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Old 05-18-07, 12:45 PM   #1
Michael Corvin
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Quick: I need Yard Sale advice

Let me start by saying I hate yard sales with a passion. I'd just as soon donate the shit we have than waste my time bartering for nickels and dimes on a pretty day. That being said, my wife is hell bent on having one tomorrow. It is a big neighborhood yard sale thing, so we didn't need to advertise in the paper, we should be good in that regard.

We've gotten everything tagged and ready to go, I just need some quick last minute advice. How much money/change/type of change should we keep on hand?

We've never done this before, any other advice?
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Old 05-18-07, 12:50 PM   #2
superdeluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Let me start by saying I hate yard sales with a passion. I'd just as soon donate the shit we have than waste my time bartering for nickels and dimes on a pretty day. That being said, my wife is hell bent on having one tomorrow. It is a big neighborhood yard sale thing, so we didn't need to advertise in the paper, we should be good in that regard.

We've gotten everything tagged and ready to go, I just need some quick last minute advice. How much money/change/type of change should we keep on hand?

We've never done this before, any other advice?
Depends on what you are selling. If its odds and ends, i Would say have 3-4 20's, 3-4 10's, 5-10 5's, maybe 30-40 in one's and a bunch of change.

Since you are having a community sale this might be worth while to actually make some money.

BBQ hot dogs/sausages, with soda's and chips for 1.50-2.00$ Go to costco, Buy giant packages of sausage and mini chips/canned sodas. And start selling those.

These community things are BIG yardsale business, And doing the yard sale thing is HARD work, people drive around in giant complexes, and will get hungry shopping.

Also depends on how big the community is.
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Old 05-18-07, 12:53 PM   #3
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You wouldn't happen to be selling a statue of a golfer, would you?
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Old 05-18-07, 12:54 PM   #4
Brian Shannon
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I have done a few so I can give a few tips.

Have one dollar bills (20) and quarters (.25). I price things in these increments so I don't have to make much change and can combine or round prices easily.

Haggling is to be expected but ask yourself if you really want to get rid of the stuff. A few dollars is better than nothing.

The "pros" will show up before your start time, this is both a good and bad. If you have something they want they will take it but may not offer what you want.

When done, throw the stuff away or donate it. Don't take it back into the house!

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-07, 12:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bronkster
You wouldn't happen to be selling a statue of a golfer, would you?
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Old 05-18-07, 12:59 PM   #6
Michael Corvin
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Well my wife works third shift and won't be getting home til 7:30-8(we will miss the 'pros') so it is up to me to drag all the shit out and get started. Oh and I have a 10 month old and a 2 year old to watch as well. I think that's what's bugging me the most.

So if it was planned better and if she didn't work, I would go all out with food and whatnot. At this point, the bare minimum is about all I'm willing to put in given the circumstances.

We actually have a bunch of $10-$20 items. I have about 75 DVDs I'm going to put out as well. As for the neighborhood, I'd say it is probably a 4x3 block radius of houses involved, give or take.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:01 PM   #7
superdeluxe
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Oh.

Also don't price things to high. You want to get rid of stuff, and make a little something, but this isnt ebay.

When I go hunting for these community sales. I've seen people price USED children's clothing at 3-4$ a piece. USED.

They didnt have any people buying really..

Then you had another area..where they had a nice leather chair for 10$, and a outside patio table for 10$
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Old 05-18-07, 01:03 PM   #8
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I agree about pricing. Price to SELL, that way you won't have to haul as much to Goodwill afterward.

Be ready, because some of those people will be banging on your door at 6 AM. When my ex and I had a sale like that, there were people in our yard before it was even light out yet. It was like Night of the Living Dead .... every time you looked outside, the zombies were closer to the house.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:05 PM   #9
superdeluxe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Well my wife works third shift and won't be getting home til 7:30-8(we will miss the 'pros') so it is up to me to drag all the shit out and get started. Oh and I have a 10 month old and a 2 year old to watch as well. I think that's what's bugging me the most.

So if it was planned better and if she didn't work, I would go all out with food and whatnot. At this point, the bare minimum is about all I'm willing to put in given the circumstances.

We actually have a bunch of $10-$20 items. I have about 75 DVDs I'm going to put out as well. As for the neighborhood, I'd say it is probably a 4x3 block radius of houses involved, give or take.

Hrmm okay. Food might not be the best idea in terms of trying to make money.

Also, make sure you have alot of reading materials. Mini-dvd player to watch movies/DS lite etc. It can get slow on occasion heh. and even when people are there..you dont really have to watch for people trying to steal. stuff
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Old 05-18-07, 01:09 PM   #10
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My contribution - Expect and be ready for people showing up early, before the advertised start time.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Let me start by saying I hate yard sales with a passion. I'd just as soon donate the shit we have than waste my time bartering for nickels and dimes on a pretty day. That being said, my wife is hell bent on having one tomorrow. It is a big neighborhood yard sale thing, so we didn't need to advertise in the paper, we should be good in that regard.

