Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Our First Yard Sale

In the past, we've only sold stuff we didn't want through Craigslist or to people we know/friends-of-friends. We've been wanting to have a yard sale since before we moved to California again, but we ended up having it here, a Saturday in January.

We priced a ton of junk we've got around the house, along with some items that we've been keeping with the intention of giving to someone at some point, LoL. I bought some stakes and posterboard and we made signs. I blew up some balloons to draw attention to those signs. I put an advertising post up on Craigslist and Jonathan and I priced everything with stickers or put items in boxes marked "$1" or "25 cents" etc. Jonathan put up all of the signs the morning of, and we experienced three different "customers" before our official start time of 8am. We didn't sell anything for forty minutes or so, but after that it was pretty steady. After it was clear that we were having a yard sale, our neighbor put out a bunch of stuff in her driveway too, and benefited from our traffic a bit when she sold a few items. Jim, our housemate, also put out some items, and had some sales, too. There was certainly some bargaining throughout the day, but I never really felt bad about a price we haggled about.
The driveway with our tables (I blurred out the house number for privacy)
the pool table had the higher-priced goods
a shot of the table with clothes & electronics stuff

The only true surprise came about 11:30am, when we realized that we had had some theft. At no point was the yard sale unattended by at least one of us, and 75% or more of the time, all three of us were present. Yet, somehow people managed to walk off with several items. We're only aware of four stolen things, though there may be more that we just didn't notice missing (all in all we had probably 150 or so items out). One was a broken digital camera that we were selling for $10, since someone could probably fix it or scrap it for parts. It was in a case and I had talked about it to someone earlier in the morning. At some point it was pulled from its case and disappeared. Not a big loss, since it didn't work anyway. But I only noticed this after Jim discovered someone had stolen a DVD player he had for sale! That's a large item to walk off with! At first we were baffled over how this could have happened (a camera can fit in a pocket... but a DVD player can't!!), but we remembered that there was a point where we had 10 or 12 people looking at our stuff, so we couldn't have watched all 20+ hands at the same time I guess. The other two thefts were dumb... the sticky-fingered fool didn't know what he was taking and stole half of two different items... so neither will do him any good. Of course, that leaves us with two halves of items which does us no good, LoL.

Overall, it was a success. We were able to sell a lot of stuff that we don't need, and we're planning to do another one in six weeks or so, since we now have an idea of what to expect, and we'll plan to get the signs up the night before and whatnot to increase traffic.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jonathan & Amy,

    If you ever come across broken stuff you can
    list it free with a picture on my website.

    Ed Soltan