Friday, December 27, 2013

Can A Yard Sale Be More Profitable Than a Show?

I have seen a number of comments from people about doing monthly or seasonal shows on the side.  I plan to do posts about shows in the future.  This post is not one of them.  This post is to introduce an alternative idea - VENDOR yard sales.

An Example from Someone With Lots of Experience
About a year ago, I had an interesting conversation with a booth vendor who is VERY VERY good.  Her booth is always one of my favorites.  Her things sell, even when she prices them above the going rate of others in her store.  I asked her about her experience at Scott Antique Market.  Scott is a huge, very popular monthly market in Atlanta.

She said she did OK there - and she gave me a very impressive number.  But she said she didn't do Scotts anymore.  Instead, she did yard sales a couple of times a year.  She said her last yard sale earned her around [the amount was staggering] and was much less of a hassle than doing a show.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.

This vendor is part of a two lady vendor team.  They have been working the booth scene for a number of years.  They have a distinct look - quirky vintage with lots of industrial.  They find the most amazing things - Pickers, Mike and Frank, would be proud.  My point here is that they have the merchandise to support those kind of sales.

Also, they have built up a yard sale reputation.  People who yard sale regularly recognize their  listings and make a point of going over.  The prices are not typical low yard sale prices, but they are offering goods that are not typical yard sale goods.

I offer this story up as another venue to consider.  You may not make a small fortune in a day, but a yard sale might still be a worthwhile way to add to your profits.  You don't have to put all your eggs in one basket booth!

Other Vendors Have Done This
Here are a few examples I found rather quickly online -

Vintage Farmhouse

Fresh Vintage

Consider Teaming Up For a Yard Sale
You might take it a step further and have a yard sale with several vendor friends. A multi-vendor sale would attract more traffic than a single person sale.

Location would be a key consideration.  It would need to be in a convenient, well-traveled location with plenty of room.  If someone had a big barn or outbuilding, that would be grand - it could be set up in a covered location over several days time without worry over the weather.  If a building is not available, each vendor could use a covered booth tent and set it up almost like a booth at an outdoor show.  The sale would need to be heavily advertised in papers and Craigslist, preferably with links to a Facebook page.  Photos could be uploaded before the event showing some of the items that would be for sale.

This would be great to do regularly - 2 or 3 times a year.  People could be told to watch on Facebook for upcoming sales.  The first sale or two might be so-so, but once a reputation is established, it might become an event.

For a sale like this, there would be little overhead.  No commission.  No booth rental fees.  Yard sale-ers know the cash only rule, so there would be no charge fees.

Antique Malls Parking Lot Sales
Many malls have outdoor yard sales a couple of times a year.  They take place outside the store and spaces are rented - usually for a minimal amount of money.  It attracts more customers to the store. It give vendors a way to sell off stale merchandise.  Vendors may also choose to offer up some items that haven't even made it to the booth yet.  The advertising is generally done by the store, so this can be a relatively easy option.


Booth vendors often look for additional ways to add to their income.  This is just another venue to consider.