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Old 05-29-2012, 07:22 PM
122 posts, read 158,091 times
Reputation: 36


we;re facing a huge task of getting rid of a family members belongings after they have spent 90 plus years of accumulating it.
We're planning on a yard/garage sale and have never done one .How do you price or gather info on putting one together.Is there a place that you might suggest that has a good resource on these sales.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:16 PM
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In many cities, there are businesses which will handle estate sales for you, pricing, displaying, and actually conducting the sale itself, often inside the house. Some antique dealers do this in addition to running their shops, while other companies do estate sales exclusively. Check your local classified ads and Craigslist, and see if you can find estate sales that appear to fall into these categories, then check out the sales and if you like what you see, contact the individual(s) in charge.

Otherwise, if you want to do it yourself, make sure you know what you have. A 90 year accummulation is likely to contain antiques, some of which may be valuable. Your public library will have general price guides to antiques, but be aware that such guides list items at their replacement value, which is a LOT more than you can expect to get at a yard sale.

Once you've informed yourself about what you have, get ready for the sale. It's easier to use different colored stickers and make a chart with price (red+ $1.00, green + $.50, etc) than to have to write prices on everything. Some items can be displayed together with a general price: " Paperbacks: $.50 each". Start gathering display tables or shelves now - you can display some things on blankets on the ground, but that's a real turn-off to some potential buyers. Use caution with using boxes - people will root through them and things don't display well, generally. You can use boards stretched end-to-end from chairs, then cover them with sheets or tablecloths to create easy, eye-catching displays. Otherwise, card tables are handy - again, put two together and cover them to show off your wares.

If you set up outside ahead of time, be sure to have large sheets of plastic in case of rain, and be sure to secure your area overnight.

Keep similar items together - kitchenware, linens, decorative glassware, china, toys, etc. Sets of furniture should be grouped together attractively. Make sure there is enough space for customers to move around - you can also block off part of your yard with tables or rope, if you don't want people straying into your flowerbeds or water feature.

Keep all pets under control and away from the sale, even if they're gentle. Some children (and some idiot adults) may think it's fun to pull tails or ears. This happened to my very friendly cat several years ago - thankfully, he didn't scratch the man who first petted him, then gave his tail a sharp twist and laughed when my cat cried (I gave the offender a terse tongue-lashing and threw him out, of course).

Have plenty of change and small bills on hand. Using a fanny pack expedites making change. Be sure to take big bills to a safe place as they accumulate. If you're doing the sale single-handedly, play a radio just inside the nearest (open) window of your house and keep your curtains and shades drawn - you want to give the impression you're not alone. Keep your doors locked and don't allow anyone you don't know to enter, even if they seem desperate to visit your bathroom or use your phone.

Send out for pizza for yourself for lunch - you'll need it.

Use a ladder with a cluster of balloons or streamers in your front yard or beside the curb to support a "Yard Sale" sign. Tape signs at each corner of your street - no need to include your address here, just "Yard Sale" and an arrow pointing towards it. Other signs go at busy intersections close to your house - you will need at least the name of your street and perhaps the number if it's long here, along with the day and times.

People will arrive earlier than your advertised opening time - you can rope off your sale and do what you think best about their pleas for early admission. Expect your largest crowd just as you open, and expect at least 75% of these folks to be gone (without purchases) within five minutes or less of their arrival.

Some people have good luck selling cold bottled water and soft drinks - a styrofoam ice chest works well. Others have offered cookies - homemade are always popular. However, since your main goal is to deal with the estate items rather than to raise funds, you could disperse with these ideas. You may want to lower prices during the last hours of your sale, but don't advertise this ahead of time.

Visit similar local sales to get a rough idea about pricing. You can do the same with local antique and flea markets and malls, but remember, your prices generally need to be lower than such places, as you have less overhead and also need to move things rapidly.

Advertise in your local classifieds and on Craigslist and on any other free sites in your area. Some supermarkets have community bulletin boards. Your ads should use the term "90-year estate sale", and if you have some special interest items, list them (especially on free sites). Outdoor signs go up the night before and come down asap after the sale is over.

Wear comfortable clothing, ask people if they're looking for anything in particular, expect people to ask if you have baby clothes, gold, silver, and weapons, and to make ridiculously low offers on your higher ticket items. Expect other people to be just delighted to find something identical to dear old Grandma's long gone treasure, or to buy the items you think are least likely to sell. There's no accounting for taste or human nature sometimes!

Good luck...
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:30 PM
122 posts, read 158,091 times
Reputation: 36
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post

Good luck...
thanks you so much , lot's of great ideas and some things I really hadn't thought of yet
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