Friday, May 3, 2013

Yard Sale Fiasco

Garage and yard sales are an excellent source of extra money, as well as a great way to ensure items around your home get a second life.

Unfortunately, sometimes they don't work out as well as you hope.

Last weekend, I had a yard sale.  I placed signs at intersections, complete with huge arrows pointing in the direction of the sale, yet I ended up with a grand profit of

18 dollars and a sunburn.

Yep.  That's how horribly my 2 day yard sale turned out.  As you can imagine, I was crushed.

I examined the outcome, and paid close attention to what may have went wrong.  See, the items and their setup were just fine.  Every person that showed up bought something... except for one man, but he was weird (like, really creepy-guy-is-hoping-I'm-doing-something-wrong weird), so I figure he doesn't count... except that he makes for a really interesting memory.

So what went wrong?  

Well, the problems had to do with drawing people to the yard sale.  I've created a list for myself, and I'm sharing it with you so that I can help keep you from making my same mistakes.
  • Placing signs at four intersections isn't enough.  One woman I talked to said that she places around sixteen signs, which probably means eight intersections... double what I did.
  • Signs should be neon or brightly colored.
  • Make sure the words are big enough for people to recognize.  I thought mine were... until I went to collect them all and discovered that while I could see the arrow on each sign very clearly, the words "Yard Sale" weren't bold enough - they weren't easy to read at all.  People had to slow down to read them.
Not everyone will have this same problem, of course.  In my case, nobody drives down my street.  It's a very quiet area.  This is normally wonderful, but on garage sale days, well...

Not so wonderful.  Drawing traffic can be rather difficult.  

There was also another yard sale about two blocks away... on the corner of a much busier street.  People naturally saw my signs and believed they belonged to that house.

So my timing was bad, as well.

One of the things I noticed, though, was that the majority of what people bought was books.  I have tons of books.

Oodles of them.

I won't be able to fit them all into our next home, so perhaps I can have a Used Book Sale next time.

It would be an unusual yard sale concept, that's for sure!

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