Yard Sale Madness

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13 Tips for a Super Yard Sale

A Yard Sale is Just Clearing Your Clutter, Right?

Wrong. It’s an opportunity to become a master of marketing.

This post comes from Brandon Ballenger at partner site Money Talks News.

If spring is for cleaning, summer is for selling off all the junk you’ve accumulated. And the simplest way to do it? An American classic: the yard sale.

Yard sales are known by many names, including garage sales, attic sales, porch sales, barn sales, junk sales, tag sales, moving sales, and the ever-popular rummage sale. They’ve been around for as long as people have been collecting clutter. If you’re so inclined, check out the history at this Wikipedia page.

But if you’re more interested in making money, what you need are a few tips to make your next sale more successful. Reporter Jim Robinson recently visited a few yard sales and talked to both buyers and sellers. Check out some his advice in the video, then read on for more.

Read 13 tips for a super yard sale on MSN Money.

Stamps and Coins at Yard Sales!

Featured Guest Blog by Ed Augusts

Ed AugustsDo you want to SELL some old COINS?  Putting-up a nice coin collection at a yard sale or any other kind of sale may be the wrong thing to do, for several good reasons; and that is why it is so seldom done.  You can look far and wide and not see coins being mentioned in classifieds about yard sales.  The only silver you’re likely to read about is “silver plate” — not silver coins!  Gold?  Forget it!  Gold at yard sales is a color, not a precious metal.  BUT — guess what?SOMETIMES I’M WRONG!  Sometimes, though very rarely, you can find a FORTUNE in gold and silver at a yard sale, garage sale, moving sale or estate sale.

Old Coins used to be more plentiful, back when they were younger!  Forty or forty-five years ago , the Dark Ages to many of you readers,  but a golden era to those folks who were around then,  there were coins galore on sale at various venues, from yard sales to fancy Estate Sales.   At the San Jose Flea Market in 1971 or so, I could have bought up to a hundred very nice silver dollars for just $2.00 each.  (My new bride Karen at that time, said, “Don’t you dare!  We NEED that money!”  I replied, “Yes, we need those COINS!”  I knew darn well that the price of silver was already MORE than they were asking for those coins. “No we don’t!”  In the end, I was proved right since all those $2.00 uncirculated silver dollars would now be worth $40.00 each or more.  We might have even kept up with inflation! 

At that same flea market — ever looking for curiosa and numismatica, I bought a 1513 Transylvanian or Hungarian silver coin — a little tiny thing!  I paid a couple of bucks for it.  To this day I don’t even know if it is genuine or not.

In those days, many vendors had trays and trays full of foreign silver.  I think I bought a couple of tiny Mexican gold coins on that same visit.   Today you would have to look through lots and lots of glass-topped jewelry display boxes, and hope that among the costume jewelry, the old Presidential campaign buttons, the war medals and bus fare tokens and matchboxes and other little goodies, the seller has a couple of dozen nice old coins.  Just cross your fingers none are counterfeit, and also that he or she doesn’t have the current silver or gold prices at their fingertips!

The late ’60’s and early ’70’s was before the price of gold and silver shot up into the stratosphere. These days, if you do see coins at sales, they are usually either foreign coins, copper or nickel coins.  Yes, people might sell their old Buffalo Nickels or a few old Indian Heads or Lincoln Pennies.  But if someone is offering a really nice selection of coins, I always feel like asking, “Why?”

These days you can walk into a Coin Shop or a metal trader, perhaps working right out of one of those little “Check Cashing” stores, and get a certain percentage of the current silver or gold value.  In the case of high-end individual coins, a coin shop needs to make a profit, so they might only pay $100 for a coin they might sell for $800, but at least they have the money, very seldom do you have to wait.  You just bring in your coins and they give you cash.

