From: Linda Gremillion
To: "Boosters discussion list"
Subject: Yard Sale Notes
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 21:39:40 -0500 (CDT)
FWIW, here's how we do our annual Yard or Garage Sale. I'm sure I forgot
something, but I'll fill in later. I'll be glad to answer any
questions. It's a good fundraiser. Our signup form and envelope
instructions I'll provide to anyone requesting them.
Churchill Band Parents
"Without the band, it's only a game."
YARD SALE NOTES
The first newsletter that goes out in August has a number of attachments,
one of which is our Yard Sale announcement/signup sheet. We charge $10,
and parents are instructed to send in a check and the filled out form.
This gives us an idea of how many to expect and we alphabetize them and
use them for check in. Invariably, someone will not send in the $10, so
we collect it when they check in, or deduct it from their gross. We also
have them fill out a travel and fundraising permission form, so those who
don't by yard sale time we catch there.
We do the sale in a part of the school adjacent to the cafeteria. There
are about 15 picnic tables there and maybe fifty more in the cafeteria.
These tables are where the sale items are placed, on a first-come
first-served basis the Saturday morning of the sale. Each family is
responsible for unloading, tagging and selling their items. Cafeteria
tables are also used.
About two weeks before the sale I call the appropriate administrator and
make sure the cafeteria and courtyard are opened that morning by a
custodian. Two or three days before I call again to make sure it will be
open. We also have the custodian and a school security guard on duty
from an hour before the sale starts until it ends. The custodian also
brings a microphone for the built in P.A. system in the courtyard. The
school has us sign a hold harmless agreement. We get billed later for
the custodian and guard.
Make sure your insurance covers this type of event. Last year a lady
locked her baby in her car. This year an older lady passed out, twice.
And have someone bring a cell phone - great for calling 911.
Place ads in your local paper a week or two in advance, and any
neighborhood papers. We even did one for the n'hood paper on the other
side of town, knowing many "pros" hit the sales every weekend, then take
the goods to flea market stalls.
Make two "YARD SALE" banners. We put them on fences in front of the school.
Call Salvation Army or whoever and they will send a truck at the end of
the sale. Nobody wants to drag the leftovers home.
Buy middle size manila envelopes, one for each family, plus ten extras.
Buy twenty 3x5s or other slips of paper for each family. Place twenty in
each envelope along with instructions on how to handle sales and money.
Have a bunch of extras. I'll post the instructions separately, I
couldn't find the file tonight. Get sheets of paper and number them
with marker, up to the number of tables sold, plus ten. Get your
treasurer to give you $200-300 for change. Get plenty of nickels and
Recruit cashiers. I learned the hard way, and I knew better, that the
rush is early. Most of our money was in by 9am. Next year I will have
four or even six cashiers, at two or three tables, until 9 or 9:30. Half
that will do after that. We ask cashiers to work a one hour shift, one
lady worked three - she's our local Adele. I had only two to start with,
and one of them was me. That's a mistake, we were swamped until 9am.
Now it's sale day. Get up REEEEEAAAAALLLLLL early. I got there at
7:15. The announced times were 8:30-1:30pm. I won't do that again.
There were fifty people, maybe more, setting up or plowing through stuff
when I pulled in. Next year we'll be there before seven, and I'll have
cashiers there by 7:30, somehow, and open then, no matter what time we
advertise. And I will try to have non-cashier helpers, maybe kids, to
put up the banners, move anything that has to be moved, label each table
with the numbered sheets, sign up late arrivals etc. Why do it early?
It still gets plenty warm here in September.
Ask all parents to get their packages from you. They number their 3x5
cards with their table number. When an item is sold the selling parent
marks a card with the price. The buyer takes it to the central table
(usually they make the rounds and buy at several tables) where they pay
the cashier (cash ONLY, no checks). The cashier stamps the card "PAID" (
we have four "PAID" stamps) and takes the money. The buyer then returns
to the tables (see the value of numbering the tables? They'll forget who
they bought from if they buy from several tables), presents the stamped
card, and only then gets the items they purchased. This may seem clumsy,
but it insures only one set of hands gets the money, and relieves parents
of having to secure it. Works for us. At the end of the sale the
parents add up their cards, put the total on the outside of the envelope
and add the student name, and give it to me. I check the addition that
Other notes - bring two or three calculators. We use cash register trays
our concession couple provides to hold the money. Any fifties or
hundreds are immediately put in a closed bag - and we got a good
number. After the rush settled down around nine one cashier made a
deposit - our bank is close to the school - to secure all that cash. We
don't provide food or drink, too much trouble in relation to the $$
earned. Call your cashiers a week or so to confirm them. Count on one
or two not to show. All money goes in the student account except the $10
table rental which goes in our general fund.
We had 70+ families last year and raised almost $10,000. This year it
was after the first game, and the band got in late - 73 families signed
up but only 45 showed. They raised over $6,100. One guy last year sold
over $600 worth of furniture before he could get it out of his pickup.
The buying frenzy in the early going is amazing.
Save the manila envelopes and cards. Someone will get way off on their
math and you'll have to call and tell them. If it becomes a problem you
still have the cards in the envelope for them to see.