Saturday, May 09, 2009

Rummage sale professional

Today was a super exciting day. I had a rummage sale to help pay for the condo we are renting in Key West this summer. Our portion of the rental is $250. I made $286! It's like we are staying for free!

I try to have a rummage sale every spring/summer to unload unwanted junk and make a little extra money. This sale was by far the most I've taken in. (AND I don't have children so none of it came from baby clothes, toys, children's clothes)

I figure others my learn and profit from my rummage sale tips so here they are.

1) ALWAYS price to sell. It doesn't matter if you paid $50 for that Gap sweater no one is going to pay $5 or $10 dollars for it at your rummage sale. If you are having a summer sale then winter items need to be priced CHEAP, I'm talking 50 cents to $1. EXAMPLE: plain sweatshirt: 25 to 50 cents, but brand new still with tags on it Kentucky pullover windbreaker $5, brand new Old Navy fleece/ Nike sweatshirt $2 to $3, bleach-spotting Nike sweatshirt 25 cents.  This pricing system also works for housewares. Most items need to be UNDER $1. 

2) REMEMBER if you don't sell it then you will probably be donating it and then you will make nothing. Plus you have to figure out how to get it to donation location.

3) ADVERTISE. Either take out a newspaper ad (which can eat into your profit), post signs if your city allows you to (post them at all major entrances to neighborhood and main traveled intersections within your neighborhood), or when you notice that neighbors are getting ready for sell then pull out your stuff and mooch off their advertisements!

4) PLACE like items together!

5) Put a price on EVERYTHING. This way while you are totaling up someone's order you don't have to stop to negotiate. Plus I think people buy more when they know what to expect.

6) Don't forget to weed through your old Bath & Body Works, Mary Kay and Victoria Secret lotions. Even those that are half used will sell. Also bottles of hand lotion, shampoo, hair spray, nail polish and regular body lotions will sell. (Make sure they aren't bottles that were sitting in your shower molding) Depending on how new, amount left in bottle depends on pricing. Full bottle of body spray, lotion will go between $1 to $3, half empty will go between 50 cents and $1 depending on size of bottle. Nail polish between 25 cents and $1 depending on brand, amount left.

7) This may sound gross but don't forget men's underwear and undershirts. These may be some of the first things sold! Seriously! Women's don't sell as well but children's do!!

8) Don't forget to check pockets, purses, jewelry boxes and anything that something can fit inside. You don't want to leave something unexpected for the future owner.

9) When cleaning out closets, under beds and in attics, even if you don't think it will sell it still might sell. Put it out there with a price on it. Someone might buy it, remember #7 (I've seen people buy a bundle of hangers, old golf balls,  ect.) 

10) Make sure you dust items and furniture before putting it out. No one wants to buy something really dirty. If the clothes have been stored for awhile you might want to wash them or at least fluff them in the dryer. 

11) Make sets of things. Sell an old comforter and sheet set together or leave bed pillows in shams. Sell all bathroom accessories as a whole, a group of 5 frames.

12) Make small repairs. If a shirt is missing a button, sew one on. If a comforter is ripped then sew it up. If you don't want to make these simple repairs then price accordingly. 

13) Borrow some tables or hanging racks for your sale. People will dig but they tend to buy more when it's all in view. So display it nicely.

14.) Go back and refold clothes once you get a break between customers. Just like #13 it sets the tone of your sell.

15.) Have fun! Play some music. If you are selling a radio turn it on! This will also show that it's working!

Whether you use one or all of my tips, I hope you have a great sale! If you would like to add tips to the list then leave them in the comments section. I'm also looking for something new to attract customers.

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