A Coin Shop or Money Store gives you a SECURE surroundings for such a sale. The same cannot be said for a garage or back yard!  A person who sets-up a really nice coin display on a couple of tables of his Saturday sale is taking a big risk that the coins will attract the interest of scammers or thieves.  A person who offers valuable silver or gold coins in a yard sale or garage sale is running the risk of being robbed some night by thieves.  If you’re going to have thousands of dollars or rare coins around the house, you’d better have a great alarm system, or better yet, one or two BIG DOGS that like to bark.  Keeping a weapon or two within easy reach is not a bad idea, either!

Now!  If you are a shopper looking to BUY coins, you have your work cut out for you, but you JUST MAY succeed where so many others have failed.  You may find some nice old Grandpa who is selling-off his dad’s hoard of old coins, and not being too fussy if he gets the full bullion silver or gold value for the coins or not. This is another “Don’t Wanter” kinda fellow, a wonderful guy to meet, because he sincerely just wants to GET RID of his stuff, and won’t fuss with you over price.  You would be doing very well to find someone like this. His coins were probably collected 50 or 60 years ago.  They are probably NOT stolen.   You buy them for cash and they become yours.

Old Coins were always bad news for me.  I would buy them as cheaply as I could, but inevitably buy some from local coin shops. Twenty-five years later I would need to sell my coins to get ready cash, and I’d bring those same coins in to those same coin shops, and they would offer me HALF of what I PAID for them, twenty-five years before!   So IT IS TOUGH making money with coins,  unless you chance to buy a precious metal coin when it is very LOW in price.  Doing that right now is probably not in the cards.  But finding “Don’t Wanters” who give things away at less than true market value, is ALWAYS POSSIBLE — SO KEEP LOOKING, America!

Here’s a practical word of warning:  Don’t give someone a map to your house by writing them a check, etc., when transacting business regarding coins, especially those in precious metals!  You might as well walk around with a bull’s eye painted on your rear end or a helicopter landing zone on your rooftop!

I know people who have sold coins privately.  When someone calls them on the phone and wants to see a certain valuable coin, they arrange to meet them at a certain time at THEIR BANK or some other extremely public place... a quiet table in back of the local Public Library is another good choice.

Remember that in the early 1930’s, the U.S. Government called for people to turn-in ALL their gold coins.  Those who didn’t became criminals, and for many years had to trade coins via underground methods.   We NEVER CAN TELL what the FUTURE WILL BRING,  we hope, think and prey that we live in s FREE COUNTRY, but when it comes to having quantities of precious metals — security and privacy are of ultra-concern!

My fun & fact-filled e-book “Get Rich Buying at Yard Sales” is available at http://www.edaugusts.com/YardSales/


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An Estate Sale To Remember

By Shannon Paasch aka

An Estate Sale To Remember

estate sale findOkay, I’ve made you wait long enough.

So Sunday, I was in a town that I’m not normally in and we were dropping something off at someone’s house. Errand done, we noticed an estate sale just winding up right around the corner. There was a big dumpster out front, and some items on the driveway. As we approached, the people running the sale very tiredly said, “The items out front here are free. We are just so DONE.”

It was mostly canning jars and such, but there were a few odds n ends and so we poked around. Hubby grabbed a huge vintage Lazy Susan that is a nice solid, stained wood piece. That’s his deal, but I can see its usefulness. He also grabbed a cool vintage brass bowl.

Then I saw a stack of dishes. Checked the mark on the bottom and after turning it around a bit, I made out “HEATH”. Sweet!
Heath Ceramics was started in California by Edith Heath in the 1940s. Some of her designs are in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Read the rest of An Estate Sale To Remember here!

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Yard Sales Tips from Adventures in Aubreyland

Post by Aubrey

Yard Sale!

Yesterday I had my yard sale!  I definitely consider it a success… we did have quite a few things leftover to Craigslist or donate, but I sold my biggest/heaviest items and made enough for my goal: to buy my first business suit!

