Monday, June 29, 2015

Garage Sale Series-Price Tags




Garage sales are such a blessing... and a lot of fun... to visit. Putting on a garage sale, though it can be fun... is also a LOT of work. One thing that affects how successful the sale will be... is having things priced.

I dislike going to a garage sale where nothing is priced... and I never look around at such a sale very much. Sometimes I will ask a price on one or two items and if it is higher than I want to pay, I will just leave and go to another sale. There may have been much there I would have bought... IF it were priced. If the price is good on the items I ask about, I will look around to buy more, but I will not buy as much as if things were priced.

I hear people say they were too busy to price anything so just look around and ask for a price on whatever you want to buy. I sympathize... life IS busy... but my life is busy too and if they had priced the items, they would probably sell much more... I don't have the time to go to the garage sale proprietor to ask for a price on each item... and I won't do it... and neither will most customers. 


Ideally, I like to have EVERY item priced, but there are always some that slip through without a price... or the price tag falls off... or someone has removed the price tag. It happens and it doesn't bother me to see that... I just love to go to a garage sale where most things are priced.

One thing that happens sometimes is that people will trade price tags... like the time my husband was manning the garage sale and someone came up to buy a drill...and it had a 25c sticker on it. My husband asked me if that was the right price... we both knew it wasn't... I had put $10.00 on it. Later, we found something... maybe a plastic dish... that had the $10.00 price tag on it. Sometimes, I write the name of the item on the tag of a higher priced item... I get busy and it doesn't always happen, but it is a good idea.

It may seem like a good idea to leave prices off... and tell people to make an offer. Some people will do that... many won't.  Also, prepare to be insulted when you do that... because that end table that you paid $125.00  for and are hoping to get $50 from... may look appealing to a buyer and when you say  "make an offer"... someone will offer $5.00.  What will you do?  At the very least, it will make your garage sale more stressful.  It sure helps to give your customers an idea of what you hope to get out of it... and it make things better for everyone.


You can buy packages of price tags at the store... they will be stickers with prices on them... 10c, 25c, 50c, etc.  From what I have seen, people who use these find that they need more of certain prices and less of others... and who wants all of those "make an offer" stickers?  As a customer, I don't really like to find those... I want the seller to commit and declare what their selling price is.  People can still make an offer if you are negotiable... Buying price tags can be a big help... just be prepared to not use all of the price tags... and maybe to have to buy more of them to get what you need.

I have made my own price tags for many years... yes, it is a lot of work... no, I don't like to do it, BUT it really isn't that hard and it works well. It also saves some money by not buying pre-made stickers.  I like to use sticker sheets that will stick well, but that can also be removed after the sale.  God has provided my sticker sheets at garage sales... and when I find some, I will buy a big stack.. if they have them. Then I will use a Sharpie marker... usually black, green, blue.. or something dark... this time I had a pink one which is not as good, but it will work.  I like to use what I have on hand. :)

The number of price tags above, looks like a lot... and it is, but those go fast when I am pricing things... I find that I use 25c, 50c and $1.00 stickers more than the others, so I make a lot more of those.   I many times will color code them also... so that when I am pricing, it is easier to grab the 50c ones because they have a yellow stripe on them... or the 25c ones have a green stripe. I tend to think in colors for organizing, but that is just a personal preference.  I use highlighter markers for that. Those 2 sheets above probably took about 10-15 minutes to make... and I will need at least 10- 20 of those for a sale.... I have big sales. :)   Doing it all at once is overwhelming. Sometimes, I will start weeks before the sale... and just make stickers while we watch a movie... or while visiting with my mom or a friend.. or while listening to something. A few a day can accumulate many for the sale.


After I write out the prices, I cut strips, leaving a bit on the end so it doesn't come  apart. Then, we tear off each price as we need it, leaving the backing. We have developed a system after so many years of doing this... it isn't the system that matters, it is finding what can work for you. We have changed our systems many different times until we have the system we use now... and we like it, but it could still change again at some point. :) 

What if you don't want to make stickers... and you don't want to buy them?  Some other methods people use are... pricing a whole table full of items... one table is marked 25c and everything on that table is 25c... another table is $1.00, etc.  That helps and it lets your customers know the prices. The downside is that you or your customer will have to remember which table they got each item from... and then there are those who are dishonest and will not tell you the truth of where they got it. It is a risk, but it may be worth it to you. That's okay... you can still do very well at a garage sale with such pricing.

