My sister Lorinda, her friend Jen, and I had a yard sale today. It was held at Jen's house...about a 20 minute drive from my house. I had taken my items over last night and intended to get there early this morning to set them up.
However, getting 4 boys awake, dressed, fed, and out the door before 7 a.m. is quite a feat. We were running late. And, the yard salers were arriving before us.
But, that was OK because Lorinda & Jen were there and had at least pulled my boxes of stuff out where people could see them.
An early bird yard saler who was there before the sale was officially started pulled out one of my items I had priced at $10. This was originally an $80-100 item which I used once. Pretty much brand spankin' new.
She asked if she could give $3. So, as I'm driving to the sale with four sleepy boys in the van, I got a call from my sister asking if I would accept this woman's offer.
Um. NO! For one, the yard sale is just beginning. For two, negotiating is one thing. Lowballing someone is another. The woman continued to stand there and pretty much argue with my sister. She finally left (with my sister's cell phone number in hand) and said she'd call back later to see if it was still there.
When she called, it was gone. Sold for the (reasonable) asking price of $10. Lorinda said the lady sounded very disappointed and said, 'Oh, I was going to come back. That was a really good deal.'
So, here are my rules of yard saling. These are the ones I keep in mind when I'm out as a shopper and I think others should too....
1. If it's a yard sale for a charitable event and they are raising money for a cause...negotiating is tacky. Just pay what they are asking.
2. Never try to negotiate with someone within the first hour of a yard sale. Negotiating is much more effective and welcome as the day goes on.
3. Don't lowball someone. Asking to pay less than half of what they priced an item is insulting I think.
4. If it's an item less than $1, just pay what they ask. What is the point of asking if they'll take 25 cents for a 50 cent item? The only exception to this might be if you are buying several small items.
5. If there is a child with a lemonade/ cookie stand, always buy something from them!
There you have it. Maybe not everyone agrees with my yard sale etiquette, but I like these rules and I'm sticking with them!