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Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Posted by elle481 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 18, 09 at 5:30

Ok, so a lot of the stuff that should have been sold/trashed/given away (take your pick) is packed on the POD. I know, we should have made the decision then instead of paying to store usless stuff and then move it up to our new place only to be put in some corner of the basement again until the next move! But........

So I am now looking at all the other stuff, not stored away, that we have to sell/give away/or trash! Some was kept for staging, some stored in the basement because it didn't fit on the POD and it was a little too cool back then to have a tag sale. We have been torn over this tag sale thing. We do have some nice things, some old things and some things that have some value to them that we would like to sell and perhaps make a few bucks. We will be putting a few large things on Craigs List and holding onto some dishware, etc. that would do better on eBay. Plus I have some things I like and am not sure what the value is so I will just "hang on to"!

My dh would be just as happy if we called in a dumpster, but we do have stuff that people would be interested in (don't know how much they'd pay, but they would be interesed!). I did tell him that what does not sell, we will donate to some charity.

Any thoughts on tag sales? Are they worth it? We do plan on placing ads in the local papers and putting it on Craigs List. We have gone to some sales were there is a line in front of the home before they open so people in our area do check out the papers.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

We've moved a number of times, but only held one tag sale. The time and effort I put into doing that sale compared to the money I realized from that sale made the decision easy for me after that. I just didn't make enough off the sale to make it worth my while. When I sold homes after that I gave away good stuff to neighbors or friends and donated the rest. My time was more valuable elsewhere.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

I had a Tag Sale. It is a lot of work.
I feel like I need another one.
Not sure I want one.
I'm thinking of calling Salvation Army and giving it away. They pick up.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

I have taken many items to Goodwill and a local thrift shop that benefits domestic abuse victims.
Other items I have offered through Freecycle which connects via Yahoo group to county residents who subscribe to the list serve.
These members pick up items at my home.

It is appalling when property owners put out perfectly good and usable furniture or other items in their trash. Not only is it wasteful, it contributes to raising trash fees. The township is charged for the weight of the trash. Each truck is weighed at the transfer station. It adds to landfills. At times I've rescued items left curbside and offered them to Freecycle members who picked them up and were happy to have them.

I have given away a greenhouse, weight bench, Lazyboy chair, picture frames, microwave and cart, file cabinet, storage furniture, cameras, greeting cards and gift wrap - just to name a few.

One member picks up old appliances to recycle as scrap. That saves $ 10 each for bulk pick up by the township.

Everything must be free.

As to yard sales, several people including the neighbor across the street reported taking in less than $ 40. They felt it was not worth the time of dragging everything outside and standing there for several hours. The neighbor proceeded to throw everything in the trash the next day!

Here is a link that might be useful: Freecycle


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

My MIL had 38 yrs of accumulated possessions in her home. We had her give away what she could to friends and neighbors - everything had to be hauled away within 2 weeks, no exceptions. The remainder was liquidated by a professional estate liquidator.

It was the first time we'd done something like this. The firm was recommended by the wonderful RE agent we used. It turned out to be amazingly painfree and simple. In the end she cleared about $800 after expenses. This surprised my DH and I as most of it really was junk, stupid throwaway tshotkes like those battery-operated wooden flowers that "sing" when you get near! Lots of mismatched coffee mugs, bedspreads, ancient encyclopedias - that kind of thing.

It made moving her out of her house easy-peasy. We would definitely do this again, not to make money, but just because you don't have to do anything except stack the stuff up and sign a contract.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Sounds intersting, jkom51! What % do companies like that take?

For those of you who have had tag/garage sales , did you advertise in the local papers? I ask because it seems that the people who advertise get more customers. The serious tag salers seem to check the local papers the night before and map out their strategy! I'm looking at between 5
$50-$80 to put ads in one regional & a local paper! I'm also thinking about holding it on a Friday & Saturday from 8am till about 2pm. I do see a lot of one day sales too.
Still thinking though!

Well we have spent the whole day packing and sorting out the tag stuff. Now I have to drag it all upstairs to the garage and pray for a sunny day!


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Yes I advertised in the local paper as well as putting up neighborhood signs. Just wasn't worth it to me, especially with all the stuff I had to do for a cross country move with 4 kids. Good luck.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

I held one as the administrator of an estate. The deceased was not a wealthy person and everything in the house was old, but not antique quality. I put an ad in the local paper for an Estate Sale. I hired a couple of people to help me clean the small house and arrange things prior to and during the sale. They were recommended by the real estate agent that had the listing for the house.

