Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cry for HELP...

It has been another rainy day here in SC. You won't hear me complaining though. I have so much to do with the upcoming garage sale this weekend, and the rain forces me to stay home and get it done. I have been busy all day trying to sort, price, and arrange stuff but I have barely scratched the surface. I have decided to ask all of you garage sale pros in the blogosphere a few questions.

1. Do you actually price EVERY.SINGLE. THING? Or do you just put signs up and group like priced things together? (This picture is about half of the stuff.)2. Next, I have a ton of really nice clothes. Name brand stuff that is still in style, but not the right size, etc. What do clothes go for? I was thinking $1 each piece. Is that accurate? What about kids clothes?

3. And finally, how much change do I need to start the day off with?

I have advertised in the paper, on Craigslist, and put it on the local "Swap Shop" radio program, so I feel like getting the word out is done. Am I missing anything? Help a sister out!

My 2 little men don't really know what to think about all of this. They just keep pulling out all their old toys I am gonna sell, and trying to sneak them back in the house. The only real distraction came when Connor napped, Walker wanted to play in the rain. It was so darn cute, and he had so much fun.
As you can see from the standing water, it rained hard and fast. Perfect for puddle jumping!

Okay, I will be anxiously awaiting all the garage sale wisdom you are gonna bestow upon me. Now it's your turn. Go on, answer my questions in the comment section.


Bama Girl in AZ said...

I usually try to price most - but I also like really good signs that list costs. I think $1 for clothing is good maybe too cheap. Jeans and shoes I always expect to pay more. Really nice kids items - sometimes even $2 piece. Looks like you have a ton of stuff, good luck!

Michelle said...

Bigger items I price individually smaller items I would group together on a table or box and have a sign with one price. clothes you may have better luck selling on ebay if they are brand names, they usually go for a little more money that way. Hmm, change lots of ones an quarters maybe $10 in quarters and $30 in ones and a few fives. Good luck with the sale!!

Stacie said...

I also like to put smaller, like items in a box or grouped on a table with a sign--saves time and if you are using stickers for pricing, keeps the buyer from having to remove it! For the clothing, it is pretty much a given that people will try to get you down to a lower price, if you really think that $1 is reasonable and what you would like to get for it, then price a little higher to allow for wiggle room. Good luck!

wildwesthome said...

I love garage sales, both having them and shopping at 'em. Here's some ramblings that may help...or not!

I'll get a few dollar store helium balloons to tie to my mailbox - makes my house easy to spot from the corner - and I ALWAYS put up signs on my street corners to announce the sale as well.

I don't bother with the street name or address or details on the sign; people driving don't have time to mess with reading too much info. Just the word SALE in big, bright letters with an arrow pointing to my place. Makes it easy to re-use the signs time and again too!

I don't like to label stuff - WAY too time-consuming and I've had people scrape the price tag off to try and haggle me down anyway. I lump like items together, I'll usually have one posterboard with all prices listed. For example, "Shoes - $1 pair, Pants $2ea, Coats $3ea, Other Clothing $1 each piece" etc. I like signs cuz as my sale starts to wind down I'll "slash" through the prices and then add better ones. Kinda gets new arrivals excited to see I've lowered prices!

I'll also usually have a box of 25cent or free junk. You know - all those annoying kid meals toys? If my customers have kids they gravitate to that box and keeps the kid happy. With a happy kid the parents are more likely to stick around and shop longer!

If I do a free box I've had to put a limit (like LIMIT 3) or some people will just make pigs of themselves and take it all.

I wear a horrible looking fanny pack or small shoulder I can wear across my chest for the $$. NEVER set it down for even a sec - people can be "honest but opportunists". Only price in 25 cent denominations - it's not worth making change for nickels or pennies.

I like to have about $20 in bills and a few dollars in coins to get started. I once had a customer try to pay for $3 of stuff with a $100 bill.

I made her go to a store down the street to change it while I held her stuff. I don't have the pen to guarantee it's not a fake and I simply didn't have that much change. Don't be afraid to make rules like this for yourself and stick to them as needed.

Have a stash of grocery bags available for those shoppers who pick up lots of little stuff. It's polite and I've found people are more likely to go add more stuff to fill the bag up!

Sell cold drinks in a cooler for $1 each if you're sale is on a HOT day. Keep the cooler open and enticing and you'll make good sales this way :).

Price a TINY bit high and be willing to haggle. I hate going to garage sales that are overpriced to begin with (almost higher than retail) and refuse to budge on the price of their "precious things".

The goal is to get rid of stuff you don't need, bless the homes of others with it and make a few bucks in the process so don't sweat a dollar or two here or there.

At my sales I usually have one or two "non-negotiable" things that are high quality or nice that I may not REALLY want to get rid of. I'll price it high and stick to my price. If it doesn't sell at my garage sale I can ebay, regift or reconsider.

Other than those few items - NOTHING comes back in my house and I usually schedule a pick-up with our local shelter to come get any left-overs. As the sale starts to wind down I'll offer a "sale" such as - all they can fit into a grocery sack for $3 or later even $1. I figure I'm giving away the leftovers anyway so I might as well make what I can!

Whew - that got kinda long - sorry :( !!

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

I would agree with the other gals...try to price most stuff...especially the larger stuff. I hate hate hate asking prices on items and will typically leave a sale bc if they aren't marked. That's how much I hate asking. Not everyone is as nutso as me though. If you have a number of items that are priced for $1...I'd put them all on a table marked $1. That should save you some time. I always start with about $20 or $30 in change. Small bills, a couple larger and lots of quarters and such. If you are pricing larger items...add $5 or so to it...that way if someone haggles you for the price you can comfortably adjust your price without feeling as though you are getting ripped off. I did that with a pair of chairs at my MIL's suggestion...and got the price I wanted though the woman had asked for $5 off. Try and have some shopping bags available too. As far as clothes, I'm not someone who can help ya there...but one or two $$ doesn't sound bad to me. Good luck girl!! Happy selling!! Oh! Place signs out the day of. And put arrows with them! Saturdays I get in the car and go just following yard sale signs. It's so much easier to follow an arrow than to try and read the address. I'd put the address too...but definatly add the arrows.

Miss(es) Canadian Pie said...

I also agree with the Michelle in putting your namebrand clothes on ebay or craigslist. You will get much more for them.

Tricia said...

Mandi... 320 Sycamore has a GREAT series of posts on having a garage sale! Just scroll down, I think it starts with the second post under this label "yard sales".
Good luck!!!

Bryce's momma said...

Crazy girlie! we are having a yard sale too. The first weekend in June. If you were here, we could do it together. Ok, so here are my suggestions/tips.
1. We always list it as a"multi-family" sale, cause people think it is bigger and come. Even if it is only your stuff with your moms.
2. Price your name-brand stuff higher. (You will get it)
3. There are ALWAYS the people that want something for nothing, so keep in mind that they will try to rob you, especially early in the day, so stick to a reasonable price and if they don't want it, the next person will.
4. When you are getting ready to close, take the stuff out that you don't want to GIVE away for nothing and make it a "all you can fit in a grocery bag for $3 or $5 or whatever you decide. This keeps you from cleaning up.
5. Have sacks and boxes available to give people who need them.
6. We don't price things cause it is time consuming. People always ask anyways, and as the day goes on, the price gets cheaper. (If you know what I mean)
Hope that helps! Let me know any good ideas that you have.

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