Wedding Day

Wedding Day
Enjoy EVERY moment in your wedding gown. You can't stay in it forever...SO UNFAIR!!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Posting from My Day Job - Thrifty Tips - Yard Sales & Freebies

Now is the time of the year to start saving money with yard sales. Actually yard sales go on a lot all year round, but summer really is THE season. When I lived in Rhode Island, my family had yard sales about once a month. It was the way my mom and grandma came up with extra cash. Here are some tips I learned from them for doing a yard sale.

Make a bank -- Have change on hand. Do not assume that all the people who go to your yard sale will have small bills. My mom and grandma actually had a seasonal thing with yard sales so they set aside a bank for the entire season. Typically they would start off with about $150 in $10s, $5s, $1s, and plenty of change. After the sale, they would first count the bank money out, and their profit would be what was left. I highly recommend a bank, because truly it is much better to have the change on hand for those people with larger bills. I can't tell you how many times someone would come up with a $20 to buy a $1 book. And speaking of that bank. My mom and grandma always held the cash in a fanny pack. You can pick these up cheap at just about any thrift store. It was a lot easier to have the money on them rather than some cash box that could be snatched. Lastly...don't accept checks. It is really not a good idea.

Plan your sale -- Do not just wake up one day and decide to have a sale. Give yourself a few weeks in order to plan what you want to sell and why you want to sell it. Are you trying to make money? Are you trying to declutter? A few weeks of planning can really make the difference in the success of your yard sale. You also can use this time to figure out how you will advertise your sale.

Know your prices -- It is perfectly fine to do some dickering over prices, but you should have a pretty good idea of what you want to charge for the things you are selling. It isn't like someone else is picking the items out of your home for the sale. You are the one doing it. So figure it out while you are setting the items aside for sale. If you are really not sure how much you should charge for an item. Go to some yard sales before you have yours and see what other people are charging. Ticket your items. We wouldn't ticket things like books. We usually had a set price for hardcovers and another for soft and would have that posted.

Have a power supply handy -- We often sold items like radios and televisions at our yard sales. We made sure to have a power supply so people could test out what we were selling. The last thing you want is to leave your sale area to bring a stranger into your home to see if a toaster works.

Do not be intimidated -- Set your ground rules. If you do not want early birds, don't allow it. If you have a certain level you will drop your price to and you don't want to go lower, don't (remember to look around at other sales and see what kinds of prices similar items are going for). We were pretty rigid with our prices until later in the day. That was when we were more likely to haggle. I was a little harder edged than my mom and grandma. I truly had no interest in haggling with a woman holding a coach wallet, but at the same token, I was a complete pushover for a dad buying some Barbies and clothes for his little girls. Choose your battles. :)

Know when to sell -- My grandma and mom would usually hold their yard sales on Saturdays or Sundays. I don't quite understand the yard sales on weekdays. I know I see it a lot out here, but to me it always seemed more the early bird approach where you are quite likely to be hit by dealers rather than people looking for a deal. My family also avoided yard sales on holidays, but now with more and more people not traveling far, you may want to try it

Combine sales with neighbors -- If at all possible, work with your neighborhood and have a neighborhood sale. There was a neighborhood in my town in Rhode Island that would do one neighborhood sale for a weekend in the summer. It was great because you could park your car and just walk all over the neighborhood from sale to sale. It also kept the neighborhood yard sale traffic down throughout the rest of the year. Another cool thing was a lot of the children had cookie and lemonade sales during the weekend. Let me tell you, they did well!

Display -- Never underestimate the power of displaying your items nicely. First, keep things clean. Do not sell items that are so dingy no one would even want to touch them. Think about what makes you want to look and what makes you not want to look. My mom hung clothes off a portable clothing rack and on our fence. Other items she put on tables. She always had a box of clothing people could go through as well, but the nice stuff was displayed and displayed well. Also think about what appeals to men, women, children and teens and set up areas accordingly. Also display eye-catching items where people can see them when they drive by. My mom always made a point of putting large exercise equipment and yard tools like weed whackers up front to draw in the men who might not be as willing to browse as their female companions were.

What sells -- To save aggravation, it is a good idea to get an idea of what sells. I found a pretty awesome list at Guide to Household Tips. Follow the link below for a great list of what sells and to whom. :)

LINK: What Are The Hottest Yard Sale Items?


This is sooooo cool. The American Museum of Natural History and NASA have an awesome freebie for educators. It is the DVD "Journey to the Stars." Here are details from the site:

"Educators and parents: Are you ready to take a Journey to the Stars? The American Museum of Natural History and NASA have joined forces to produce a planetarium show about the amazing variety of stars that dot our cosmos--exploding stars, giant stars, dwarf stars, neutron stars, even our own star! But you don't have to go to a planetarium to experience this mind-blowing journey. NASA will send you a DVD, and Educators Guide for free!"

When my son was younger, we got some amazing weather maps from NASA. I guarantee you are going to want to alert any educators you know. Follow the link below:

LINK: Journey to the Stars

Humana is offering a free "Retirement for Dummies" or "Well-Being for Dummies" when you register with Humana.

LINK: Humana free book offer

Follow the link below for five freebies from Walmart.

LINK: Walmart Free Samples

Earlier last weekend I posted a free sample for Starbucks VIA. If you haven't picked that up yet, here is the link: Starbucks VIA (mind you they could be all gone) Now if you are a Costco member, I have another opportunity for you to get a sample of Starbucks VIA. Follow the link below, but remember you do need a membership number for this one.

LINK: Starbucks VIA sample for Costco members

Free CCM has a free song download for "Jesus Saves" this week from Carlos Whittaker as well as still having free song downloads from Addison Road, Jonny Diaz, 33Miles, and Mike Farris. Don't wait for these to disappear. Follow the link.

LINK: Free CCM Song Downloads

More music? If you enjoy country music or would like to give a country music CD to a friend check this out. If you write a letter to a soldier and take it to your local Ram truck dealer, you can get a free CD "Breaking Southern Ground" which features the Zac Brown Band, Sonia Leigh, Nic Cowan and Levi Lowrey.
They are looking to get 1 million letters written to soldiers. Details and a way to find a dealership near you are available by following the link below. Also there is a free song download on their site from the Zac Brown Band. If you download a song directly from the site, Ram truck dealers will make a donation to Soldiers Angels with EVERY DOWNLOAD!

LINK: Letters for Lyrics


National Parks are offering a few more free days this year. For this summer, take advantage of free entry on August 14 and 15. Other free days include September 25 (Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veteran's Day). Follow the link for participating parks state by state: Free National Park Entry

Check out the National Parks page for events that will be held all summer. Most events are free though there is a charge for entry to the parks. This link takes you to Arizona National Park Events: Arizona National Park Events


Pam said...

THis is a great column, Kelly! Could I use the yard sale tips as a guest post? :)

kalea_kane said...

Pam that is so sweet. You totally can. :) Thanks for asking. I am honored. :)