I'd like to say that, but dang it, I can't. At the moment, it's still pretty cluttered with yard sale leftovers. I put up a couple of tables and displays out on the driveway, but kept most of it inside the garage on tables and shelving so that people would be able to browse in comfort despite the 2,000 degree temperature we were having on Saturday. I still need to box and bag the unsold items and call D.I. to come for a pick up. (It's a truck-full; they'll make a special trip.) I'm hoping to get to that this Saturday, but I've got two books I have to finish this week and the LDSBA convention, so...we'll see.
Overall, the sale was okay. If I had done all that work simply to make money from the yard sale, I would have been disappointed. It took a total of 61 hours, and I made well below minimum wage. However, the yard sale was simply an afterthought. I did all that work to clean out my garage, so that I will now have room to clean out my house, so that then I will have room to work and write and create and BREATHE. That is priceless and well worth the effort even if I hadn't made a dime.
For those of you who are thinking about doing a yard sale, here are some observations.
Things I Would Do Differently:
- Decide to have the sale early enough that you can get an ad in the local paper. All my traffic came from five little signs on street corners. I got quite a bit, but could have probably had twice that if I'd been in the paper.
- All the clothes were in boxes, requiring people to dig through them. As you can imagine, they didn't. I sold very little clothing--which is too bad because a lot of it was in really good condition, brand names, jeans, sweaters, women's suits, etc. Good stuff, but there is just no easy way to display clothing in your front yard.
- I had five tables, three large shelving units, two bookcases. That was not nearly enough room to display everything.
- I tagged almost everything; took a couple of hours to do that and I got several paper cuts. The tags didn't seem to make a difference. Everyone still asked me how much something was when the neon sticker was right there glaring at them. I'm wondering if I wouldn't have done just as well if I'd just put out a sign that said "Make me an offer."
Things I Did Well:
- My signs were easy to read, on neon posterboard with paint sticks for posts.
- I lined my front sidewalk with stuff and put a big sign that said "Everything on this sidewalk is FREE!" People would stop to look at that and then feel guilty to just take the free stuff, so they'd wander over to see my other stuff too.
- I tried to put like items together so people could easily find things they were interested in.
- I was more interested in getting rid of stuff than in making money, so I was willing to bargain.
Now playing on my iPod: Free Ride by Edgar Winter Group