We've gotten everything tagged and ready to go, I just need some quick last minute advice. How much money/change/type of change should we keep on hand?

We've never done this before, any other advice?

OK.

I've had 2 garage sales, one this year, one last year, and we made some good money with both.

That said:

1) Keep about 50 dollars at least of change. 1's and 5's.

2) Price things to sell. Don't over-price stuff. Small toys should be less than a dollar. DVD's should be around 5. As the day goes on, make discounts on items.

3) Don't bring out all of the big ticket items at once. Introduce a hot item once per hour, so that foot traffic for your sale doesn't die out completely throughout the day. Otherwise, the garage sale hounds will eat up all the good stuff at 7 AM and leave you with the not-so-good items left.

If you have a good-looking tricycle, bring it out around 10 AM. Then bring out that nice lamp around 11 AM.

That way people who drive past your house will want to get out of their cars. A lot of people just do a quick drive-by. If they like what they see, they'll stop.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:16 PM   #12
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Oh, and one more thing:

1) ADVERTISE on craigslist - it's free

2) Have PLENTY of street signs with BIG BOLD LETTERS that drivers can actually see when they're driving 30 miles an hour. Do not put signs with small, light, handwritten print.

I usually take black cardboard and paint with big, white letters. Usually just the words: "GARAGE SALE

"123 SESAME PLACE"

and then an arrow pointing which direction to go"

Prepare about 6 and tape them up on street signs at all major intersections, off-ramps, and such about 1/2 mile perimeter around your house.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:18 PM   #13
Michael Corvin
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Thanks for all the tips. One other factor I didn't mention, we are on a court off a court, so we will probably only have foot traffic off the main road. Don't have to worry about people driving and scoping.

At least I'm guessing. We walked around last year, and that's the vibe I got. People parked on the big road and walked back to the courts since there isn't a whole lot of wiggle room with a ton of cars.
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Old 05-18-07, 01:29 PM   #14
jeffkjoe
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We live kinda off the main path too, but still with the craigslist ads and street signs, we still got a lot of drive-bys.
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Old 05-18-07, 02:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkjoe
Oh, and one more thing:

1) ADVERTISE on craigslist - it's free

2) Have PLENTY of street signs with BIG BOLD LETTERS that drivers can actually see when they're driving 30 miles an hour. Do not put signs with small, light, handwritten print.

I usually take black cardboard and paint with big, white letters. Usually just the words: "GARAGE SALE

"123 SESAME PLACE"

and then an arrow pointing which direction to go"

Prepare about 6 and tape them up on street signs at all major intersections, off-ramps, and such about 1/2 mile perimeter around your house.
And then please, for the love of Jesus Christ, go and take them DOWN after your sale is over.
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Old 05-18-07, 03:06 PM   #16
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A couple of things... do not try to work it by yourself with small kids. If you can find a pre-teen neighbor to help for a couple of bucks then you will be ok. I hate to sound too jaded, but you will be stolen blind if you try to do this without help.

For the DVD's, consider taking them out of the cases and putting them in a cd holder, then when someone buys it you can give them the disk. This way if they steal it you are just out the case, but people can still check out the movies.

For the change I would have plenty of smaller bills because a lot of people start the day out with 20's. Also, as you sell stuff make sure to take money in the house and put it in a safe place.
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Old 05-18-07, 06:25 PM   #17
mickey65
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I'm one of those who goes out to yard sales EVERY saturday. I'm telling you now, you'll be bringing those DVDs back into the house at the end of the day if you only price them at $5 each. Most of the ones I go to - all sell them for $1 each!

I got out shopping for eBay stuff mostly. I don't do badly either!

Don't be afraid to haggle and maybe by the end of the day (2-3pm) half-price everything.

In my experiences out here in Texas at the sales, the hispanics buy up the clothes and kids toys and household items. Hopefully you speak spanish if they come thru your sale!

Yeah, I'm one of the early-birds - but I make it a point to swing by the sales at the time they open and not hours before. That's just plain rude! Plus usually people aren't done setting up and you end up missing out on a few things you might have wanted if it was still boxed up and not set out yet!

Good luck with you sale and hopefully you get rid of most of it!

Just remember, "One man's junk - is another man's treasure!"
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Old 05-18-07, 07:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavismom
For the DVD's, consider taking them out of the cases and putting them in a cd holder, then when someone buys it you can give them the disk. This way if they steal it you are just out the case, but people can still check out the movies.