Another way is to color code the prices... some people will put orange stickers on everything that is 50c, yellow stickers on $1.00 items... and so on. That works... but you do need to put LOTS of sheets up telling what the various color mean to aid your customers in their shopping.

I have been to garage sales where everything was 25c... or everything was $1.00.  That works too.... unless you are like the person at one sale I went to... they said everything was $1.00, but then kept saying... except that... and that... and that.  They should have marked those things that were not part of everything is $1.00.

Some people use tape on their items and mark the price... that can work well. Some people will have a sign that says all shirts $1.00, all jeans $2.00, etc. That works if you keep it simple.  I have seen signs that had 20-30 items on them and it was overwhelming to try to decide what the price was of the item I was holding. Since it is too time-consuming, I usually move on to another sale.

One thing I have seen is where people take a black permanent marker and mark the price right on each item... on puzzle boxes, picture frames, fronts of books, and more... and some items are ruined by this.. so this isn't a great idea.  I was sad to see many such items at a sale that I would have bought... at the price set... except that they ruined the item by putting the price permanently on it.





Prices can also be cut out and tied to an item w/ string or twist ties. This can work for jewelry and lots of other items.  I posted about using this for jewelry.     Garage Sale Series-Selling Jewelry

If you have a garage sale this summer, I hope it is a pleasant one and that you are able to trade some of your stuff for cash to use on other things.    I will be adding to this Garage Sale Series in upcoming posts.  Thank you for visiting.. and I hope you have a wonderful week. :)





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Monday, June 22, 2015

Garage Sale Series-Selling Jewelry




Garage sales are a lot of work.... and yet, they can be a good way to get rid of some unneeded items and bring in some money at the same time.  We have had many successful garage sales and I plan to share some ideas that can help when you plan and have a garage sale.

This post is about selling jewelry... it sounds easy, doesn't it? There are some things to do which can make selling jewelry at the garage sale even more successful.

Dumping it all in a box doesn't make it too appealing.... and it is so easy to do much better than that, although I LOVE going to a garage sale that has a box of earrings for 25c or 50c a pair... :)

When I am selling earrings, I make sure they have backs on the regular pierced ear earrings...  sometimes we clean them up... sometimes not...  but I really like to "card" them... makes them look so much better.


One thing I do is to use lightweight cardstock and I cut it into squares and rectangles. This year, I am using special scissors to put a pretty edge on these squares and rectangles, although I have used regular scissors for this for many years and it worked out fine with straight sides.

I will then use a straight pin to make 2 holes so that I can put pierced ear earrings in.  Then I use a hole punch and make a hole near the top in case I want to hang them.

The color is not that important.. I have used these colors... also a dark burgundy red, a hunter green (I really liked that one) and a darker blue... I basically just use what I have on hand... I am not willing to spend a lot of money to bring in a little money at a garage sale...anything I spend takes away from any profit... so I try not to spend anything. 


Making cards doesn't take long... and it makes the jewelry look so much nicer. It also helps to keep it organized better and gives a place to attach a price tag.


I also make smaller rectangular tags and put a hole in one end. I use twist ties from bread or trash bag packages (we tie our trash bags and so have all of those wonderful twist ties to use.)  I usually cut the ties shorter and then I hook a tag to each necklace, bracelet or ring.




Here is one of the tags on a necklace.

I will put a price sticker on it (I make my own stickers.. that will be in a future post).  I will also write any pertinent information on this tag...  for example, if it is silver, I will put that, although I usually keep any silver and gold items. :)  That is part of the fun of being able to buy jewelry at garage sales... I do not have to feel guilty for it... it costs little and I am constantly selling some.






Here are the earrings and pins... all carded. They do not have prices on them yet, but they will before I display them.  It is helpful to price everything at a sale.













 Here are necklaces, bracelets and rings...   again, all are tagged, but not yet priced.

You may be wondering WHY I have so much jewelry to sell... well, every year I do very well with selling jewelry... prices usually range from 50c to $5.00.  After doing well with jewelry many years ago, I started watching at garage sales... and buying jewelry that is really cheap.

I have even found silver and gold items... real ones... but those rarely get sold-those are special treats that we usually keep. :)   Sometimes at sales, I find people just don't want to mess with the jewelry and may bag it to sell really cheap... I like to shop there. 

One time, I found a covered margarine container with many pairs of earrings in it... I asked the lady how much each pair was... and she said 50c... for ALL of them and the container!-she didn't want to bother with them.  Well, of course, I bought them... and sorted them to keep what I wanted and sold the rest. I have also found that I can buy jewelry at garage sales that I like... and sell some that I already have... it is fun to trade it out sometimes... and my jewelry table or rack is always extremely popular. 