On the morning of the sale, we were literally swarmed, well before the sale officially started. I am certain the term Estate Sale in the newspaper ad made all the difference in the world.

After expenses, the estate cleared over $4,000.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

If you feel it is worthwhile make up some fliers for your entire street saying you are having a BLOCK sale on such-and-such a date and YOU are paying all advertising. You just want other houses to participate so buyers will drive down your street and stop and hopefully, buy. Advertise in the local pennysaver as well as a larger newspaper as a block sale to get a lot more people on your street.

If you are advertising as a moving sale, you will get a different crowd of people.

Whatever you do, in your ad list furniture, entire bedroom set (whatever it happens to be). Furniture is a big draw. If you are near a college, it is back to school soon and second hand furniture sells well to students so stick up some fliers in the quad.

When you set up your sign have them at the end of a busy street. Have signs with arrows on every street corner leading to your sale so it is easy to find your block (house). The signs would be best on sandwich boards with neon colored poster board and possibly some balloons so they are attention getting.

You want your yard sale as easy to find as possible and as worthwhile for buyers as possible.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

xamsx, How is advertising as a moving sale different than a regular tag sale?
We did have a big tag sale held at our school a bunch of years ago to raise money for our local marching band. Got a so, so crowd, did make some money, and still get upset that the first things to go were my two early 70's yellow smiley mugs that I sold for $1.00 each!!!!! Oh, well, those are the breaks. That is why I am holding onto some pieces I know have some value and will sell on eBay! More junk to hang onto!!!! ;)


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

When my BIL died, in debt, my SIL had an estate sale at his house. What I thought was mostly cigarette-smell-infested junk netted us almost $2,000.

It is amazing what people will buy.

I like having garage sales. I usually only make $200 or so, but I think it is fun. It helps if you have some big ticket items to sell (such as furniture).


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Different people, different expectations, elle481. You might be able to sell heavier items for more money at a yard sale than a moving sale (people knowing you are moving will figure you'd rather sell at any price vs paying to move the item) and the reverse might be true for lighter items.

Look at what you are trying to sell. If it is a lot of small, light items and some furniture, organize a block sale. If it is a lot of appliances and big furniture, maybe a moving or estate sale is a better choice. (The only way to get a lot of people to a single home sale is to call it a moving or estate sale.)


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

I had quite a few successful garage sales when I lived in the suburbs. I only quit doing it after we moved to a rural area and it was hard/awkward to place signs. Good signage is extremely important.

If you make signs, have someone hold it up at least twenty feet away and see if you can read it. Use a broad magic marker, the widest they sell and go minimal on wording. Something like "SALE TODAY" and underneath that "1/2 MILE" or whatever is appropriate and an arrow to direct them. When you are out and about over the weekend look at others people's signs. Can you read them as you are stopped at the four way stop? Do they have tiny addresses on the bottom where you might have just appreciated a directional arrow? Are some of them outdated? (Remember to remove your signs just as soon as the sale is over).

Have a tackle box filled with ample change ($50 or so) and make sure you count it beforehand so you know exactly how much you made. Take it with you whenever you move around. Have something pre-planned for lunch so you don't have to abandon your cashiering station.

If you are selling books please don't just throw them in a box, make sure the spines are facing outwards so buyers can read them. I had a red wagon I would use for books. You can mark one price for paperbacks and another for hardcover. Saves the trouble of putting a sticker on each book. Buyers do not like tape or stickers on certain items.

Keep "like" items together. Sporting goods, tableware, Holiday decorations, infant toys, shoes, tools, appliances. Think like a store. Make sure things are marked legibly. I know I hate shopping sales where things aren't marked. If you have a hanging rack of clothes marked $2 and another hanging rack of clothes marked $5 make sure you have a system to tell them apart (such as color of hanger) in case they get switched around or someone besides yourself is cashiering. Check your coat pockets for loose keys or twenty dollar bills!

Put your most intriguing items so they can be viewed by drivers passing by, not in the deepest part of the garage where they can't see!

Take time to wipe down soiled items, etc. You can't expect to make money if your boxed items are full of cobwebs or smell musty! Sort of like showing your home, in a way.

During the last hour or so of your sale you can announce to anyone who arrives that everything is half off the marked price. Make sure you have lots of bags!

Arrange for a local charity pick up in advance for the following day. They will provide you with a receipt that you can use for tax purposes and your stuff will eventually end up benefitting SOMEONE.

