Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Yard Sale Help...

Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie has a great post on Monday about Yard Sales (she's getting a lot of link love over here!)... she shared two other links that I found helpful: Sandy's post on Yard Sales, and Lynnae's post on 10 Tips to a Wildly Successful Garage Sale. Which has me thinking...

We're currently enrolled in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, and have funded baby step #1 ($1,000 emergency fund), have knocked out most of baby step 2 (pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball method), and are now working on baby step #3 (three to six months of expenses in savings). One of the things he recommends we do is have a yard sale. Now, this has been a really hard decision for me to make. I hate yard sales. HATE them. Not the sales themselves, but the work leading up to it. Sorting, folding, hanging, pricing -- ooooohhhh, the pricing!!! And usually, I like to pass Hunters clothing down -- sort of like paying it forward, which now, I wont be able to do.

But, needless to say... we're having a yard sale in the next few weeks with the goal of having cold, hard cash in hand (or rather, in bank account for baby step three!).

So, I have a couple questions for all of the experienced yard sale shoppers out there, so please... come out of lurkdome and leave me a comment about your experiences and tips for yard sales.

1) How should I price kids clothing? I have a TON of clothing (6 full bins, 2 trash bags, and 2 space bags FULL of clothes anywhere from new born to 24 months). Should I price everything at $1 or $2? Or should I price accordingly??

2) How do you prefer to go through baby clothing? Hanging on a hanger, or folded nicely and flat on a table? (NO BINS -- my sister-in-law told me clothes wont sell if they are in bins, so that's out)

3) How do you price baby equipment that is virtually new? Fisher Price Baby Swing that cost over $100, Fisher Price High Chair that was over $100 too (or should I keep that???), an Baby Einstein exersaucer that was about $80, bouncies, push toys, and so much more...

4) Any other tips?

C'mon -- share all your secrets, peeves, and successes!!!

19 comments:

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

Have you considered checking into consignment, especially for the equipment? I know around here they will pay cash for those items and you may get more than what you could get from a yard sale.

You could also do that with the nicer clothes as well.

I have done consignment since my children were babies. In the past I would just take store credit rather than cash as I could get more back to then use. Now that my children have surpassed consignment store sizes for current clothes but I can still take in the things they are outgrowing, I just take the cash option. A bit less than store credit but I can use it.

Just a thought...

Org Junkie said...

I would have to agree, from personal experience consignment will make you more money than a garage sale will on kid's clothing. Garage sale prices for kid's clothing will only get you maybe $1.00 or $2.00 for a set. You can definitely do better than that at consignment especially the brand name stuff. It's easy too, you just drop it off. Painless!

Have you thought about trying craigslist for the bigger baby stuff?

Something to think about anyway. You've done a great job with your financial goals. Way to go!!

kelly jeanie said...

I agree that you're likely to get top dollar for your equipment somewhere else, I've heard people have good luck on craigslist? I've seen high chairs for as much as $30, exersaucers up to $20-$25, and swings up to $30, though my area is pretty cheap so maybe your area has people willing to pay more. As far as baby/little boy clothes, I usually hang up the nicer outfits and then fold the rest neatly on a table. I think they stay neater if you also put the size on the tag. I price accordingly, with nice, non-stained name brand items going for more. It's a balance, between wanting to get a nice chunk of change and wanting it to go out the door! When I have sold clothes, and what I've seen at garage sales, the prices usually range from 25-cents to $3 for baby clothes. Toddler boy pants are a hot seller, if you have any. I agree...no bins! You might want to hit a few garage sales in your area to see what things are going for.

Jen said...

On the kids clothing...call a local kids consignment store...you will make more money this way...along with the kids high chair..ect....I make about $600 a year on my kids things....it's better than a yard sale..I do a household yard sale every fall though...but my clothes and my kids clothes go to consignment.

Tara said...

In my experience there are two types of sales. One is from people who are trying to make money. They price things as though they are in a store ($2-3 per piece or more). The other is people who are trying to get rid of stuff (.50-$1/piece). Often the first category of sale is the one where the seller sets things up to look like a store and then at the end of the day takes down only slightly less than they put out. And swears to never have a garage sale again! The second cagetory happily boxes up one or two little bins at the end of the day to send to goodwill and pockets a pile of cash, probably more than the person who is trying to make money.

In our area you could price the baby equipment around $20-$30, but it may or may not sell. Set it out in high visibility so drive by people can easily see it and will stop! On your sign tell how old the piece is and what it retails for new. You might also check some of the second hand shops (consignment) and price it just under what someone could buy it for there.

Tara said...

Oh, and get a girlfriend to do the sale with you. It's so much more fun to sit with a friend and drink iced tea while bartering with people than just doing it alone.

Overwhelmed! said...

Wow! Great job on your financial goals.

I have no yard sale advice to offer. I'm just going to sit back and watch your comments and learn.

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

I agree with the other posters...take the nice, nearly new stuff to consingment.

And, what you price things really depends on your market! LOL I had a TON of boy clothes at my last one and marked nearly everything .25 cents each! LOL But, I literally had a copy paper box FILLED for each size range from newborn to 2T.

Around here, people wouldn't pay $1 per baby item unless it was *really* nice and/or has tags on it.

Vickie said...

