Ready, Set, Sell!
You’ve spent months, and months scouring high and low to find the perfect items to create your perfect wedding celebration, but in one day, and a few short hours, those chartreuse, glass, tea light holders, with silver glittering accents that were shipped from a small specialty boutique from across the country, suddenly don’t seem all that “must have” important anymore. You’ve gotten married, yay! Now what do you do with all that décor and “stuff”? It accumulated, was used, and then piled into a corner in your dining room again? It’s taking up valuable space, collecting dust and becoming an eyesore. You’ve decided that maybe you don’t need 15 sky blue 120” round table linens with 200 matching napkins. Time to Sell- Time to recoup some of that hard earned money!
Today, the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle mantra is at the forefront of more and more brides. This is great, but exactly how do you go about selling your items? Many turn to the internet to reach a broad audience through Facebook, Craigslist, Ebay, and other On-line forums. These avenues are a great place to start, but you still may have some leftover goods, because interested parties never show up, or when they do, they don’t like the items or they change their mind, and decide to take a pass; or maybe you’re tired of waiting around for a no show buyer. Whatever the reason, you still have leftover items… enter the Bridal Yardsale. Participate with other brides in these events, and use the power of numbers to attract larger crowds. If you’ve never been in sales, this may be a daunting task. But if you break it down, it’s really not that difficult. So here’s how you increase your odds of selling those last peach colored lanterns with mint green ribbon.
First, get organized. Group all of your like items together; clean them up and dust them off; wash them and fold them neatly; remove any personalization if possible, and make sure everything is in good working condition. If something requires batteries keep some on hand for testing. If you need an outlet, request that you be near one when registering as a seller.
Next, get some masking tape, colored round stickers, or small tags. Price items individually, or in pairs, groups, or sets. Putting a value on the item right off the bat, tells a potential buyer what you would like to get from the sale, and keeps the “how much is this”, “how much is that” questions at bay. The “Price Haggle” is part of the yard sale mind set, so price your items accordingly. Either price to sell or price a bit higher to allow for wiggle room. Write “Firm” on tags where there is no negotiation. Be reasonable with your prices and don’t expect to get 100% of your costs back. Asking 50-75% of the retail price is a good place to start. Give discounts for large quantities.
Don’t just throw your goods on a table and expect to sell much. Make your area inviting to potential buyers by arranging your items in a neat and orderly fashion. Use your design skills and display your wares as they were used at your wedding. Many brides are looking for ideas and may find inspiration in something unique that you created or utilized. If there is décor that you just want to get rid of, have a FREE box. Better to be used by someone else, then to end up in a landfill; but remember, you can always donate any leftover items also.
Be approachable. Be friendly and smile. Stay off of your phone. Stand up and greet potential customers. These small actions make a big difference in a buyers’ willingness to stop and give your items a good look. Engage in light conversation, but don’t be an overbearing, pushy salesperson. If someone has shown an interest in an item, answer their questions politely, and offer to show them how it works, or how you used it. You’ve been in their shoes, and you know that making hasty décor decisions usually doesn’t happen. Let people browse and give them time to think things through.
Have plenty of small bills since most buyers will have just gone to an ATM, and are armed with $20’s. Do yourself a favor, keep your prices in even amounts, and avoid change if possible. Do your customers a favor and keep a supply of plastic bags for their purchases. Have breakables in boxes or wrap them in newspaper. Consider having a small sign that says “All Sales Final” to avoid an awkward buyer’s remorse situation if a bride turns the corner and sees something else.
Prices can be lowered throughout the course of the sale, just use your discretion, and have an absolute minimum price in mind. Don’t fret over a few lost dollars- it’s better to sell all of those mason jars covered with burlap and lace, than to have them sitting back in your dining room.
Enjoy the Sale, and Happy Selling!