P.S. I never paid for a newspaper ad. I would post on Craigslist and just have a lot of good signs, set up an hour or two prior to the sale. Good luck with your sale if you decide to have one.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Definitely post it on Craigslist -- we had a garage sale last month, and half the people who visited our sale came because of that posting. We also posted bright, obvious signs at all the nearby corners, and got a ton of walk-in traffic that way. We didn't even bother posting in "real" newspapers, and we still got a ton of traffic.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

We have them every few years with success, key things we've learned:

1) have them for 1 day, not 2. cuts down on the time invested
2) making money is secondary, cleaning out is priority. lower prices as day goes on severely if necessary to get them out.

3) when posting ads, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances give your exact address, unless you like meeting odd people at all hours of the night. you will get people ringing your doorbell at 6 AM, or the day before looking to go through your stuff. I'll give intersections, house in the 3000's block, etc, but not my exact address.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

chrisk327, Thank you SO MUCH about the address issue! I didn't even think of that! I have been concerned about people knocking on our door the night before or early AM before the sale and wasn't too happy about that. Was writing the ad last night and did include the address which I will now remove before I post it!!! Because the weather doesn't look great for this coming weekend (and for this whole week - this rainy spring and summer has been crazy!).
We also plan on having the doors locked during the sale and using those workman aprons for $$$ instead of a cash box (so afraid of walking away from my post and leaving it behind!). We also are going to institue a "No Bathroom" rule for the buyers. I have heard some really gross stories, and we had one ourselves when we were on the market (I just can't understand some people!), plus I don't want anyone wandering around the house.

I also just found another free site for selling thing - USfreeads.com We will try it out and see what happens!


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

We just had one. As we decided to sell stuff, we had a designated space in the garage. Craigslist only to Advertise --- didn't care if we didn't sell as much -- didn't want to pay 30.00 for our newspaper ad!

Only 8-12 on Saturday. Got up at 6:30 to "ready" for it. Made 300.00 on furniture, baby stuff, etc. Had a few things left, let the local thrift pick it up. I figured we made about 75.0 an hour for all the work involved. Not bad. Not great. BUT, 300.00 came in very HANDY.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

I agree with not putting the address in. Years ago we lived in a corner house and when I put a garage sale ad in the paper I always said "the corner of blank & blank". I could see people driving around early in the morning waiting for us to open up, but they didn't bother us because they didn't know our exact address.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

elle481, I think the professional liquidator took 40% of the total take. Remember, this was all small stuff, no furniture or really usable things (we managed to give all that stuff away). I was astonished she netted as much as she did, honestly. It really was left-over junk that nobody else wanted.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

"Moving Sale" sounds like furniture and big stuff versus card tables covered with dusty mugs and vases.

I did couple of tag sales, years ago before craigslist and freecycle. Arrange your sale like a store with different "departments" -- home decor, tools, furniture, toys, clothing, whatever. CLEAN the merchandise arrange it nicely on tables, don't dump it on a blanket on the ground. Find a way to hang up clothing or fold it neatly. Be creative -- I was selling baby clothes and had a barrel of baby socks, free pair with every outfit. If you have kids they can sell water bottles or lemonade.

When I moved recently I freecycled a lot and left other items on the porch with "FREE" tags on them (only freecyclers would see the tags, not visible from the street). My new town was having a big community tag sale to benefit something-or-other so I brought 3 truckloads of stuff there and left it. Boy did that feel good! Dh wanted to toss it all in a dumpster but I just couldn't do that.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Another thing I like to do if I have a sale is at least have some cold bottled water available for sale for 25 or 50 cents, whatever makes it worth it to you. The serious shoppers are casing neighborhoods all morning and really enjoy the opportunity to grab a drink. If you are a people person (which may seem cheesy but I think it's fun)you might also make some coffee and sell coffee and donuts at 50 cents each. Everyone coming by has some change they are looking to spend and they may be thirsty. It's probably not worth the effort to most people but I like putting on a "good" sale. :)


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

My MIL had 38 yrs of accumulated possessions in her home. We had her give away what she could to friends and neighbors - everything had to be hauled away within 2 weeks, no exceptions. The remainder was liquidated by a professional estate liquidator.

It was the first time we'd done something like this. The firm was recommended by the wonderful RE agent we used. It turned out to be amazingly painfree and simple. In the end she cleared about $800 after expenses. This surprised my DH and I as most of it really was junk, stupid throwaway tshotkes like those battery-operated wooden flowers that "sing" when you get near! Lots of mismatched coffee mugs, bedspreads, ancient encyclopedias - that kind of thing."