Good advice. Hell, take out the inserts too, in case danol shows up.
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Old 05-18-07, 08:44 PM   #19
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It was like Night of the Living Dead .... every time you looked outside, the zombies were closer to the house.
So true!
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Old 05-19-07, 01:41 AM   #20
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Price everything in increments of a quarters or dollars. Don't mess with nickels / dimes.

I don't put prices on each item - rather I put similarly priced items together and put price tags just on the larger priced items.

As the morning drags on, drop your prices.
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Old 05-19-07, 06:31 PM   #21
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Just curious as to how the yard sale went. Did you get rid of a lot - and how much did you clear?
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Old 05-19-07, 07:09 PM   #22
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We had our semi-annual community sale today as welland this is the first I have done in a couple of years. I put some stuff out for a few hours this morning. Sold about 10 dvds at $5-$6 each. I wouldn't go any lower as I would rather keep them than basically give them away. Got rid of a bunch of other crap as well. The poster above was right. The Mexicans buy toys, clothes, and baby items like crazy. A few of them piss me off as they go thru your stuff and leave it all in disarray. I actually raise my prices for these jackasses.
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Old 05-19-07, 09:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdollaz
We had our semi-annual community sale today as welland this is the first I have done in a couple of years. I put some stuff out for a few hours this morning. Sold about 10 dvds at $5-$6 each. I wouldn't go any lower as I would rather keep them than basically give them away. Got rid of a bunch of other crap as well. The poster above was right. The Mexicans buy toys, clothes, and baby items like crazy. A few of them piss me off as they go thru your stuff and leave it all in disarray. I actually raise my prices for these jackasses.
Yeah, that was me who posted that. I see that crap every weekend at the sales I go to. I was just trying to be polite!

They do the same thing at the thrift shops too!
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Old 05-19-07, 10:42 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey65
Yeah, that was me who posted that. I see that crap every weekend at the sales I go to. I was just trying to be polite!

They do the same thing at the thrift shops too!
Yeah, damn Mexicans! ;-)

So...HOW DID IT GO?!?
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Old 05-20-07, 07:31 AM   #25
Michael Corvin
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Well, I'm back. Thanks for all the advice. It didn't seem like as much work as everyone made it out to be. We did pretty good. Made $325, and were out from about 8:00 - 2, and still had 75% of what we put out left. So we could have definitely done better if the neighbors had participated(generating more foot traffic to our little court). But overall, not bad considering locale.

A few things of note:
- My mom came over to watch the kids so I could get started without my wife and the hassle of the kids. Big help.

- I had the DVDs marked at $5 but I checked this thread right before I got started, and marked them down to $3 based on the advice. Sold a dozen or so out of about 75. So I doubt I would have sold any at $5.

- Is common courtesy generally thrown out the window during these things? I don't smoke and find it appalling. I find it more appalling when people use my yard as their giant ashtray, especially when they walk right past a trash can for the yard sale. Throw your butts elsewhere people. I don't want to clean that shit up. Fuckers.

- I had a deaf couple buy our dog kennel. That was interesting. They had a blackberry of sorts to communicate. Very cool. Made me wish I knew sign language.

- Friends/Family kept saying baby clothes are huge at these, and we were pumped because we had a TON. Not just that they were all in new condition. A few folks even commented about never seeing such nice things at a yard sale before. Didn't seem to matter, we only sold a handful. Everything was priced accordingly. I think a big factor is that there are tons of kids in the neighborhood already and not a lot of new familys.

- loaded up a bunch of remaining stuff to take to Goodwill. Threw out a bunch and kept some.

- Went and took down all our signs.

- Started with about $80 in dollar bills and $40 in fives. That was overkill. Could probably lived off about $60 total. Only did a few "change" sales. I had a roll of quarters we barely touched.

- I did a no-no and sold an item for half cash-half check. I know I shouldn't have, but the lady looked honest enough and had a nice car. Hopefully it wont bounce.

- Basically took any offer on anything, didn't have a strong attachment to any of it, so whatever it took to get rid of it, I accepted. The only offers I rejected were on video games that I can easily get more for on half/ebay.

It was funny watching people. People definitely have a 'type.' It was even funnier watching people rifle through the DVDs.

- I had three mexican/hispanic families look through the DVDs. Each time they all pulled out 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico' and 'Legend of Zorro.' That Antonio Banderas sure has some appeal. But apparently not enough appeal to warrant a purchase. Got a laugh out of that.

- I had a rough looking white guy full of tatoos pull out American History X and proceeds with the comment: "you're selling this? This is one of the greatest movies ever made!" The guy looked like he could have been an extra in the film. Did not look like a yard sale going type at all.

- old people are cheap. Old guy wanted 4 DVDs(Twilight Zone) and a stack of comics for $6. I let him have 'em.

All in all everyone was very friendly and I wouldn't rule out another one in the future, not anytime soon of course. Thanks for all the help!
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