This post called My First Yard Sale was first posted June 28, 2013, a few weeks after I transferred my blog from Blogger to WordPress using Bluehost. This was the first I held my own yard sale and my takeaways from my first yard sale experience.
Starting a yard sale was a new adventure for me as a full-time stay at home mom. It was on our list of thing to do that year in order to earn some extra money.
I’m so excited to tell you all that I hosted my first yard sale this month. I always wanted to host a yard sale of my own, but having the time do it and always working it was never possible. I wanted to tell you about my experience and how things turned out with my first ever yard sale.
So how did things turned out?
Since the beginning of the year, I stated to my family and friends that I was going to have a yard sale. I have the yard, the location and the stuff to sell. I also did some research online on how to start a yard sale and was pretty optimistic about the entire thing.
Early May, one of my close friends was hosting a yard sale, and I was able to sell a few things such as old strollers and toys. Mind you it wasn’t a lot of things because I didn’t bring a lot of things to sell to this last minute noticed yard sale, but it was good enough to want to host my own yard sale a few weeks later.
I tasted yard sale money, and I loved it! All $13 bucks of it! Woot! With that taste of yard sale money in my blood, I was determined to get my yard sale date set and this event rolling. Since I read that multi-family yard sales do well, I had several friends and family join my yard sale. This is the lesson I learned when I was invited to sell stuff in my friend’s yard sale and my first yard that I hosted weeks later and is not pretty! From this experience I learned about yard sales mistakes to avoid for sure.
How to start a yard sale – the bad way!
No price on items
Items had no prices, and it was hard to tell the customer how much it was. I couldn’t help her out much when an item was not mine. I felt like I had to make the customers wait to ask her how much something was. When an item that was not mine was not priced, I had to interrupt the item’s owners when they were with other customers to ask for a price which took time away from that customer.
Not ready to part with items
When we set up for the yard sale before mine, the one that started it all, we had items that were from their kids when they were young. Other neighbors and friends brought a few items to sell but were not really ready part ways with the items. And I might have been one of those who felt like her heart was being ripped apart when my son’s toy was sold but only for a minute. Mind you he didn’t care for the toy, and yes, I was the one emotionally attached to it!
As the hour passed, some of my fellow friends didn't want to “give these items away” but these items were taking space in their garages and basements and were not being used at all. They will tell customers the meaning behind the items and such which lead to some people leaving the items because they were overpriced or didn’t have time to hear the story behind the item! At the end of the yard sale, the items went back to the garage.
These two things, items not being priced and having items that you don’t want to part with in the first place, were the only things I notice from my first yard sale experience. I wanted to make sure that this didn’t happen in my yard sale.
A week before my yard sale I made sure my friends and family were ready for this. You see, multifamily yard sales are way better than single family yard sales. The reason why is because there are more items to sell and more people to help!
I told them they could use my yard if they wanted to since I have a nice size yard and a corner lot on Main Street with tons of parking space for customers to park and shop. We all agreed that this would be the plan. I didn’t have a lot of items to sell as it turned out so having them there would be great. I did my research online; follow the do’s and don’ts of preparing for a yard sale. I send emails with the links to my friends and family to help them out with their preparations.
I started pricing my items and getting ready and placing ads online. I was feeling GREAT!
Here’s where things went wrong.
Mother Nature decided to give us two days of rain before the yard sale. This ruined our signs and gave us less time to prepare the day before as well. The reason we decided to have it was because other families around here were still having their yard sales and the day we selected turned out to be a beautiful day after all.
Rest of the families decided to start the yard sale around 8 am. Mind you, other yard sales around here were starting earlier around 6am. Since I’m a team player and if my team says 8am, then 8am it is. I decided to set my stuff bit early to help them set up since they had more items than me. We had early birds showing up but because we were not ready they left which to me is a loss of sale.
What I thought we learned from previous yard sales about pricing items didn’t sink into some. The retailer in me had my items prices and ready to go. Sadly, not everything was priced, and again it made it hard for everyone else that was helping with our yard sale.
Price to sell
If you want things to go price them to go! People don’t care how much you paid. Just a good deal. Some of the items were not priced, and when they were, they were priced too high. Again, this lead to loss of sale which equal no money and the item back in the house.
Having young children up at this time can be hard. This took away from helping customers most of the time. My son wanted to be outside all the time and run around where we have our stuff. I thought the lemonade stand and having his friends over would have kept him busy. WRONG!
At one point my sister-in-law became the official yard sale babysitter, and that kept her away from trying to sell her stuff. The lemonade stand did a great job at making money, though.
There you have it, my first yard sale experience and my takeaways. I made $60, the only one that made any money. Listen, I wasn’t a retail manager for many years for nothing. I didn’t have many items to sell but when they sold they sold. I see it as $60 I didn’t have. I priced my items and made sure it was priced to go!
Next time we have a yard sale (we are all aiming for the fall) we will go over our correction of errors and make sure we have all these hiccups covered. Make sure all items are priced, sell items we want to sell and have a babysitter for sure!
We can’t control the weather, but we can control the rest. I will let you know how our next yard sale will turn out. Tell me about your first yard sale and what you learned from it?