This is what I have done in the past. When my oldest had outgrown his cute baby clothes I kept what I wanted for memories and then I priced them according to the brand. I also had people at my church that tell me to let them know if I was ever to have a garage sale so they could buy his clothes from me. I have also given away NUMEROUS things too but when I was a single parent this is how I took my little boy on vacation by selling the things he had outgrown. I racked up over 600.00 in one garage sale and the majority was his clothes and baby equipment and little tike toys.

I have never been one to put .50 on lots of items. I also never have a lot of things left at the end of the sale. Things that may be stained or have the little furry balls of fabric on them can be priced for .50 but if you have a lot of higher end name brand items they will sell like hotcakes if you price them mid range. At least you have room to deal with people. I would also tell your friends at church that may have younger children. One year I sold most of my son's clothes before the garage sale ever opened and got top dollar for them from a girl at church....just as good as consignment prices. She bought all I had of his RL polo shirts, gap jeans, etc.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

For what it's worth, here's my input:

I like to price everything the same, i.e., bottoms $2, shirts $1. That way I have some wiggle room, because around here, it doesn't matter what the price is, people will offer less. So if the jeans are $3, they'll offer $2, but if they're $2, they'll offer $1. I like to bargain sometimes too, but some people are ridiculous.

Anyway.

I also try to hang up as many shirts as I can, because once two or three people come through looking at them, they're no longer folded anyway. Jeans are a little easier to leave out on a table, but shirts...what a mess.

I agree that I'd try consigment for the equipment, maybe even wait for one of those twice yearly huge consignment sales, if you have them in your area.

I also agree that you need someone else there with you, whether a friend, relative or hubby. It can be WAY too overwhelming when you have a rush.

Good luck, girl!

Bev said...

We LOVE Dave Ramsey, have seen him speak twice, began his program about 7 years ago and it made all the difference in our finances. I'm with others - selling kid clothes at garage sales will get you bottom prices, with lots of leftovers, where consignment for the nicer stuff will bring in more. You usually have to give up 50% of the sales price at consignment, so then you have to decide which way to go. I'd guess that baby equipment - Craig's List is a good way to go with it. I was told by our consignment store that they wont take baby equipment anymore because of the liability? So Craig's List might work for that, and I'd price it at about half of what you paid for it. that's what I'd expect to pay for it anyway.

emilymcd said...

I had a yard sale last year. I hear that you're supposed to charge 1/3 of the original price if it's in good condition.

For really nice baby clothes, put them on a hanger. For onesies, etc, just put them neatly on a table.

Also, think of a game plan for the inevitable bargain shoppers who will ask you to take $1 for a $3 item. It's okay to say "no, thanks".

Ugh. Yard sales are a lot of work, but you should get some good cash. Good luck!

Oooo... I had margaritas at my yard sale last year (it was Cinco de Mayo) and it made it SO much more fun.

purplepassion said...

I would suggest consignment for the equipment and the good clothes too. If it doesn't sell in Consignment then have your yard sale and sell them there.
If you happen to haev things with the tags still on them, I would price at a couple of bucks under. I remember selling toddler suits (I bot one for a wedding that we went to) it was in new condition for $10 at my yard sale. But then I also sold about a dozen of those baby shoes/booties that come with all those clothes sets for $1 for the bunch not each! You just have to pick and choose. Growing up in Northern VA. we bought and sold a lot at consignment. Here in Miami it doesn't go so well. Good Luck!

simplyamom said...

This info is great and couldn't be more timely as I'm planning a yard sale for this weekend. Thanks so much!

simplyamom said...

Just realized I really didn't help answer your questions. First of all, clothes are difficult issue at yard sales,because it seems no matter how you organize them they are unorganized very quickly. I personally have decided not to mess with clothes. I take them all a donation center.

As far as baby equipment, if it's like new you should get good money for it. People expect to get good deals at garage sales, but I try to price myself "like new" items at about 60% of what I paid for it.

Thanks again for the links!

Lynnie said...

I had a yard sale last year and wanted to get rid of all my daughters' old clothes. I did NOT want to have to bring them back in the house at the end of the day. I put up a sign that said, "Fill a bag for $3." Now, granted, I didn't make a lot with such a low price, but you could set it higher, whatever you thought was fair. I DID get rid of almost everything though, and I did have some in bins that people were willing to poke through just for the thrill of filling a bag. One lady bought 7 bags! Also, I hung up a quick triple clothesline and pinned things up periodically throughout the sale.

QponCutie said...

I don't have any advice for you on setting up a yard sale, but if you live near Philly, let me know when it is!! I love me a yard sale, and need clothes for my littlest man! LOL


Best of luck, and keep us posted!

Mike said...

Very informative links.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Stacey said...

I don't know if anyone has suggested this or not, but...

What I do (and I have TONS of little girl clothes!)...

I bought some inexpensive gallon size ziploc bags (loads of them) and folded each outfit in them, smushed the air out to make them flat, then with a black marker I put the size & price on the bag. You can also right the name brand if it's a popular one - that helps.

Of course, this only works for children's clothes as they are little. But, it has really helped me out at our yard sales.

People are impressed with the time & effort you put into it and you are able to get a little more for them if they are presently neatly.

Hope this helps you...goodness - it sure is long enough. Whew...