Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yardsaling 101

I wish I had pictures from today. Alas, I do not. However, I have gained a very complete understanding of how the yardsaling community works. In this down economy, I wasn't expecting to see people come out in droves to drop their quarters and dollars in my hand for my junk. Well, junk is a relative term as the majority of what I was selling was nice and usable and could have probably been sold for twice as much on Craigslist.

A month or so ago, I did a yardsale with my friend Sarah. After two trips to her house to drop things off, leaving my home on a Saturday morning a little before 6am with both babies in tow and my husband at the wheel, I was extremely disappointed to only sell $9.50 worth of stuff. We were definitely in the hole when you factored in gas and time. So, I consulted with my local yardsaling professional, Rachael. And I learned a few things:

1st- Many men will come out looking for work clothes. If they are priced right, they will sell. And the old adage "don't judge a book" applies too. One of our "big ticket" items priced in the double digits was the first things sold to a man who had difficulty speaking and a rather rotund belly... he turned out to be so kind and really hilarious!

2nd- Clothes should be neatly displayed on tables or on a tablecloth on the ground. If people rifle through them it is worth your time to go behind them to fold them back neatly and reorganize.

3rd- You do not have to come down on a price if you don't think it is fair. Lots of people will ask just to see and are expecting you to lower it just because they ask. If you stick to your price for the bigger ticket items, you will usually get what you are asking for. I got $10 for my counter top grill, $5 for my crockpot, and $3 for my chopper.

4th- Furniture is a hot item. Today, a glider was the biggest reason that people dropped by. It had sold first thing, but the buyer left it until she could get a vehicle to pick it up in. I learned that we could have asked for three times as much and people would have been happy to pay.

5th- A happy, positive attitude is more likely to get your stuff sold than just sitting there watching your customers shop. All morning, I greeted the folks that were stopping by, asked them how their morning searches had gone, found out what they had paid for certain items, and told them that I would be glad to help them locate specific items they were looking for.

6th- Just because you say your yardsale begins at 8am with "no early birds" does not mean you will not be bombarded with those early bird. Instead, make it a point to be ready to go by 7am and you will be surprised at how quickly your stuff sells.

7th- Resonably pricing items is the quickest way for things to sell. According to my friend, T-shirts will sell at 25cents, name brand jeans at $2, while blouses, shorts, sweaters and others will sell around $1. If you are like me, I remember approximately what I paid for those things and it is hard to let them go for that price. But remember that selling something for less than what you had anticipated is better than selling nothing at all!!

8th- If you are ready to get rid of everything, go ahead and mark everything down half price by 11am. According to Rachael, it makes things really go! I'm too cheap and would rather try again at a different time in a different location. But I bet I could have made a few more bucks today if I had...

9th- A community yardsale brings in many more prospective buyers than a single yardsale. So, talk to your neighbors and plan ahead!!

10th- You will be surprised at how many folks you run into that you know! So smile and have a great time! I found a long lost coworker, an old neighbor, and a former saleswoman that I used to do business with. It's a super small world...

After following these tips, I made a grand total of $62.50 today... a vast improvement over last time!!

Do you have any yardsaling tips?? I would love to hear them!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that things went better for you today!! One thing that really helps us is both the location of the sale and the fact that it is at least an annual event. People tell us they wait for our yard sale to show up in the paper! And it's not like we just have all this awesome's just the same old purge every year :-)