Jkom, didn't you just say in another thread that your MIL gave you and her DS $280k towards a mortgage? At least she was smart enough to put THAT money to 'good use' and not waste it all on "junk, stupid throwaway tshotkes".


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

The easiest way to get rid of stuff at a garage sale is to have specific pricing tables and only a few items that are outside those prices. For instance, you coul have a $5, $1 and .50. Use any amounts that fit your items. Also, mark everything down way low if your intent is to move the stuff. The last garage sale I had I marked everything $1 and lower with only about 10 $5 items and I made $600. When people think they are getting a bargain, i.e., buying a baking dish for $1, they tend to spend more money. I also start reducing prices 2 hours into the sale and tell people all prices are slashed 90% at the end of the sale. This keeps me from having to find a new home for the things I don't get rid of. If I have anything left over, I put it in boxes, at the curb and then post a message on Craigs that there are some free items free. I also make large signs "FREE" to put on the boxes. Next day I pick up what is left, which is usually 1 box and dispose of it.

Having tables filled with same price items is so much easier than trying to price each item.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Question for you brutuses: if you have different price tables, example $5,$1, &.50 how can you tell the price when you have a dozen people walking around, picking things up and bringing them to check out? Especially if you have family or friends helping that aren't familiar with all your stuff? Don't you still have to put a pricetag on it? Doesn't stuff get moved from one table to another during the course of the day?


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

TAG SALE OVER and a major success!!!!! Thank all of you for your wonderful advice. It was very helpful, and having the best weekend weather in a while was also a plus!!

The particulars:
We held the tag sale for 2 days - Friday and Saturday from 9am to 2pm. I just didn't want to give up a Sunday, and and been noticing that most people in our area who have sales have been doing the same the last few years.

Advertised in our Regional Newspaper - cost $61. Tried to put in what we needed for the basic min. 5 line cost of $45, but by the time we put in the dates, time, several items we wanted to hilight and directions, we went over. Our directions put us over!! (we went with the suggestions of not putting our address but cross streets instead - thanks to all who suggested it as we loved the idea and were only botherd by ONE earlybird the day before - guess it was our FOR SALE sign that gave us away ;; ) We live on a strangely designed street that loops around and intersects with our cross street twice. So our directions read that they had to go to the BOTTOM of the of the cross street. ( Belive it or not my signs had the same directions, PLUS LARGE RED ARROWS POINTING DOWN THE HILL, and some people STILL went around in circles!!!! NO WONDER teachers pull their hair out with some students!!!!! - oh wait, that's another forum, LOL).
Also posted on Craigs List.

SIGNS: We had LOTS of them! Was able to get a bunch of poke in the ground TAG SALE and GARAGE SALE signs from our agent and I taped my info to the bottom, plus I made more. Used a mega fat tipped permanent marker on 12"x18" poster board. My handwriting is pretty good and I WRITE LARGE!! (those itty bitty signs that people tack up that look like post it notes on a phone pole drive me nuts!!! WHAT ARE THEY THINKING!!!! and they wonder why they only had 2 people at their sale!!!!)

Our signs were at both entry points of the main street we are off, at the exits of the highway (connector) we are near and all possible points from the entrance of our developement and directing customers right to our driveway.

We put the signs up the pm before, drew out a map before hand and I pencil marked and numbered all of my signs and the map so my DH knew EXACTLY were I wanted them!! ;) and we went over the map. Plus it made it easier to check off when he took the signs down.

Didn't put any signs right around our home and at the bottom of the hill until early the next AM, and we made use of our FOR SALE signs by taping up a big TAG SALE on both sides of it.

I also kept my signs uniform in look and size, so the TAG SALE letters were all exactly the same size and color on each of the signs as well as the red arrows I added. That way people would not confuse my signs from other tag sale signs. And my TAG SALE lettering matched the lettering on the large TAG SALE signs in front of our house!

We brought everything up from the basement two nights before and had it all waiting in our garage ready to be set up.

We awoke at 4:30 to get ourselves together and begin dragging out all of our tables, boxes of stuff and furniture to sell. Unpacked all of the dishware, etc and kept the boxes and newspaper together under each table. That was a good idea, because when people were buying handfulls of stuff, we would just grab a box and wrap and pack it for them and they were on their way! We also kept a bunch of plastic grocery bags on hand which was suggested and was also a great help!

