So, one evening I was surfing facebook, delving into the who and what of various “friends” and their activities, when suddenly, up pops a box that says “LIKE my Page.” I looked at it for a moment, realized I really liked the name of the page — Yard Sale Divas — and clicked on “LIKE!” Then I decided to investigate further.
I was happily surprised to find that Yard Sale Divas was located right here in Florida! I looked further and, to great elation, Yard Sale Divas was located right here in Flagler Beach!!!! OH MY!!! Flagler Beach is considered our beach, a neighborhood in our town; a sister in the community character!!! In my surprise and excitement, I also found that they put on yard sales FOR YOU!!! No more muss or fuss!!! Yard Sale Divas would come into your home, sort through the things you own, set a date for a sale, run the sale and then hand over the money (after they keep a percentage, of course) to YOU! And all of this happens after they are finished cleaning up!!! You can go down to the beach and lay in the sun while they do all the grubby work!!! What is there not to like about that!!!
The number one hesitation for people to put on a yard sale is the time it takes to organize and set up a decent sale. I know that with the amount of treasures that I constantly collect, I could easily have at least two yard sales a year!!! But I don’t!!! It takes too much time and effort to pull it together!! Yes, I admit it…I am whining here!!!!
So, Yard Sale Divas had a telephone number right on the front of their page and, of course, I called them right away!!!! Tamara picked up the phone and well, let’s just say, we are now BFF’s forever!!!
After we got to know each other through “junkin” conversation, we decided to talk again at another time to better set up an interview for this blog!
Saturday, Tamara and I spent an hour discussing all the details of Yard Sale Divas — how the business came about, where it is going, and what makes it fun and interesting!! The following is the Interview for your enjoyment!!
Interview with Tamara of Yard Sale Divas:
Why and how did you get into the business?
“I Love yard sales! I love the whole point of them being to reuse, recycle, and repurpose your old stuff…along with making money!!… They are very positive events! Yard sales allow new beginnings and fresh starts!… I got into the business because an aunt needed help getting rid of some things and then a neighbor needed some help and then another relative and things just kept going on from there.”
Did you have to get business license and permits and insurance?
“Yes, I have the required business license from the city where we are located. The cost was $79. And we also have liability insurance totaling $1million.”
How many days prior to a sale do you allot for organizing?
“The first meeting between Yard Sale Divas and a client occurs two weeks before the Yard Sale. The client shows us generally what they want to sell. We make a list and then we ask that they start pulling everything out and setting it all aside. We come back again a week before the sale and start tagging the merchandise and setting things up on tables and other displays.”
How many days do you schedule for the actual sale?
“Yard Sale Divas allows 2 or 3 days for the sale, usually scheduling on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, or just Friday and Saturday.”
What percentage of sales makes up your fee?
“We keep 30% of the sales revenues.”
How much does the customer keep?
“The client keeps 70%, but there are ways to make extra money for both Yard Sale Divas and the client
Is there a profit?
“(Laughing) Of course! Yes, we make a profit!”
Do you do the advertising for the sale as part of your fee?
“Yes, Yard Sale Divas pay for the advertising as part of our percentage. But we are considering some start up fee changes in the future so that we can expand our marketing area.”
How do you advertise?
“The fee includes advertising in the local papers and signage and balloon decorations around the neighborhood and in front of the sale. It also includes announcements online on facebook, craigslist, and the local swip swap sites.”
How do you calculate the price of an item?
“Prices are based upon our experience from selling the same type of items and what we have researched on the net.”
Do you use your own tables and set up displays?
“Yes. We have a collection of tables and boxes and displays that show off items for better sales.”
How many people do you use for a sale and are they all part of the fee?
“At this point in time, it is just the two of us who work the sale. But on occasion we will hire outside help for very big sales or for sales that have lots of heavy or bulky items.”
How do you keep track of the sales?
“All items are listed in an excel program. There is a column for the description of the item, another for the lowest sales amount that will be accepted for that item, and then another for the expected price of the item. Anything that is sold above the expected price gets listed in another column and that is split between the client and Yard Sale Divas.”
Is each item tagged and then recorded at the time of the sale?
“Yes. It can slow down check out just a bit, but [it] is necessary.”
What happens if a client feels like you didn’t charge enough or too much?
“All prices and rules are discussed and agreed upon before the sale, and there is a signed expectation agreement between both parties.”
The sale is over; do you pack it up?
“Yes. We pack everything up and put it away, set it out for the garbage pick up, put it all back into their storage unit or garage, or donate it to the recipient that the client has chosen. Or, we keep whatever is left over (as per the client).”
If Yard Sale Divas keep[s] the leftover items, is it a part of your fee payment? And what do you do with the items yourself?
“We try not to have anything left! We already have enough stuff!!! But, we still have a few boxes of items left in our garage! I guess we will have our own garage sale someday!!”
What happens if it rains or storms? Does the sale still go on?
“If we can’t move it inside, we will simply reschedule at no additional fee.”
What happens if the sale is a disaster with no sales, no buyers, no money?
“It is what it is!! We will offer alternatives such as a different date or time of year or selling on line.”
How involved is the client on the day of the sale?
“They are as involved as they want to be. Some simply leave and let us do the job, whereas others will stick around and watch all that is going on. Rarely do they interfere with transactions. One lady made us lunch and brought us lemonade all day! But most leave!”
How many sales a weekend do you currently do?
“One a weekend because, at the current time, there is just the two of us. But we are in the process of trying to develop sales teams so that we can do several sales simultaneously.”
Do you see turning this into a franchise opportunity?
“Yes. I would like to think it is possible to franchise this idea.”
What is your business background?
“I was a real estate investor in Philadelphia. And here in Florida, I own a Valet Laundry Service and a Paint your own Pottery Studio.”
Where are you from originally
“I’m from Philadelphia.”
Doesn’t this job, this business, get hot and dirty and exhausting?
“(Laughing) Of course it gets hot and dirty and exhausting!!”!
What keeps you going with Yard Sale Divas?
“The excitement of finding something new! Getting things cleaned out and cleaned up! Each sale is a brand new adventure!”
Yard Sale Divas is gearing up for a very busy summer season and hope to have at least Two other Sales Teams read to go very soon!
This is their breakdown on what they can do for YOU!!!
“Yard Sale Divas will come to YOU to organize, set-up, price and sell your stuff!
Yard Sale Divas will come to your home or place of storage to…
1. Assess your items
2. Help organize the items you want to sell / donate / keep
3. Help sell items online before your sale date
4. Set a sale date
5. Advertise online and in local newspapers
6. Provide and put out signs on the day of the sale
7. Price items
8. Set-up and organize items for the sale (we can also provide tables)
9. Clean-up and box items for storage and / or donation after the sale”
Since I just met Tamara last week, I have been impressed with how organized and calm she is! Yard Sales always seem to be a bit of a panic situation. But Tamara’s calm and matter of fact approach allows for logic and large sales numbers!!!
When I left our interview, I must admit I went through my garage and started to make a list of all of the things that I could easily get rid of!!
Gee, I wonder how much she could get for that pitcher, or that old bike, and that frame…
I think I’ll go ask her!!!!
Until Next Time!!!!
Keep on Junkin’!