Monday, July 27, 2015

What I Learned from the Yard Sale

To improve your success at yard sales/garage sales, you have to analyze what sold and what didn't. Then you have to decide whether the problem was the price, the presentation, or the audience.

I think my presentation was good. I had a nice green sheet on the table which showed up the items. I accidentally took the smaller of two tables I own, which means things were crowded, so next time I'll bring the larger one.

The night before I made three flyers to hang on the table showing pictures of groups of items (that's what you saw in the last post), but I ran out of time to make small signs for the table. Fortunately, I have decent penmanship and can spell, so I just made some on-site. However, I didn't allow enough time to do that before the crowds started arriving, so next time I need to either make them before or arrive earlier.

It was supposed to be a nice day, so although I had a 10x10 EZ-Up in the car, I didn't bother to put it up at first. Later, though, when the sun shifted my way and the metal objects on the table started getting hot, I set it up. This meant, though, that people weren't browsing my items while I struggled — at first, by myself, then with other lovely people who took pity on me! — to put up the pop-up. Next time I'll do it at the beginning, no matter where I end up. The customers appreciate the shade, too.

So what sold? Used, cheap costume jewelry. Some lawn decorations. The Donvier ice cream maker.

What didn't sell? Vintage. This particular crowd wasn't looking for vintage that day. Or books, even though I heard they went like hotcakes at prior events. Or albums (vinyl).

What did they ask about? Craft items. Mens' jewelry. More rings.

Funny, but as I sorted out the stuff I took home, I thought about how similar selling at a yard sale is to submitting a short story or novel for publication. Not everyone will want what you have, or maybe they will, but not when you're offering it. Don't get discouraged; just find a different yard sale. Or sell something different.

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