My friends LC and CB both brought items, and I think it was a good size sale with good selection.  I had as much fun as the last yard sale I did with CH, but I definitely have some lessons learned to take away from the day…


Yard Sale Tips from Aubrey

1.  Advertise! And I don’t mean just put a sign up on the end of your street (although that IS very important!).  I placed multiple ads with descriptions and photos on Craigslist, posted links to the Craigslist ads on local Facebook pages I belonged to.  I also spread the word to friends.  THIS is what gets people to your sale nowadays; multiple folks told me they found the sale on Craigslist, and the listing is free.

2.  Get your friends involved. Think you don’t have enough for your own sale?  Invite other friends!  I think that even two people will pool enough for a decent sized sale.  The best folks to invite are those who are getting married/combining households, have kids who outgrow things quickly, and those who are getting ready to move/downsize.  Everyone is surprised at just how much they have to contribute; it quickly goes from one box to an entire carload!  We each had an assigned sticker color, so we could help track whose items were whose, and it was a system that really worked.

3.  Prepare ahead of time. I priced all my items with stickers the night before.  Make sure you have plenty of change; between the three of us, we were fine, but if I could do it again I would get $50 in small bills instead of $25 that I had this time.  Those $1 bills especially make a difference.  Also, set out your wares well in advance…  even though I advertised ‘No early birds’ and a start time of 9 a.m., I had people showing up almost two hours early, as I was putting things out.

4.  Check the weather! Have a rain plan, wear the right clothes (I wore workout clothes because it was so hot/humid), and have sunscreen/bug spray/etc. ready to go.  I got some funny tan lines!  Also keep some water handy for yourself to stay hydrated.  It’s more work than you’d think… it was a workout for me!

Read the rest of Aubrey’s great tips on Adventures in AubreyLand.

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Don’t Let Someone Else Buy What You Want at a Yard Sale!

Don’t Miss That Special Item You Really Want to Buy

Have you ever gotten to a yard sale to buy a specific item only to find out that someone else beat you there and bought it? You can “get there first” for only pennies a day by getting Yardsales.com Premium Alerts. Don’t miss another sale! Subscribe today!

You can also post a sale and find a sale for FREE on Yardsales.com. Visit us today at http://yardsales.com

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You Never Know What Treasures You Might Find at a Yard Sale

Check out this “Amazing Garage Sale Find!”

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Share Your Adventures

Yardsales.com is Having a Video Contest

yardsales.com contest

There are some really wacky and funny things happening out there – in case you haven’t noticed! :) We want to hear about your experiences.

Do you have a video of these bizarre experiences? If yes, why not enter our contest and be featured on YardSales.com TV PLUS have a chance to win the $100 prize?

Don’t have a video of the adventure? No problem, just turn on your web cam and tell us about it!

Your video will be broadcast on YardSales.com Web TV show Bizarre Yard Sale Adventures.

You have to be in it to win, so send your video or video link today to info@yardsales.com!

Advantage Buyers — Advantage Sellers

Yardsales.com’s Powerful Search Platform

yardsales.comYardsales.com is proud to announce the launch of its most powerful search platform ever. Nationwide, buyers and sellers of used things are now profiting from the unmatched information, unrivaled access and unbeatable video technology of this powerful, multi-function site.

Leesburg, Virginia (PRWEB) May 29, 2011 Yardsales.com (http://yardsales.com) is the premiere online yard sale finder in North America. Sellers having a yard sale, garage sale, tag sale, or estate sale use it to help them promote their sales. Buyers search the site to find exactly the sales they want, with the items they want, where and when they want it. “Bringing people together for fun and for profit is at the heart of our services,” said Nate Hammond, Chief Technology Officer, Yardsales.com. “Now we’re exploding the power of Yardsales.com with the addition of a state-of-the-art Web TV show platform. Customers will soon have access to all sorts of great knowledge with videos from Yard Sales, Garage Sales and Estate Sales experts. This powerful video tool will help people gain the expertise they need to be their neighborhood’s #1 Buyer and Seller of used things!”

