Yard Sales are hard work.They can take weeks to put together for a two day event. They can be hot and exhausting and frustrating. So, what do you do when you need to get rid of your junk and you don’t want to sell it online a piece at a time? I found myself in that predicament and did some research. What I found were services that would put on your yard sale for you! For a fee, they would take the muss and the fuss out of yard sales! They will come into your home, sort through the things you want to sell, set a date for a sale, run the sale and then hand over the money (after they keep a percentage) to YOU! And all of this happens after they are finished cleaning up! You can leave for the weekend or not, while they do all the grubby work! What is there NOT to like about that!
The number one hesitation that people have about putting on a yard sale is the time it takes to organize and set up a decent sale. Many people who collect and buy could easily put on at least 2 yard sales a year! I decided to make an appointment with one company and see what we could set up.
The following is a list of questions and answers that helped me make the decision on whether or not I should use the service.
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! Yard Sales can be very positive events! Yard sales allow new beginnings and fresh starts!
Do you have a business license and permits and insurance?
Business licenses are required and we have one for all of the towns we service.We also have liability insurance totaling $1million. And we are bonded.
How many days prior to a sale do you allot for organizing?
The first meeting between our company and a client occurs TWO weeks before the Yard Sale.The client shows us 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?
Our company 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 our company and the client.
Is there a profit?
Of course! Yes, we make a profit!
Do you do the advertising for the sale as part of your fee?
Yes, we 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 internet.
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 (partners) 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 our company.
Is each item tagged and then recorded at the time of the sale?
Yes, it can slow down check out just a bit, but 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 your company keeps 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.
Doesn’t this job, this business, get hot and dirty and exhausting?
Of course it gets hot and dirty and exhausting!
What keeps you going with you company?
The excitement of finding something new! Getting things cleaned out and cleaned up! Each sale is a brand new adventure!
Your company is gearing up for a very busy summer season and hope to have at least Two other Sales Teams ready to go very soon!
This is their breakdown on what they can do for YOU!
Our Company will come to your home or place of storage to...
- Assess your items
- Help organize the items you want to sell / donate / keep
- Help sell items online before your sale date
- Set a sale date
- Advertise online and in local newspapers
- Provide and put out signs on the day of the sale
- Price items
- Set-up and organize items for the sale (we can also provide tables)
- Clean-up and box items for storage and / or donation after the sale
I was impressed with how organized and calm this company was! Their calm and matter of fact approach allows for logic and large sales numbers!
When I left the interview, I went home and went through my garage and started to make a list of all of the things that I could easily get rid of! When I got to 3 large boxes and 4 giant bags, I decided to give the company a call and schedule a date! More later about the results!