I have been getting ready all week for the sale by tagging everything that I put aside for the sale. I got up at 5:00 a.m. to go out and put up the yard sale signs. I only took a stapler with me. Note to self: next time, bring zip ties or heavy duty tape so you can put signs up on metal posts. Everything out and set up by 7:00 a.m. and it was already starting to warm up.
Overall, I am very happy with the de-cluttering that I just went through. I made back about $400 on stupid buys (OP’s yard sales), some used and unwanted dishes, clothing, books, etc. And, now that I know how much work this is, I will be better prepared for my next sale in October!
A few observations:
To my first customer of the day, whom I will call “Mr. I Know You Speak English”: I recognized you the minute you showed up. I’ve seen you at lots sales over the last couple of years. Can you explain to my readers about your math skills? No? Let me: 5 books (total marked $7) and the buyer asked “How much” for the “5” and I said $4. He said ok. Then he proceeded to add about 10 more books to the pile .. and handed me $4. OK. That’s not right. $4 was for the first 5 books. I told him the price for the 15 books ($10). He kept saying, “No. You said $4. I kept saying “No, $4 for the 5 original books, you have more books now, it will cost more.” I’ve seen this guy in action before, and I knew he was capable of doing this haggle for at least another 20 minutes. I picked the books up off the ground and put them back on the shelf. He turned and walked away. Now, if he had shown up at 12:30 when I was ready to tear down, I would have given him those books for free! (P.S. – I know you speak English because I have heard you. Making like you don’t understand doesn’t work with me.)
Update 7/20 (a week later): I ran into the friendly “Mr. Doesn’t Speak English” yesterday at a yard sale around the corner. He pulled up to the curb, loaded everything (5 or 6 things) at the curb including a box of books and a couple of potted plants that were marked “free”, and hopped in the car and drove off. In my book – he could have at least said thank you to the people having the sale. The man is a TOAD.
To my best return customers Sophie and her brother Max: You are adorable and good shoppers, too. A young girl (10 years old?) on her bicycle showed up mid-morning and slowly walked around looking at everything for sale. She asked about this, and that, and how much, and what was it, and where did I buy it. She picked up a couple of small things and asked me to hold them while she went home for her money. She returned with $1.00. So, we made up a small bag of little items: a small African soapstone toy, a small clock, a pair of Disney chopsticks. She left, and about 10 minutes later came back with another dollar to fill up another bag and with her brother. She took home a huge ceramic dog bowl and a few other items, and a Hawaiian shirt for her dad. She has a bright future as a bargain hunter and yard saler extraordinaire.
To Yasmin: You are a funny lady and thanks for the cherries! Back up to May of this year. I went to a yard sale and bought a couple of really pretty scarves that I thought I would use in the fall. The lady that I bought these from was very nice and a great sales lady. I really didn’t want the scarves that badly, but I forked over $8 and was happy as I walked away. Now, fast forward to Saturday. This very nice lady who looked familiar (and smelled like the scarves) was giving me grief about my signs, and telling me that my items aren’t displayed very well, and here let me help. Yasmin finished unpacking some of the bags that I hadn’t gotten to yet, she rearranged some of the items, and in the process found the bin of fabric and scarves. It was at that exact point that I realized where I knew her from. She reached into the bin and took out “her” scarves! She turned to me and said, “I remember you now, these are my scarves!” I started to laugh, and she put them in her pile of stuff to buy. She actually bought back her own scarves for $1.00 each.
Yasmin proceeded to shop and came up short with her total at the end. She still owed me about $10. She took her treasures to the car and said she would come back and pay me later. I wasn’t worried because I knew where she lived. She showed up about an hour later with $10 and a bag of cherries from the grocery store, and she told me she moved one of my signs out on the highway because it was too low and not everyone could see it. (Look at me still laughing as I write this.)
To Pat: I’m sorry about the GPS getting you lost, and thanks! The nicest lady came by about 11:30 and spent a good hour going through the books and other goodies that were left. It was at that point that I realized, “Holy crap, I am going to have to get rid of these books … soon.” I told her that all books were 25 cents each as she started to go through the piles. As a result, she bought more. (Note to self, tell the buyer the discounted price up front, they buy more.) We chatted, had a bottle of water, she helped me sell a snow shovel to someone in Spanish, she chatted with the guy’s wife in Spanish and gave the lady $5 to buy something for the baby. She kept adding goodies to her pile and didn’t bargain on the prices on anything at that point. Pat spent $30 and made three trips to the car. She helped me clean up and move the leftovers closer to the front yard so it would be easier to clean up later in the day. Man, I would have loved to have had more shoppers like that!
I am knackered. I am sunburned, my back aches, and all of the yard sale leftovers are sitting in my living room waiting for me to either load them into the truck for a trip to the thrift store, or back into the closet. I have absolutely no interest in doing any of that until the Aleve kicks in.
Here are a couple of pictures of all of the STUFF that I had out for sale. All of the stripey bags and boxes got unpacked after I took the photos. Clover finally got tired of barking at everyone from the window, and went to take a nap in her closet. Cosmo sat in the window upstairs and watched everything.
If you click on the small gallery picture below – you can see the photos super-sized if you want.