Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Tale of the Sale

If you're old enough to remember the 70s or 80s, you might remember the Amish Friendship Bread craze.  For a while, everyone I knew had a batch of this bread growing in their kitchen.  You had to babysit this bread, dividing it every few days and baking it or giving it away or it kept growing and multiplying like some B-movie alien and took over your life!

I feel a little like that describes my life since the beginning of March.  Every time I worked at one task, the others I should be doing  (like blogging) suffered for the inattention.  I just looked back and realized that I haven't done a blog post since mid-April and I know that a lot has happened!

I've moved out of the mall and we had the 'mother of all yard sales', trying to get rid of all the stuff I'd accumulated to sell there.  I had a barn full of 'pinterest project' furniture and a basement full of an unbelieveable amount of inventory.  I knew what was there, but even I was shocked when it all came out of hiding!

I spent 3 weeks going through every bin, emptying every shelf, and finding all of the places where I'd stashed things for later sale.   I found lots of stuff that will sell on Etsy and lots that I wished I'd put in the booth -- it would have sold easily.  Everything, though, had to be priced, boxed and hauled to the barn for the sale, which was an overwhelming job.  My friend Bargain Hunter came over one rainy day last week and helped me speed through a mountain of smalls and linens.  In truth, she kept me on track and never let me just look at it all in bewilderment and say 'I don't know where to start!'  

When it was finally all assembled, there were over 30 boxes and bins that went to the barn, and that didn't count all the stuff that was too big for boxes!

I had to haul all of the furniture out every day to make room to set up the tables and price stuff.
Making room to price...
I really don't enjoy having yard sales, so this one had to be great -- I wouldn't want to do it again.  So I did some research online about how to have the best yard sale ever and most of what I read said this:
1) have good signs (recognizable, eye-catching and easy to read)
2) price everything, so people don't have to guess or ask for prices
3) price it low enough to be tempting
4) be willing to deal.  
An additional tip was to offer to take credit cards, which I was able to do because of Etsy's in-person sales app.  I only had 2 people take advantage of it, but one of them wouldn't have bought as much otherwise because her cash was limited.
Bargain Hunter loaned me her very classy, BIG canopy. That allowed us to keep some of the furniture outside overnight and made set-up easier.  It had the added benefit of being seen from the street and luring people in with the implied promise of lots of stuff to sell.
The canopy held a lot of furniture!
  Even with the big canopy, the furniture spilled out into the yard
The sale started Thursday and the weather was perfect -- sunny and 70!  I'd put it on Craigslist and Facebook and Bargain Hunter shared on more Facebook groups that she's part of...the word definitely got out.  We had big crowds all day Thursday and most of Friday, too.  Aprons were the big seller of the weekend...hankies, not so much.  It made me laugh to think that I couldn't even get people to buy my hankies at a yard sale (since they never sold in my booth)!  Most of the furniture left the first day, too.
The inside of the barn was packed
Mr. KV took two days off of work to sit with me and help at the sale and then even volunteered to man it all day on Saturday!  What a wonderful guy! On the last day, we had all picture frames, pictures and mirrors (I had too many of all of those) at half-price and everything inside the barn was buy-one-get-one-free, except linens which were buy-one-get-two-free!  Even with that, I have 2 bins of linens left over!  

Now comes the big job of deciding what will go into the Etsy shop, what will go to resale and what will be donated.  I won't feel free until it's all be taken care of and sent somewhere, but it's getting closer to that day.

In the meantime, do you know anyone who wants to buy some creepy 1970s Christmas yard art?



WOW that was some sale! Sure wish I could have "shopped" it!!! It is nice to have someone to help. I need to have a garage sale, waiting until fall...


p.s. I sell hankies at my booths...they are priced $4.00 most of the time. It is interesting to see what sells in other areas.

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