I'm going to have to have a yard sale

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I probably have 100 little items listed online for sale and I don't know how much longer I can list ten things like this and then go thru scheduling and picking up to sell one or two $5-10 things. I'm thinking at this point I've pulled enough out and have enough ready to sell that it's better to advertise a yard sale. I have done that in the past but at that point, I had a garage and could prepare things, get up early and after one cup of coffee just open the garage door.

    I'm not an early morning person and I don't currently have a garage. What are your all's thoughts about a yard sale not starting until around 11:00 am? I figure it will take me a couple of hours to pull all this stuff out of the house and set it up in the yard. Or maybe it would be better to set up difficult child's old game room and put as much as I can out there so I could have it ready. I worry a little though that if I'm at the front of the house telling people to go to the back door, the people in the back room could be walking off with stuff while I'm not watching.

    I'm just not sure about the best way to go about this.
  2. ML

    ML Guest

    Go for it. I wish more people would start their sales later so the good stuff wouldn't be all gone when the rest of us normal rising people got there!
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Are you going to pay for advertising? If so, be prepared for the rude people who will show up atleast an hour or more before you want it to start and turn a deaf ear when you ask them to please leave.

    I had a 8:00 am start one year and as I was setting up at 6:30, someone came up. No lights were on (I knew this would happen so I was working in the yard light). I told husband, don't you dare turn on a light.

    We do get lots of people who open later in the day. Just tell people who try to walk up, "I am not open until __________". They will say, "Oh, I just wanted to look!" To which you say, "I am sorry, but I can not have anyone here while I am setting up." It really is very distracting having people go through while you are still setting up.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Why not start it Friday evening around 4 or 5? Then on Saturday you will know where you want things and you can have them in boxes for each area? It makes morning set up go much more quickly and you have all day Fri to get set up.

    We usually have a box of little toys like happy meal toys that are free. Kids want them and parents often will buy something because they don't want to walk away with a free toy if they haven't purchased anything.

    If you have balloons or streamers left from a party use them to draw attention to your signs and your driveway so that people can see where you are easily. Make sure signs can be easily read from across the street.

    If any neighbors are friendly you might suggest that a couple of you have sales on the same day and share an ad in the paper.
  5. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I have held several, actually we have been gutting the house for weeks, spent hours today purging, and are planning one in 2 weekends from now.
    If it would make it easier for you, I'd set stuff up in the backyard the night before and cover it all with sheets/blankets and then have less to worry about the next day. You can do the balloon thing and a big sign in the yard pointing to the back. This way you could also have a back room of your house ready for things too that you could prepare in advance.

    I dont' know about where you live, but often here by 11a.m. you only have scragglers left over and they are expecting that you are slowing down enough to drop your prices to near nothing. So I don't know about going that route. It may be different where you are though.

    We make a good amount of money by doing a sale every few years. Last time we also did a bbq. We stocked up on burgers, hot dogs, sausages and buns, condiments and cases of pop, all when they were on sale for really good prices. We kept them in the freezer until we needed them and we knew we could eat what we didn't sell over time since they were frozen. I know I couldn't do it alone, my S/O did that part for me while I handled the sales of the things I had put out. If you had a friend willing to volunteer to bbq, it is something that even earlier in the morning, many people are glad for. There are some serious garage salers out there!!! Even if you don't do a bbq, it can't hurt to have a ton of ice cold soda and a sign up, oh and bottled water.

    We had the early bird thing. We posted a 8:30 start time and began dragging stuff out at about 6-6:30 and within 10 minutes people were cruising by even though our advertisements said no early birds please. I just laughed lol. But it taught me to get moving early because even though it is crazy early to drag stuff around and prepare, all those early birds are usually the ones willing to spend on sales and they have money at the start of the morning that might be gone later in the morning.

    Garage sales are a lot of work for sure. But they can be such a quick way of decluttering and making a good deal of money. I think you are on the right track. If you can balance the indoor stuff which you can prep ahead of time, it may help you start your day earlier to catch those avid salers.

    Also, if you advertise for a Sat. and Sun. sale, it gives you two days to sell it all. Again, maybe you can find a way to cover the things you put outdoors in order to keep them safe ahead of time and not have to drag them in and outdoors again??

    However you work it out, good luck with your sale! Try to have fun with it and go with the flow :)
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think the late start is a mistake...

    You want the "serious garage-salers" and they begin cruising the neighborhoods EARLY. And really, who cares if they're early if they're trying to hand you CASH?

    At our last garage sale, our "official" start time was 8 am, but I was out there early, and sure enough, I started selling junk before I even finished setting up. By noon, pretty much everything was gone...

    I did NO advertising. Purchased NO balloons. Gave away NO "freebies"...

