gardens, or unfinished projects.  Well, the day did have some thoughts of those chores, because we told ourselves we were not going to dwell on them.  Clever.

    We treasure hunted (stops at thrift stores, watching for yard sales), had an excellent lunch at a local Thai restaurant (a first time experience for one of us and where a niece is working this summer), fabric and ribbon shopped, made a health food store trip, dropped off a gift at a friend’s house (a hand-crafted Weekender Bag), and ran a couple of necessary errands (we were already out).  I’m thinking there was something else, oh yes, the ice cream feast.

    Of course, we were just exhausted and our dessert stomachs were completely empty.  Our fun day included, besides the above, catching up, sharing stories (sad and happy), talking sewing, gardening, homemade granola, kids, and finding bargains.  It was hot, it was super sunny, and our Thai lunch was waning.  On the quest for said “gooey, caramley”, we decided on the local frozen custard shop.  When the lovely treats were handed to us, here is what I heard (I was driving), “It’s Niagara Falls in here, my mouth is watering so.”  “My mouth is doing a happy dance!”  “This is just what I wanted.”  “I could go for what you are having, but without the vanilla ice cream (she’s an exclusive chocolate ice cream lover).”  And so on.

    On second thought, a daycation does not have to include leaving your home area at all.

     

    **There are new articles on all my pages - enjoy.  I’d love to hear from you!

    Friday
    Jun172011

    Gettin' Ready

    Wowser, I am home and lovin’ it!  My family (and maybe all Oklahomans) uses the word piddling, or rather, piddlin’.  Meaning to do this thing, and then that thing, working on whatever comes to hand.  So, I’ve just been piddlin’ since coming home from Texas.  Unpacking, house cleaning, yard work, gardening, planting more flowers, buying groceries, catching up with family, spending time with my man.

    The rest of our extended family is having a yard sale today and tomorrow.  We have one, sometimes two, every year.  A four-family sale is quite the thing to see - spread down a driveway and over the entire front yard.  This one is at my sister’s house.  I opted out, just needing time to piddle around home.  I will probably have one at my house this fall, and those that have leftover things to sell can go another round.  They are all on my mind this morning.  My parents, sister, sister-in-law, a nephew, a niece (maybe two if she’s not working), and my brother will be in and out (work always interferes with fun).

    Preparing for the sale can be more work than the sale days.  We usually don’t have much leftover, so clean up is not too bad.  Well, I guess it is when you are hot and tired.  Sale items to box up, give away, or throw away, tables to take down and return, signs to pick up, money to count and disperse, kitchen to clean (eating goes on all day).  Sometimes we say, “Let’s not go to so much trouble next time.”, or “These sales are more trouble than they’re worth.”  But, with the next change of season, here we go, dragging out, moving around, unpacking, and arranging things ‘just so’.

    We love it.  We really do.  We talk, laugh, and meet new people.  We eat, play, and fan ourselves.  There is bargaining, organizing, and giving away.  There is some good money to be made with these sales, especially if you are selling furniture or appliances.  And we usually are.

    My sister’s family is really paring down and the proceeds from their portion of the sale will go to my niece.  She travels to Brazil in the fall for a year of mission work.  So, if it’s not nailed down or secreted away, it’s getting sold.  Mother’s family has been having garage, or yard, sales for as long as I can remember.  Grandma and my aunt would all take part, and the tradition was born.  I think that everyone should experience at least one sale in their lifetime.  If you live in a large metropolis, it may not be easy, but you should check into it.  Make a little money, share what you no longer need, and meet your neighbors!

    The next couple of articles will help you get ready for your sale.  Gathering, pricing, displaying, organizing.  Come on, it’ll be fun!