The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Key Yard Sale Truths: The Top Twelve

We recently held our first yard sale, and here are a few truths we learned:

  • You can find a whole lot of advice on how to price and sell things online. Some of it is very good ... and some is just trying to sell you a product.
  • Advertising via telephone pole with posters is effective, even if the range is limited. Advertising in free online sites and via your blog don't work well, at least not in the last 48 hours before the big day. (Go figure.)
  • Bundling small toys together by theme in large Ziplock type bags and pricing them at .50 cents works like a charm. Bundles sell much better than individual small items. However, expect to run into at least one yard sale customer (God bless his/her heart) who wants only one thing out of the bundle (.10 cents, please).
  • Keep the prices for everything low. NOBODY is going to pay collectibles prices for yard sale objects.
  • Items placed up on tables where they can be seen and/or played with by potential customers WITHOUT bending over will sell much better than the stuff under the tables at ground level.
  • As space opens up on the tables, move things off the ground and onto the tables. They might sell.
  • Newly minted grandparents are GREAT yard sale customers when you have baby and toddler toys.
  • So are grandparents whose children have just bestowed a grandchild of a sex never expected upon that grandparent. Enjoy them, but don't take advantage of their joy. Enhance it if you can!
  • The items you think are your best items and have priced the highest simply won't sell. Examine your motives. Perhaps you don't really want to sell those few things and need to set them aside for YOUR grandchildren (someday, far in the future, God willing).
  • Nobody wants old, useful electronics, even if they still do work perfectly (unless they are strange and quirky toys). Trust me on this. It may be hard to accept if you like to use stuff until it can't be used anymore, but it's true. Toss the old DVD player or VCR ... or leave it exposed the night before trash day out by the curb. If it's free, somebody may take it. 
  • Finally, if your kid catches you explaining some geeky toy to a customer, your loving child will call you a nerd. OWN that title, wear it with pride!
You'll get less money out than effort and time put in, but you'll have a cleaner, more organized house when you are done. Better yet, once your "treasures" have been seen by the public, you'll understand clearly what is treasure and what is trash. We sold about a quarter of our stuff, trashed another quarter, and the other half is cleaned, tagged, and stowed, ready for next year's yard sale, in which we will include items we discovered people were looking for, and we didn't have out, so we can spice things up some more. What are they? That's another story ...

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