Sunday, October 5, 2008

Making More Money in the Yard

Getting our new "married" home settled has taken quite a bit of time and effort. Especially after the arrival of all of the wedding gifts, we had so many duplicate items. In some cases, we had triplicates (his, hers, and ours). That called for another yard sale!

We did better than during the spring yard sale in terms of planning and the outcome. So, here's what worked for us this time:

1. We priced items as we found them. Last time, we made a huge pile of the course of several weeks and declared it yard sale stuff. Then, after it was all gathered, I priced it. That was one huge task that took forever. This time, before it hit the yard sale pile, it had to be priced. Come Saturday morning, we were all set to go.

2. I tried posting on this time, but I don't think it helped. I put a note on that ad about asking for an additional discount, but no one mentioned it. That leads me to believe no one saw the ad there. However, I did post it on Craigslist on Thursday and Friday and then again on Saturday morning. That required being a little creative because last time they flagged (deleted) our attempts to post after the first time because they don't allow duplicate ads. This time, I changed the heading and the wording in the body. All three were posted.

3. We put up more signs directing people to the sale from more intersections. I think that helped because we had a lot more traffic this time. I also made them on the computer rather than handwriting them like last time. During school supply sale season, I bought poster board and glue sticks for super cheap. They came in handy for the signs. We just printed out the text and then literally cut and pasted it on the poster board. They were easy to make and could be read easily on the road.

4. As things sold that were displayed on the tables, I pulled more things out of boxes and put them on the tables. As I emptied boxes, I turned them upside down to make little tables to display stuff. As more boxes emptied, I stacked them under the boxes that were serving as tables so that the items were in easy reach. Basic merchandising: People are more likely to look (and then buy) things that they can easily reach with little effort on their part.

5. I asked people to make offers if they seemed to like something but didn't buy it. It didn't work in all cases, but many people did buy after I said I was willing to give a lower price. It meant getting less money on some items, but if no one bought it, it was probably going to Goodwill for free anyway.

This yard sale, we made $225 and some change. That was much better than the last sale. Michael and I have already decided that proceeds from yard sales and Craigslist sales are going into our travel fund.

I'm already thinking about doing another yard sale in the spring. I know we have more things around here that we don't need/want anymore. I didn't have time to go through everything before this sale.

The stuff that remained from this sale mostly went to Goodwill (a whole car load worth). But I held a few things back that I'm going to try to sell on Craigslist. If they aren't sold by spring, we'll try them at the yard sale again. If they aren't sold then, they are bound for Goodwill. I even salvaged many of our signs to use next time -- with a new date. I'm already looking forward to the next spring sale!

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