For a sneak preview of Yardsales.com’s video technology, visit http://tv.yardsales.com. Yardsales.com’s basic services are always free for both buyers and sellers. Premium Memberships and Premium Plus Directories offer great value for just pennies a day. The site offers buyers and sellers everything they need from information posting, to Craigslist listings, to mapping, to Premium Member multiple alerts. All this power — now enhanced with video technology — makes it the most effective, efficient national used articles search engine available. Read full press release here on PRWeb.

One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure

Featured Guest Blog by Ed Augusts

Yardsales.com treasuresThat is as true today as it ever was, come boom or bust, recession or inflation!  Through the numerous examples I give in my book, “Get Rich Buying at Yard Sales”, I think I can PROVE to you that a few hours of your time on Saturday morning will be more than sufficient to move you ahead financially, faster and more efficiently than almost anything else you could be doing in that small amount of time. There are a number of KEYS which unlock wealth to those who search for it, but the one I want to talk about today is:  “Find Don’t Wanters!”

Finding Don’t Wanters to make a fair profit means AVOIDING sellers who think their stuff is extremely precious and valuable, and are offering it for sale at ANTIQUE SHOP prices.  You will be able to recognize who they are by the litany of “names” they give in their classifieds.  If a seller sounds a little bit TOO proud of her Wedgwood or her Hummel figurines, if the prose is oozing with professional-sounding terminology, the weekend sale is possibly being held by a dealer, or someone who thinks like a dealer, and has the expectations of getting a good, high price for their wares.

Once you arrive at the garage sale or yard sale of such an antiquer, it is likely going to be very hard to dicker with them over price.  And if they’ve set a price of $10 for an item you want, even if you get them to reduce it a couple of bucks, they are STILL getting closer to retail than to wholesale for the item, and you, the buyer, are probably paying more for it than you should.

Probably right down the street and around the corner, is a sale being held by a real “Don’t Wanter,” a person who is selling personal effects of someone who is no longer living there, or, excess ‘stuff’ that the seller is eager to get rid of because he or she is moving cross-country.  Or stuff that they’re simply TIRED of, and want it to go to a good home — someone who wants it — and price is not always of great importance to some of these sellers. If you are friendly and courteous and stop to admire something they’re selling, you may be rewarded with a VERY low price, even for something that has quite a bit of intrinsic value.

Sometimes doors will open for you!  I am reminded often of the nice old guy on Homestead Road in Cupertino who sat along at a little table in his garage. There were a few small items.  I am primarily a bookman and was just about to leave when I thought twice about it and smiled at him and said, “I really like old books. I don’t suppose you have any that might be for sale, do you?”Sure! He said. “Go right into the house, the living room is full of ’em.  Take as many as you want for ten cents apiece.” I thanked him and almost sheepishly , my lady friend and I entered his home and saw piles and piles, rows and rows, of old books. The bookcases had been sold already, and the books were mere derelicts on the carpet of the large living room.  There must have been a thousand books!

As I recall the first book my eyes focused on was a History of the Johnstown Flood, from the 1880’s. The next item was:  a tour of the Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco, 1915.  My goodness!m “You’ve got some really good books in there,” I went out and told him. “Yeah, that’s okay. They were my wife’s.  I just wanna get rid of them now!” I bought hundreds of his books, so many that I drove home and then drove again to his house, and continued selecting from his books.  Nobody else was invited inside to look at these books, I had the whole collection to myself.  Since I only had fifty bucks cash money on me, I could only buy about half of his books, but he was grateful. Sad but true, the books were of no meaning to him. He was moving on. and God Bless him!

Now, THAT is what I call a “Don’t Wanter!” You may not think so, but there are a LOT of them out there, as you will find if you go out on Saturday mornings and see what you can find!   Good luck in your search, and if you find something REALLY good, let us know!

Ed Augusts is the author of “Get Rich Buying at Yard Sales” http://www.edaugusts.com/YardSales/

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