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Old 04-20-2010, 10:18 PM
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Having an extra set of eyes helps to make sure your items don't walk away. Kids make good watchers.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:21 PM
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
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Originally Posted by Kalbo View Post
Having an extra set of eyes helps to make sure your items don't walk away. Kids make good watchers.
Kalbo that goes for auctions too. Friend of mine had to auction their house and belongings to help pay for his late wife's cancer bills. His adult son roamed around with the crowd acting like he was just looking too. In his parent's bedroom a lady started to open his mother's c. Her chest of drawers and be nosy. Her fingers were inches from being inside the drawer when he kicked it shut. Told her if she tried again, in any room, she would see what it felt like to fly out a window. She went outside and found a police officer. (She didn't know he lived next door) When she told him what my friend said he would do to her, he told her she better be careful then because she didn't look like she would fit! lol
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Old 04-22-2010, 02:00 AM
Location: Southern California
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I hate garage sales, but several of my relatives had done them recently and in Southern California at least, the very best advice would be to just accept that people WILL arrive early - so don't try and fight it - instead embrace it! Let them come at 6AM if they want, and know that you can close up at 11AM, since the prime hours for garage sales are in the morning. There's very little reason to stay open later.

Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
If you want to avoid haggling right off the bat, you can say something like "Since we just opened, I'm not going to lower the price just yet, but feel free to swing back by at 11. If it's still here, I'll sell it to you for half price then."
Marlow is smart!
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:11 AM
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If you have something really good (to hook in people) put it up front and if someone wants to buy it, tell them they can get a discount but you will hold it for them till the sale is over.

State NO PREVIEWS or you will have people hawking early.

Have lots of bags ready to put items in.

I'd have someone (adult) around to relieve you (bathroom breaks) and to help run interference if you get someone coming to rip you off.

Hang up clothes or clean them and make them look nice (think of the store). People will paw through them but at least you can make them look good in the beginning of your sale.

Have some cups with water available for free, or juice or something so you can give them out (people get hot and thirsty). Any little nicety is appreciated.

Realize you are looking to get rid of stuff not make a killing so at some point you may have to sell items cheaper than you want to...just think, you will make someone's day....

Do you have a large Hispanic population near you? Know a bit of Spanish (look it up online). Write it down so you don't forget...you know words like 'cheap' or 'free' or 'sale' and make signs in Spanish, too.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:42 AM
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Some good advice here. A few more suggestions:

Let your neighbors know you're having a yard sale and see if any of them might want to have a sale the same day and time. You'll increase traffic if you can advertise your sale as a neighborhood sale, plus you'll have help paying for ads and setting up signs. If several homes participate, get a few helium balloons to tie to the mail boxes of those homes participating so it's easy for customers to see.

Definitely price items individually, except for items that are all priced the same, e.g. "all books $1 or all DVDs $2." If you have a table of "all items $2" instead of pricing each item individually, the items will inevitably get moved around and when you go to total up a purchase, you may not remember how much the item costs.

DEFINITELY use a fanny pack or, better yet, a three-pocket apron (the kind waiters and waitresses use). An apron allows you to keep bills in one pocket, quarters in another and a pen and stickers in a third pocket, plus you don't have to constantly unzip to access your money. Keep your bills sorted by denomination and fold currency in half, and put larger bills (20s) in your pants pocket separate from the rest of your money.

Don't bother with nickels and dimes. Keep all items priced to the nearest quarter. If it's not worth a quarter, put it in the free box.

Use a calculator or adding machine to add up purchases.

Borrow card tables from family and friends so you'll have plenty of room to display things. Items on the ground get trampled on, are difficult to see and could pose a tripping hazard.

Have plenty of newspaper handy to wrap breakables.

Get a grocery bag dispenser (where you stuff bags into the top and pull them out from the bottom). They cost about $4 and are great to have around the house after the sale.

Also keep some cardboard boxes on hand to pack your customers' larger items and breakables. You can pick up some for free at many liquor stores.

If you're selling large items, such as furniture, have a strong man on hand to help carry and load those items.

Put up a sign that says "all items half price after 11 a.m." or something like that. It will discourage too much haggling early on and encourage people to come back later to buy an item they're on the fence about.

As others have said, don't let the hagglers and early-comers get to you. Just know it will happen and be cheerful about it. I've had people show up at 5 a.m. with flashlights to look over our stuff while we were trying to set up. I've also had people take my address from the ad, use a reverse phone lookup and call my house a couple of days before the sale to ask if they could come early to check out an item. NEVER let someone like that into your home.

Good luck.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:29 PM
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Ahhhhh....forget it! I can't get anyone to help me, everyone has conflicting dates. what junk I have wouldn't bring in that much to worry about it. Now that its all in nice, neat piles I will just have goodwill haul it off.
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