I also sometimes get a $10.00 off coupon for Kohl's ... and I can take the coupon to the store and check out the discounted jewelry... and find something fun... sometimes, I find a card with more than one pair... I may keep one and sell the rest... or use them for a while, then sell. I have some favorite jewelry that I always keep, but there is also quite a "revolving door" on my jewelry supply.  The jewelry that my husband has given me never enters that "revolving door". :) 




 
 Sometimes,  I just put the carded jewelry on a table... or on trays on a table...

Several times a day during the garage sale, I will rearrange the jewelry to fill in holes and make it look neat and tidy again... much easier for people to look then.

I like to have the jewelry in an area which is observable from where we check things out... to help deter theft... it does happen, but hopefully, not as much.  I also like to have the jewelry where more than one person can shop at a time, so it is good to put it in the open.


Many times I use a bulletin board and just push straight pins (usually the ones with a colored ball on the top... it is easier on the fingers)... I push them in at an angle and they work well to hang the jewelry.  These can be leaned against a wall.

 One year, I had the idea of using a folding fireplace screen.... this one had 4 sides and could fold up flat or stretch out... or even stand with 4 sides... as a box-type display(shown below).

I used plastic coated wire and made hooks.... LOTS of hooks... they looked like little fish hooks... and I hooked them to the wire on the fireplace screen. It worked well.. and we just saved it and used it for many years of garage sales.





Here is where I have it connected... and I put it on a taller plant stand/table to bring it up to a good height for people to browse.

I didn't care for the look of being able to see through the wire...it made everything look too busy..... so another year, I put black fabric inside, which highlighted the jewelry better.



























This is the rack with the black fabric inside... much better.  I keep changing things as needed... and a couple of years ago, we retired this rack... now I am using trays on a table again... I think.  :)

I find it helpful to fill in any holes in the rack... often...  Consolidating the jewelry makes it much more interesting for shopping.. .you don't want it to look all picked over... there is still good stuff on there so it is wise to display it nicely.

By having a range of prices, there is more interest for a variety of people... and many women buy lots of the jewelry.  My daughters like to shop here also... and I usually give them a couple of pairs, (their choice)... for helping with the sale and they love that. :)

We are getting ready for a big garage sale... and I tend to get creative when I am setting up.  How will I display the jewelry this year?  I'm not sure yet. :)

Thank you for visiting my blog today. I will be posting more in this Garage Sale Series.... I hope you will join me and I would love to hear about your garage sales.










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Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Daughter's Fun Outfit




I bought a pretty blue skirt for my daughter... and it fit so nicely.  We weren't sure what to pair with it, but she tried her new green shirt with the ruffles down the front.  At first, we rejected the idea since the colors didn't match, but there was also something we liked about the combination.

 We found a scarf that matched the skirt and that helped to tie the outfit together. She remembered that she had a headband with a blue and white polka-dotted bow on it.... and it matched the skirt. She also had blue sparkly earrings.

Overall, the outfit looked nice and we really liked it...   I saw her across the room at a graduation party, in this outfit, and I realized just how nice it looked on her and it looked like a complete outfit that was made that way.






The fun thing is that I bought all of the various parts to the outfit at garage sales.... and they were all at DIFFERENT garage sales, at different times... but together, they formed a nice outfit. Garage sales can be such a great help. :)

Saving Money-Part 3- Buying Used

My Garage Sale Prayer List

I have been able to put together many outfits... one item at a time, and then I just keep looking for something to go with it. Sometimes it involves waiting and sometimes I have to be flexible in what I am looking for, but it is so nice to see how God provides.

Anyway, this outfit has been delightful and I love seeing her wear it.  The full skirt flares nicely when she twirls, which is fun.  The skirt is long enough to be modest and also allow for freedom of movement. What a blessing.


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Monday, June 8, 2015

Used Curriculum Sale-Buying and Selling...




We just recently went to a Used Curriculum Sale... where we bought, and sold, many items.  What a blessing... we found some great things for our upcoming school year... and we sold a lot of items we no longer need.

If you have a chance to go, it can be such a blessing to attend one of these.  :)




This is what the room looked like when we started setting up our sale table... pretty big... and very empty....   We like to get there right away on time because it takes a while to set everything up so that we are ready to sell when it is time.

 We only have 45 minutes to set everything up... before customers are allowed to begin shopping. It may sound like a lot of time, but it is needed.