We place all our our large furniture pieces up front to catch customers eyes. We used our whole long driveway, plus part of the circle of our circular diveway. All our our cars were put at the other end of the circle so we didn't block of the street and people would have not problem parking.

It took us a good hour to set up and we did work fast. At first I just unpacked the boxes at each table and later went around to kind of keep like items together. I did have the more expensive pieces set at one table so I could keep better track of them. I marked some pieces that morning but not all - oh, and China Markers, well they don't work very well in the damp cool morning!!! ended up using permanent marker on many china and glass items. Never did get around to pricing the furniture because.............even though the sale was to start at 9am (but I knew there would be early birds).......what I didn't expect were all of the dealers rushing in at 7AM!!!!! I knew there would be dealers, but not that early, and some of them had just come from another sale some 10 minutes away from me!!!!! And this was the part I loved the most!!! My DH and I took bets on which items would be the first to go and how badly did we underprice them and not realize their full potential value. Well, I had a few hidious pieces, and one piece of art that was AWFUL ( I knew the artist and trust me, it was bad!!!!) Things went flying, I started bargaining, and was very happy.

NOTE: when a dealer asked you a price, throw it back to them and ask what they are willing to offer and then just double our triple it and work your way down until you are satisfied!!! It works pretty well. (I love to shop and love to bargain. I've done tons of traveling and shopping all over the world, done pretty well for myself and always walk away getting what I want at the price I am happy with and feel was fair!) What is interesting is some dealers are up front with their buying, and others try to make you think they are in love with an item and "have to have it for themselves" and they make you think they are not dealers (those are the ones to watch our for ;) You may think you are selling to a poor helpless grandma, but, not so fast!!!! Anyway, I stood my ground on my prices and basically got wholesale prices for most of my early sell items and that made me VERY happy. (I did research certain items that I felt might have had some value.) I'm am certain, if I hit our large regional flea market this Sunday moring, I will see many of my early sale items up there!! For us to rent a cargo van and drag all of my stuff up there to make a few more bucks, really ain't worth it! And, yes, those hiddious pieces sold, and some for a lot, and the art...............I bargaind for MY price and not the give away price the dealer wanted it for! - trust me, the painting was BAD!!!

We did sell a box of old license plates for too little, though. Oh, well, they were given to us by a friend who wanted to unload them and they just sat in the garage for years! Found out from one of the dealers after the guy who bought them left. She asked if there were any porcelain plates in the box, and there were a couple. She said they had value. Oh, well, you can't win them all, and honestly, we really didn't know.

After the one hour feeding frenzy, (and btw, all of the dealers knew each other), the "let me get our early and beat the early bird", regular buyers arrived. The pace was steady all day and we ended up closing at 4pm instead of 2 'cause they kept on comming!!! We were very pleased with our first day.

Surprisingly, the next day, although we did have a stream of people all day, was pretty slow. The first buyers didn't come till 8:30am and they were just the early Sat. am crowd. The rest of the day was so different than the day before. We honestly expected the Friday work crowd to show up Saturday, but it really didn't happen. I guess it's summer, people are away, and maybe some figured that all of the good stuff was gone anyway, who knows. We still had some good stuff at great prices, but this group wanted you to pay them to buy your stuff - ha, ha!! We again had the mad dash after the sale was over and made out pretty well. Unloaded a few big items we won't have to drag with us, and did better than Mickey D's for dinner!!! I'm a happy girl!!!

We finaly had to take down the signs to stop the traffic. I put all the items I wanted to keep (how bad is that!) in a box and boxed all the rest for Good Will and donating the funiture to a local charity.

Bottom Line: It was a blast, loved talking to people, got rid of stuff and we made money!!! It also took me back to my old days doing the Art/Craft show circut!! It was fun. Would I do it again, YES..........but not right away!!!

Thanks again ALL OF YOU!!!! for all your suggestions and helpful hints. I know it would not have been as successful as it was without all of you on this forum!!! ~L
Oh, and next time? I'll just do it one day, the extra $$$ on the second day was not bad, but not nearly as good as the day before!!!


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

Thanks for the report, elle381! Glad it went well.


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RE: Tag/garage sale. Will you or did you have one?

congratulations on a successful garage sale.

Neesie, sorry I didn't see your question till today.

The people I have working with me help to put the stuff out so they are familiar with the prices and if they have a question they just ask. They are allowed to use their best judgement which is sometimes better than mine and they get more money then I'd ask for an item.


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