Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yard Sale = Success!!

I guess this is going to be a bit of a brag post. So if you can't handle it just stop reading now. ;-) But seriously, I am possible becoming irreparably hooked on yardsaling and the such. It's no secret in our circle that soon to be DrOgg and I are always low on cash. It is definitely part of the med school experience and having a child only adds to the financial burden. Of course I worked hard at my full time furniture sales job to support our little family until our sweet girl came along. Since then I have done everything from sell Mary Kay, discover every government program possible that we could benefit from, picked up some odd jobs when available, and of course our family and friends have pitched in. They've done a lot of little things like buying us lunch or giving us hand me downs for our Ogglet. And some bigger ones like my folks buying us tires one year when we really, really needed them, or Dr Ogg's family lending us money until our student loans came. My Sis and Bro gave us their old washer and dryer! I can't tell you how helpful this was because it came soon after we had our little Ogglet and had none at our apartment. But, after moving back to PA I found out that we were going to no longer receive one government program we had in Ohio. This was going to be a huge problem. So I'm back to the drawing board on ways to make $$ that won't take me away from my Ogglet on a regular basis. Fast forward to the MOPS yard sale at our local church. I went through all of our belongings trying to find things we no longer needed but, might possibly be of value. I felt I needed more and asked my girlfriends to contribute items if they could. Only one came through but, she did it in a big way: Thanks Kristen!! She gave me some really nice stuff. On the day of the indoor yard sale I was running a bit late. But, I managed to get all of my boxes to my reserved tables before they opened the doors. I had the tables full of items to display when people started coming in but, was still putting items out for at least an hour so it would have been much better if I had taken advantage of the early set up time they had the day before (but, it was our 5 year anniversary AND the royal wedding ). The first few hours of the yard sale were very exciting with lots of people between 9 and 11 am...lots of sales, too. It really slowed down big time and I still sold items up until the last half hour but, it seemed that it should have opened earlier and closed well before the 2pm scheduled end time. DrOgg came with our SUV and loaded the unsold items super quick. I was so thankful for him since at this point I was pretty tired. I didn't count the money until we got home and hoped I had covered the $20 cost of my table space. All I know was that I had had so much fun greeting lots of people and haggling...being handed cash is always gratifying as well :-P It wasn't until we were sitting down for our late lunch that I realized we had made a profit of $117 !!! So I realize people in this world make much more than this for 10 hours of work but, for a SAHM this seemed pretty good since I was only gone for one day and DrOgg and Ogglet had a wonderful daddy/daughter day together.
On top of this small victory I already sold a bookcase on craig's list for $400 that I had originally purchased for $40! I feel so good that I have already earned the money we would have been short this month due to our move. And I'm even more excited for my streets annual neighborhood yard sale coming up on May 14th. Here's hoping and praying I can scheme my way into another $450 to hold off financial disaster in June. Wish me luck!

My Yard sale Tips I found online and thought worthy of sharing:
1. Place a box of FREE items out to create a positive also helps to attract attention to your space if you are in a group sale.
2. Use blue painters tape and a sharpie for labels instead of stickers. This way you will never damage any items. This is an especially awesome tip if you have lots books and paper items. But, I found it sticks to everything including fabric quite well, but also comes off
3. Start EARLY. In my case the people couldn't come by until 9 but, it a real yard/garage sale situation on expert told me the first people show as early as 7:15-7:30 so it's best to get setting up no later that 7 even if you advertise your yard sale for 8...they will want to be the first to see your items. (After my May 14th sale I will let you know if this is true). I still wonder though, if I had set up ahead if I would have sold more because I was setting items out well into the second hour....I guess I will never know.
4. Price it to sell! Don't try to price things like they are in a retail environment or you will be stuck putting everything away at the end of the day like the table next to me. I thought my prices were good but, in retrospect some could have been lower. I did sell some higher ticket items like my old flute for $15 and some discontinued Mary Kay but, most of what I sold was priced $2 or less and the 25 cent stuff just flew. I'm going to try to have tons of 25 cent items at my next sale because it just totally breaks down any resistance people have to buying with a price that low and it all adds up!
5. Now, this might be my BEST tip and it's an original...learned by my own personal trial and error. If you are really hard up for cash like I am than do NOT donate your leftover items after your sale. I literally need every penny I can get so, do like I did and bring your items to a local flea market and sell them to a vendor there (if you don't feel like having another yard sale). I even discovered that sometimes they will trade things with you. recently I traded an extra microwave, old cell phone and a pur filter for a faucet partially used no less (ick) for a beautiful lamp, an outdoor rug for our patio and a very large mirror that is now reflecting light beautifully in our living room. These trades might be my proudest moment yet, and I'm crazy in love with the lamp. So if you're really poor it's okay not to donate...unless you need the 20% off coupon that they give you. :-) Happy hunting!

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