Warning: I'm a little cranky.
Dear Yard Sale Seller:
As a frequent yard sale patron, I'd like to take this opportunity to offer you some advice for success on your next sale.
- Don't make me use my GPS navigator to find you after pulling off to the side of the road to read the tiny print on your sign that contains your address. The more work I have to do to find your sale, the less money I want to spend on your items. You've cost me time, now it will cost you money.
- USE ARROWS. For God's sake. (And all the rest of us shoppers too.) Seriously. Invest a couple dollars in some matching fluorescent posterboard (they sell it at Walgreens, it's not that expensive), buy a giant size Sharpie marker, and use the top half of the sign to say "SALE" and the bottom half of the sign to have a huge arrow. This works. I know it does. Because every yard sale I've ever hosted there's hardly any items left unsold and I always have steady traffic throughout the day. If you do your arrows well, I don't need to know your address. Your arrows will lead me right to you.
- YOUR CLOTHES ARE NOT AT A THRIFT STORE. Quit pricing them like they are. This is a yard sale. Clothes are a bottom of the barrel commodity and should be priced accordingly. I don't mind you pricing t-shirts at 50 cents apiece, but when I have to sort through 20 shirts to find 4 that don't have paint or food stains on them, don't get all pissy with me when I offer you $1.00 for the four of them. I just spent tons of time sorting through and refolding your shirts for you. If you wanted me to spend 50 cents a shirt, you should've sorted them yourself and priced the paint ones at 25 cents apiece with a sign saying "Stained t-shirts: great for painting! 4/$1"
- EXPECT HAGGLING UNLESS YOU NOTE THE PRICE IS FIRM. This is Indiana. We love to negotiate. So when you price a sweatshirt for $3, don't get all pissy when I offer $2 and then decide not to buy it because you cop an attitude and insist upon $3. It's your option to sell it for $3. It's my option not to buy it. When it's 96 degrees out there's not really a high demand for sweatshirts.
- It's really hard to find our size
- If we're lucky enough to find our size, it's usually horrendously out of style
- We always have to dig through piles to find our size and style and then hope against hope that you haven't put out stained or ripped clothing
- By the time we find something that works for us, we've put forth so much effort we're only willing to spend about 25 cents apiece unless it's a real find (like the trenchcoat I'll be featuring later).
If I wanted to spend $3-5 apiece for clothing items I'd head to Second Glance, my favorite upscale secondhand store. There I can shop in air conditioned comfort, find my size by walking to a particular section of the store, and try on the items before purchasing to make sure I like them. I'm willing to stand out in the heat and sort through your pile of clothes only because I want to get it cheaper than the thrift store. If you price it as high as the thrift store, I'm not interested! It's just not worth the time and effort. Especially when 29 other sales are calling my name and some of them end at noon!
I'd love to buy your items. You obviously want to get rid of them. Let's work together to make it a mutually satisfying experience, okay?
Frequent Yard Sale Buyer