Yard Sale

X-POP3-Rcpt: tandy@tab
From: Linda Gremillion 
To: "Boosters discussion list" 
Subject: Yard Sale Notes
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 21:39:40 -0500 (CDT)
Sender: Maiser@rmgate.pop.indiana.edu
MIME-Version: 1.0

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.

Bill Gremillion
Churchill Band Parents

"Without the band, it's only a game."


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.  

Home Up

Last changed: 10/08/2002

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