I'm learning some interesting things about yard sales and the people who frequent them. When I'm hosting a sale, one of my gigantic pet peeves is people who start wandering in before the sale starts. So, I always make sure that I write "NO early birds" in the ad. But undoubtedly there are those who "didn't get the memo" and start shopping before I'm completely set up. And what can I do? I can't turn away a potential customer, so I just have to smile and endure it.
And there are customers that I see EVERY year. Every. Single. Year. And there are a few ladies who are the most shrewd - I have to brace myself for their inevitable bargaining. They will NEVER pay your asking price. I had a brand new plastic crib mattress cover, still in the package, marked at $2. One of the ladies looked at me squarely and said "50 cents". No way! I finally let her bargain me down to one dollar, but then it turned out she only had 90 cents in her wallet, aside from some large bills, so we settled on .90. But even if I have something marked for 10 cents, these ladies will try to offer you 5. I mean, honestly, are they really too cheap to pay a dime??? I usually mark my stuff at a very reasonable price, taking into account wear and tear, and people still want to bargain. I guess I can't blame them - I like bargaining when I'm the customer too!
As I'm sitting here writing during a lull, I'm playing with some ideas for how to increase my profits. Do you think it would be shabby of me to have my kids wander out here in ratty clothes, with unkempt hair, and barefoot? I could cue them to say they're hungry, and I could "discretely" tell them (loud enough for the customers to hear) that if someone buys something soon, we might have enough money to buy milk and bread. OR, they could wrap their feet in bandages and, while a customer is considering a rather large item, I could say, "If he buys that elliptical, we can afford to get you some shoes." Hee hee. I'm so bad.
Wish me luck.