Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Garage Sale Treasures: For Sale
This last weekend we were out of town. And, though a couple towns over they were having citywide rummage sales, I honored my hubby and stayed at the hotel (er motel). Boy was that yard lol!
But, I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had our own sale, and I figured this would be a great time to blog about the ways I keep my house from being overrun by the stuff I bring home each week.
I get rid of things one of 3 ways (well other then the trash): 1) I sell on eBay. 2) I join up at yard sales when I can. and 3) I donate/swap/give.
I sell on eBay. I'll be honest that there seems to be a bit of stigma that surrounds the idea of telling people you sell on eBay. Why? I'm really not sure, but I have been reluctant to tell many people about it unless they ask me. I have been selling since Mustang was about 3 months old. My major source of inventory are my own children's closets. As you have seen, I have a *bit* of a buying habit, so there is usually plenty to list.
I go through my children's outgrown clothes and pull the things that are likely to sell for a profit. Certain brands: Gap, Hanna Andersson, Nike, some Gymboree and some Carter's are what I normally work with. Occasionally my kids have nicer brands-Mini Boden, Deux Par Deux, and Ralph Lauren to name a few. I sell their dress clothes, pajamas, and jeans. Sometimes I will lot together a bunch of polo shirts or even tee-shirts if they are cute enough.
I generally put them in my store at a price that I would like to receive for them. If you try selling, make sure that you never price an item lower then what you would be happy with. You cant change your mind after the purchase is made, and you dont want to lose money or be sick about what your prized item sold for. I take advantage of great listing sales to run things on auction, but that's about the only time I run auctions.
eBay is not a get rich quick business. It takes a lot of trial and error, patience, and persistence. But, it IS fun, and addicting, and I make enough to buy a few things for the kids. So, for me it is worth it.
If something will not sell on eBay-it has a small flaw, its slightly dated, it is the wrong brand, it's too heavy for me to deal with shipping, etc. It goes in my yard sale/donate pile. I live in the middle of nowhere (as you know) so, I cant really plan on a yard sale. But, if someone asks me to be in their yard sale, I make it a point to start finding things to sell :). I think I may end up designating a few large totes in my basement to store things I'd like to take to a yard sale.
We had a yard sale a couple of weeks ago. My goal: motivate myself to declutter some areas I dont normally go through-toys, books and kitchen wares especially. Knowing I could make money on an item motivated me to take it to the sale. Once it was there, my motivation was no longer about making money, it was about getting rid of things. So, my own total was *only* 83.00. But, I know that means I got rid of a ton of stuff at the prices I had on things. I was only one of 4 ladies selling things, too, so the actual sale was much more profitable then that.
Some tips for selling kids clothes at a yard sale. Hang up everything that you can. Ask for the hangers back so that you are able to come up with hangers-my kids' clothes were folded at the bottom of their closets that weekend.
Separate by size. I found these awesome clothing dividers as a free printable from KdBuggie Boutique and Designs I just printed them out and laminated them. They were so helpful in making our sale look clean and organized. I am already reusing them in my eBay room, but you could put them in your kids' closets afterwards.
Keep the stacks of clothing small. Some people love to dig through piles and bins-but most do not. I put out all of our shorts and skirts on the table. They are hard to hang, and would take up a lot more space then needed. Below the table, there are 2 bins. Now I know what you are thinking-I just said people dont like to dig through bins. In those bins were my quarter items. These had small issues that made them desirable to only a few people. As the tables where cleared of other items, then I moved things out of the bins. But, to start, use your tables for your higher priced items. For the most part, the people who will be interested in your quarter items are the ones who are willing to dig in bins anyways.
Price items clearly, and put like items with like items as much as possible.
Most important, price the items for the market. Plain and simple, yard sales ARENT eBay or Craigslist. So, you arent likely to sell your items for the same level of money. If you arent willing to part for your items at yard sale prices, dont sell them there!
I knew going into this sale that the area I live in does not support high yard sale prices. I tried the clothes at 50 cents for one item and 1.00 for a set, with coats and dresses at 2.00. I knew that this was high for our area, but that's where I started and sold some of our things. At 9 AM on Saturday (we had a 2 day sale), it went to a quarter. At 11 AM (one hour left) it was fill a bag for 1.00. I wanted it gone! Had I left my pricing where it was, I would have probably made about the same amount of money, but had to pack up more stuff. I have made 200/300 dollars at sales in better neighborhoods before we moved here, but that was because the market was different. I'm actually quite sure that I did well for what I had to sell for the market that was shopping.
One other thing...July isnt the time to have a sale. This sale was in July and I needed to have one so I went in with my friend. But, really? May is the time here. You want to be one of the first sales of the year. Not so early that people freeze their rears and are interested, but early enough that you arent the 450th yard sale they have been to that summer and are tired of seeing the same thing. Lots of people spend March and April dreaming of yard sales, and are ready to buy just about anything in May.
Option #3...Donate! If you cant sell it-donate it!! Actually, many of my things go straight to the donate pile. Many times I just want things gone and dont have the time or energy to try and sell them!
I try to give to family or friends first, if I think they might need/want the item (and I am not burdening them with stuff). Last year, I participated in a swap with our homeschool co-op. That was a lot of fun, and I hope we do it again. It was fun to drop of a whole van load of stuff and take home a few new (to us) things in return.
Our church also runs a thrift store! It's a great ministry that has brought 100's of thousands of dollars to be used for helping people of all ages around our city and world. I really love that I dont have to question the beliefs of those in charge of handing out the money that is made. It is a ministry that has also blessed my own family by offering the items they have at very reasonable prices. I can purchase things for the kids at only 1.00!
So that's my game plan for keeping myself from being nominated for the next episode of Hoarders :). Oh, and if I dont feel motivated-I just watch a few episodes of and BAM I am ready to declutter, lol!! I'd love to hear your tips and tricks for decluttering!
I really didnt find any treasures this week, but I'm going to go ahead and link up to Mrs. Taffy's weekly linky at My Life on a Taffy Pull, because I know that I am not alone in wanting to think about how to keep the cycle of things moving week after week. If you want to see some great yard sale purchases, check out the other posts there. There were some great finds this week!!