The past two weekends, I've woken up before the sun, borrowed my mother's van, loaded it full of stuff we don't need (including some things my Grandparents, parents, and sister-in-laws were ready to part with), and showed up for a multi-vendor yard sale event. Two weekends ago, the event was in a church field, with thirty-two vendors, and last week, the event was in a church parking lot with fifteen vendors. Between the two events, I made $230 profit. That isn't life changing, but it's extra money we can put toward our goal of paying off our mortgage over twenty years early!
Here are some of my tips to a smooth multi-vendor yard sale:
1. Put thought into your prep work.
When you're taking items somewhere else to sell (as opposed to selling them in your own driveway), make sure you box like items together. Put the items you're going to hang on hangers together, put the kitchen stuff together, put the baby stuff together etc. When you're loading up your car, remember to put things in in the opposite order that you want to take them out. Make sure you put your clothes rack, tables, and shelves in last, because you'll want them out first.
2. Price everything individually.
I love the idea of a "Everything on this table is $1" table, but it doesn't work. People miss the sign, or they assume things have been moved around, and it's better to just have a price on everything. I found that when I individually priced items that had been "everything is .25" or "everything is $1", people started snatching things up.
3. Be flexible.
You learn to read people who are willing to pay full price, but be flexible with someone who wants a deal (an even lower deal than you're already giving). This isn't stuff you want to load back into your car, so be willing to drop the price to come to an arrangement. I had a couple of big items I was firm on, but everything small was negotiable. Most people just paid what I was asking, but if someone asked for a deal, and they were reasonable, I went with it. One man tried to get something for .50 that was worth way more, and I held higher, but a couple of people were so surprised by my low prices that they gave me a dollar extra cause they felt the item was worth more.
4. Make bulk deals.
Sometimes your style really meshes with someone. I had a man buy 34 pieces of children's clothes from me, and I cut a couple dollars off for him when he asked what his total would be if he got them all. The same was true for a lady who bought all of my PS2 games.
5. Advertise for yourself.
Just because the event you're at is advertising for you, doesn't mean you shouldn't advertise for yourself! I put pictures and prices up on Facebook Yardsale, Craigslist, and a couple of other Yard Sale sites for both events to help bring people out, and I know that it brought several people out (and possibly more who didn't tell me!).
I'm not pretending to be a professional multi-vendor yard sale vendor, but I've had some recent experience and thought I pass on to you guys what I found worked! Also, don't forget the sunblock (or your shoulders will cry for a week), the food (if you have to buy food while you're there, that's profit lost!) and water! It's a long day outside!