Sunday, July 24, 2011

Letting Go

Sometimes you just have to let it go. Now, I promise not to go on and on about sappy stuff, but rather about tangible things and knowing when to give up on pushing to sell them. This past weekend, I participated in a town wide yard sale, and although the town is small, this is about the only way I can actually have a yard sale where people will come because I live in such a rural area. So after sorting, marking and folding for a day and a half I packed up 3 loads of 'stuff' and drove over to my brothers robotics shop parking lot which is located on Main Street thinking this would be the perfect, most traveled area to be in for this event. The 'stuff' I was trying to sell included a collection of baby and kids clothes, toys, and baby items. Almost all the clothing was priced at $1 or less and most all of it in great shape. I even had 2 boxes of toy action figures and a box of socks and Halloween costumes for FREE.

My house has no storage space, other than the bedroom closets, so I really needed to eliminate the unused items to make room for the stuff we did use. Most of the items had been through a couple of previous yard sales, and I was beginning to give up on ever getting any kind of compensation for all of my hard work. So, this sale was my 'last straw' I guess you could say.
I think after 6 hours of yard selling Saturday I had less than 10 customers. (I won't count the lady that came and took all the cute little baby socks for free.) My biggest sale was a lady that bought $27 worth of toys. Everything else was pocket change.
So, here I am, finally ready to just "let it go" and I am making a trip to Good Will. Hopefully someone will appreciate that $50 remote control lizard thing my son just had to have only a few short years ago, and that beautiful teddy bear quilt/baby shower gift that was never used.

Ok, so maybe the teddy bear quilt will go back in the closet... but that's it.

I'm learning that business can be kind of like a yard sale too. You work hard to get a collection of inventory ready for customers, then you advertise, promote and advertise some more. If your business is online, you also have to figure out exactly how to get those huge photo files to compress small enough to upload on the internet, without loosing the wonderful clarity and detail of the product. Then you wait and hope that someone, somewhere will see your stuff and love it enough to purchase it. When they don't you end up with tons of inventory of stuff no one wants and you have to decide what to do with it.

Most all items in any store that don't sell right off the bat get discounted eventually, but the big retail chains don't have a lot of personal attachment to their merchandise like those of us who sell hand made items. Because I created these unique designs, made the decals, then designed and made the packaging for each item I do feel a little bit more attached to them and I am less willing to accept the fact that they just aren't selling as quick as I need them to. Since I don't have a lot of extra space, I have put things on sale, donated a few items, and given some as gifts. I just don't have the space to store it for too long if I want to make new ones. So, I've learned to make most of my decals only on request now, and the inventory that I so carefully built up for that craft fair last fall... well , that is still slowly being distributed as mentioned above. I'm sure I will get to the point of being ready to just give it all away like the "stuff" from my yard sale, but I'm just not there yet. :)


  1. I know the feeling. I've been trying to go through things to get rid of, but when it doesn't sell at a yard sale, have a hard time giving some of it to Goodwill. And my handcrafted glass kreationz and jewelry I just cant' discount/give away yet. I guess I will one day. :)

  2. I love yard sales, but can't say i've ever been a real successful yard 'seller'. like you, chump change. so, last year i filled up boxes and boxes and donated them to three community yard sales. had i known about etsy then. oh well, it was for good cause.

    love the 'sorting out life'. laura at designshare would love that......she just redid her laundry room. if only mine wasn't a sad corner of the basement........

    remote control lizard, huh? LOL