This is what the room looks like after things get going...  and actually, this wasn't the way it looked at the busiest... I was shopping at that time, so couldn't take this picture. :)  It was thinning out by this time... and you can see an empty table where someone had already closed up their selling table.




  We have been attending these events for many years... in fact, we used to have to bring a couple of blankets so our toddlers could relax under the table when they got too tired to be up.  That was a while ago.
:)

Homeschool curriculum is quite expensive... there are books and supplies to buy, so when we can find them at a reduced price, that is very helpful.  Some years, I have found LOTS of items to buy... this year, I bought some things, but not a lot.


Since we have sold things here for so many years, we have learned much that helps.  This year, they gave us 2 tables which was a huge blessing... and we also brought a folding table, so our selling area was larger than it has been before.

We have learned to bring folding bookshelves, as this really helps to display items and it makes it easier for people to shop. We also make use of empty boxes to use to stack other boxes on... as this brings things up to make it easier for people to see items without bending over so far. 

I've also learned to bring book stands for displaying books... I have collected several of the wrought iron folding ones (from garage sales. :)  and these are great for making the books more visible.

I like to price each item... AND I also like to put similar prices together... like I have a $1.00 shelf, a $2.00, $3.00, a 50c shelf (or box) and so on.  When we first arrive, we bring everything inside... then the girls and I set it all up to make it appealing. While we do that, the guys take the dollies out and help other people bring their things inside also. They enjoy helping others haul their items in... and other people tell us what a blessing they are for doing it. :)

The last couple of years, I have been making brightly colored signs to tape to the wall showing what I have... like Math u see, Usborne, Science, and more....

We bring actual school books... and we also bring other learning items... like Math manipulatives, Science experiment books and supplies, educational toys, health items.. gardening and herb books, nutrition books, novels, and lots more..... basically anything a homeschooling family may want to use.  One year, I even sold my KitchenAid mixer when I had bought a big Electrolux and didn't need the other one anymore. The lady who bought it was delighted. :)

After the girls and I have it all nicely displayed, we leave my husband and one of the kids (they trade out) to "man" the booth and sell things, while I go shopping. Someone goes with me and a couple of our kids "float" and take my purchases back to our booth so we don't have to carry them all. We have quite the system down now and it works well.

Usually, I will go back to our booth 3 or 4 times during the evening... maybe more... and will re-organize things. It is fun to notice that many things have sold, BUT I don't want it to look picked over, so I will pull out another book to put in a book holder(the book is already out for sale, but is in a box or on a shelf and I move it to a more visible spot)... you can see that one of the book holders is empty in the picture below... and I will move things around. This REALLY helps.. .and so many times, the new items I just put out, have been snatched up right away and I have to do it again.

Anyway... this is a wonderful resource to make use of and I hope you are able to attend a used curriculum sale near you. I hope you have a great week.





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Monday, June 1, 2015

Repurposed Gutter... For Flowers?!
















 I do some unusual things in my garden.... and I tend to experiment. This time I wondered about using a gutter to hook to the deck for herbs or flowers. Hmmm.... not what you usually see... in fact, I have never seen it.... but worth a try. :)














We had a piece of guttering that was closed on both ends....  I checked the decks and found that it was a perfect fit for this spot. I was actually surprised that my guys didn't make fun of me on this idea...






My Mom and Dad are visiting... this is the first visit after Dad's open heart surgery a few months ago. 
When An Emergency Strikes


With one of our sons helping,
Dad drilled holes in the bottom of the gutter, for drainage... about every 10" or so.... 

At one end, there was a large hole for a downspout... I put some plastic with a few small holes, over it before putting dirt in. Landscape fabric or screen would have been better, but I was using what was handy. :)  It works. 




 Dad is improving-it has been slow and he still has to be careful, but he wants to help also... and I am needing to find little jobs for him... ones that do not tax him too much, but that also keep him busy. I appreciate his desire to help...and the work is helping him also... we all need to be needed.

 We all agree it looks great and is a nice addition to that area.  I planted some annual flowers in it... and also some mint. The mint should smell wonderful when we have our picnics on the deck.

I would love to add another one of these to a shady part of the deck for lettuces... seems it would be great to have it so accessible to me and NOT to the rabbits! :) I will be watching for a nicely-sized piece of guttering with ends, for that project. Maybe this year, maybe next... we'll see.

  We will have to be careful to give the plants enough water as it gets pretty hot here in the summer.... and dry and they could dry out quickly. For now, with all of the rain we are having, it is doing great. :)

I hope you have a great week....





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