The yard sale was a success! Before I tell you about the end results, though, let me go back a few days. I dove head-first into our spare room, which was full of old toys, outgrown clothes and stuff we don't use any more. During Dean's nap on Thursday, Marcus and I attacked our big storage closet and collected NINETEEN boxes worth of stuff for me to sell. The closet is now half-empty and SO orgnaized. You can even open the door without fear of death! Is miracle! Anywho, I had myself a pricing and sorting party on Friday. Here are some things I did to make my yard sale easier:
GENERAL PRICING Instead of pricing each and every t-shirt and onesie with a pink sticker, I separated single items (meaning t-shirts, pants and onesies that weren't part of an outfit) into boxes and labeled each box according to size. Each item in those boxes cost a quarter. This saved me the hassel of trying to figure out which shirt was worth 25 cents more than the other shirts when, let's be honest--in the end, someone was going to offer me a quarter and I was going to take it. This also saved me from having to use the calculator too much. I could just glance, see that these items weren't on hangers, and count up how many quarters these people owed me. I did hang a clothesline between 2 trees, where I hung nice outfits and a couple of Halloween costumes, which cost between 50 cents and $2.
I made 2 boxes of books, one for paperbacks, another for hardcover. Each box had a general price. One of our students was helping me collect money, so this made it easier for us to be consistent. The fact that most of my stuff cost a quarter made it harder for folks to haggle.
I also did a bargain bin. It contained bibs, tiny baby hats, a few rattles and other small toys and some baby socks. Anything from that bin was 2 for 25 cents. WHAT A DEAL!
SELLING IN BULK I had already decided that I'd cut people a deal if they wanted to buy a lot of items. One lady asked how much I'd charge for a big box of baby PJ's. She scored about 20 sets of PJ's in various sizes for 5 bucks. She also left me her number so that after I'd finished, I could call her. She came back and bought every stitch of clothing I had left for her grandchild, who will be born in December. My neighbor came over and bought a tricycle, a ride-on zebra and an entire box of 3-9 month clothes for one! low! price! Good for them, good for me.
NOBODY BULLIES JEN I had my fair share of early-birds, even though my signs and ads all asked people NOT to come early. I had just started to bring things outside around 7:05 when an older couple drove up in a truck. Not only did they insist on standing directly between the box I was unpacking and the table I was trying to set up, they also commented on the price of every single item I pulled out. I should have taken the advice of an article I read and asked them for a $5 convenience fee for letting them shop early. I gave the woman a pretty nice vase for a dollar just to make her go away.
Our baby swing was a constant conversation topic throughout the day. I've already received what I consider to be an excellent offer from a consignment shop, but I figured why not go ahead and try to sell it at the yard sale. One man offered me $10 for it so he could sell it for $15. Um, dude, little tip? Don't admit you're gonna re-sell it for more! One lady plopped her baby in it while she shopped. At the end of the day, it was one of the only items that came back inside, but I'll take it to the consignment shop this week.
I only had one really sketchy thing go down, which was a lady switching price tags. I had just talked with her about whether or not she wanted to buy the tricycle, which she decided to pass on for now. Then she went over to the table, hovered with her back to me for a bit, then came over with 2 items bearing a $1 price sticker. I remember pricing these items at $3. (2 really nice, brand new things still in the original packages) I remember because Marcus and I discussed the price AND I poked around on eBay to see what similar items were going for on there. I said to the woman," Ma'am, these were priced at $3." She said, "No, $1, see?" and pointed out the price sticker, which was barely attached to the package. I said, "No," and pointed to the half-torn sticker on the other side, then looked on the table to find the peeled-off $3 sticker sitting there. I said, "It's $3 if you want to buy it." Then she pretended not to speak English, which was especially annoying, given our previous 5 minute conversation, which was in perfect English. In the end, she gave me $3 for the items.
One woman brought her 3 kids, who were wild from the minute they got out of the car. The toddler, who I'd guess to be almost 2, managed to destroy my clothesline, unpack every single paperback book, knock over the tricycle and throw toys into my neighbor's yard. She kept throwing one hard plastic toy onto the driveway and I finally had to go over and tell her mom that she needed to pay for that item if her daughter was going to play with it like that. It was like she remembered right then that she had brought her children, and she began to yell at her son, who was trying to get into my car. She ended up buying the toy plus all the maternity shorts I had for sale.
IN GOOD COMPANY Like I said, one of our students came and helped me run things, which was great. It gave me another set of eyes and someone to check my math. Dean and I made muffins Friday night, so we sat and talked and had snacks between customers. Marcus stayed inside with Dean, who was NOT happy that his Mama was outside for most of the day. The little black curlydog from down the street came over about an hour after we started and stayed for the entirety of our sale. She sat on top of the ice chest and wooed people with her sweet face. One woman, whose sister was shopping, got out of the car just to pet the dog and ended up buying $15 worth of stuff. Once my assistant left, curlydog sat in the spare chair next to me. She was a great companion, except for the time she jumped into a customer's van and I had to go fetch her.
In the end, I'm thrilled with how I did. Monetarily, I ended up with more than double my goal, which will make for plenty of spending money for BlogHer. The fact that my house is free of so much clutter is gravy. Delicious, greasy, lump-free gravy.