    I just set up big items near the street to catch the eye, and cars began stopping almost immediately.

    Shoppers are out there. You just have to be out while they are looking to spend.

    Good luck!
  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Have to agree with Daisy on the early start.

    I too have never advertised really for a sale. I've put a sign at both ends of my roads where they meet a major road, only because I"m kind of tucked out of the way. And I went online to 2 local free classifieds sites and posted it a few days in advance.

    One time when living on a busy road I just threw it all out along the grass lining the sidewalk and was done by 11 or so, sold everything.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well then it's debatable whether or not I can have all this ready to start early Sat. this weekend. I hope so but it will depend on if I end up at VA all Thurs. and Fri. I'll have tomorrow and part of Wednesday but I still have several more areas to clean out, unless I want to have 2 sales.

    I just spent the last hour talking to a lady in the driveway who came by to buy 1 $15 item. LOL! Oh well.
  9. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Be certain to make sure your jurisdiction does not require permits for garage sales. For example: Chicago requires the purchase of a permit, sets the permissible hours, and only allows two sales per year per household.

    Up here where I live now (N. WI), there are no limits and no permits required.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    We have restrictions although I don't know for sure what they are. But when I had a garage sale before (same jurisdiction), someone told me as long as I didn't do it often or sell over a certain about of money''s worth (way more than I would have), or something like that it was ok.

    Question- do most people doing this label the stuff with prices? I have some stickers somewhere just for this purpose but I was thinking about only pricing stuff that I know is worth $10 or more. With the smaller stuff, they can just ask. Is that a bad thing?
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    That isn't a bad thing. I do much the same. I price the bigger ticket items, although in my head I'm negotiable (within reason). People love to haggle, so I usually price stuff reasonable but a tiny bit above what I'd like, therefore haggling me down means I get what I'd wanted anyhow ;).

    I have farrrr too much to label everything for my sale. I'm going to have a huge book section, I plan to just post a sign saying Hardcover $2 each or 6 for $10 and Softcover $1 each or 12 for $10. Same with clothes. There will be sign saying all clothing items $1 unless marked otherwise (I have some very pricey clothes which I'll be putting a bit seperate from the regular clothes, and i'll tag them).

    I also tend to just either put out all the rest and see what people think is reasonable, or put out $1, $2, $3 etc "Sections". But that requires a bit more "work" in putting it all out on display and I doubt i"ll have the oomph (or time) to do that . I've been to many sales where nothing at all is marked and they either just name a price and go from there or ask what I think and usually are happy with what I offer. THere's really no "bad" way to do it. Go with what is easiest.

    I know you really could use the money and doing one sale would probably be easiest for you. I'd say just schlep it all outside and let things go how they go, having in mind prices you'd be happy with for stuff. I've learned that my big things, i can usually stand firm on when I come up with a fair (and firesale type) price. I've also learned that when I have alot of little stuff, I make more if I keep the prices super cheap. I tend to sell alot of my stuff, thus the quantity creates a bigger cash flow. The one time I priced a little higher and wasn't as negotiable, I sold far less. So got more for what I did sell, but got zip for all the leftovers. And that was annoying lol.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Around here Friday and Saturday are big and Sunday after church sales do get some business. I would hire a couple of teens to help for those few hours. You need extra eyes when strangers have access to your property.
    Don't forget to keep your house locked up. Your helpers can have change bags, help set up and down and keep aware of the people. Good luck. DDD
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I'm forming a plan here. LOL! I think I'll clean out difficult child's game room then start loading stuff in there that I want to sell. If it's stuff I'll leave in that room for the sell I can go ahead and set it up, price it or whatever. Then I'll move more in the middle of that room where it will be easy to slide it out onto the deck early Sat. morning. Once I have enough to fill that room and the deck leaving only enough room for people to walk thru, I'll have a sell. I need money soon and the more I look around, the more I think I might have enough to have a sell two Saturdays in a row. And it would be a lot easier on me to get rid of some things I've already pulled out before I try to pull out more. A book section is a good idea. And I love the idea of having a $1 box, $5 box, free stuff, etc. It's pretty quick and easy to walk thru the house and toss stuff into a labeled box.

    Hiring any help is out of the question- I am truly that desparate for cash.

    Also, I'm now wondering if it would help to plan for a Sat morning sell but then list a "sneak preview" sort of sell for Fri. early evening.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    One way to have free help, is to combine sales with a neighbour. You each have your pile, but your eyes are also on each other's stuff too, so you can refer customers to one another if someone says, "How much do you want for this?" and it's not yours. Also you can supervise in case someone tries to sneak something valuable.

    We have similar sales at our church, I've donated stuff to this because I can't volunteer. But I am thinking of combining for a few sales, see how we go.