I’ve been in a bit of blogging blackout lately. Without boring you with the litany of things that have kept me away from you, my beloved 5 readers, let’s just say I’ve been tied up with ear infections; sleepless, crazed nights with a tormented toddler; a burst eardrum; prepping for a yard sale; getting up before dawn to set up that yard sale; dealing with the crazies for five hours; then cleaning up from the yard sale. Phew. I’m tired just thinking of the past week.
Now that I have my first yard sale under my belt, here’s what I learned:
- People don’t always show up when you think they’re going to show up. After scrambling to get set-up by 7 a.m., a time we were told is prime yard sale time, we waited. And waited.
- Be careful where you put your signs. After the slow start, DadJovi went to check out our four strategically placed signs. He discovered that the sign at one of our prime locations had been doused by pre-dawn sprinklers. Which leads to my next lesson…
- Don’t use washable markers for yard sale signs. I thought I was being cost-efficient by buying markers that I could then pass along to my 2-year-old. Yeah, I hadn’t considered the fact that my yard sale details might actually wash off the sign.
- Actively target moms. In hindsight, I realize I should have put signs up in the parks in our neighborhood. I thought my bases were covered with 4 signs and a CraigsList ad. I set up all this baby and toddler goodness and just thought the moms would storm my yard. They didn’t. It was more like a light drizzle all morning, rather than a steady downpour.
- Sell jewelry. I had not one, not two but THREE cars stop and ask me if I was selling jewelry. When I said no, they turned and walked away without looking at anything. I’m thinking this is the next great History Channel show: Jewelry Hunters.
- Kids make excellent salesmen. I’m not joking when I say that seeing my daughter play with several of her “baby” toys, as she kept calling them, inspired other people to buy them. Use your kids as props!
- Save your big-ticket items for CraigsList or group consignment sales.
I’m a regular at Once Upon a Child and other consignment sales. I know what stuff sells for. Yard salers do not know this. I know that at Once Upon a Child, Bumbos (which retail for $40) go for $25. I tagged mine for $20, thinking that’s still more than I’d make by consigning it to OUaC (you get 40 percent of what they list it for). Yard salers didn’t want to pay more than $5. FINALLY, at the end of the day, I think I got $15 for it. But I practically gave away the exersaucer, Leap Frog table and Fisher-Price Singalong Stage (which, somehow, is going for $55-$135 on Amazon right now because it’s been discontinued!) just to be rid of them. Believe me, I really wanted the Singalong Stage to be my own version of an Antiques Roadshow big score, but I couldn’t bear with putting it back into the garage after we finally got it cleaned out. Yard Salers: 6 Me: 0.
- When someone shows any interest in ANYTHING, make a deal with them. For example, we had a box of unopened wine glasses that were a wedding gift 4 years ago. We already have about 30 wine glasses. We needed to unload this box. They’re big, beautiful glasses. Again, did I mention they were unopened? We listed them for $5 (for 8 glasses). SEVEN people throughout the day looked at them, mulled it over, asked me to open the box to prove they weren’t broken, took glasses out, inspected them, thought about them some more and still didn’t buy them. Five bucks people. Finally, toward the end of the day, some guy looked at them for a second and we pounced. He got them for $3. We got rid of them. Win win. We also threw in a free globe because again, so many people looked at it but weren’t willing to pony up the $3. He touched it, he got it for free.
- No matter how much (or little) you make, at the end of the day, the stuff is gone. And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing.