Yes, the yard sale. Its fun, its a quick way to make quick bucks on a lazy Saturday afternoon, and its a nice medium of interacting with different types of people. If you think about it, yard sale can teach you a lot about customer service and business management. Since Shikha and I will be marching down the road of client based business pretty soon, we took this yard sale event pretty seriously.
Here are some quick bytes of what this simple art of selling our (ahem, well it was mostly Shikha's) home goods taught us:
- Staging the yard sale is just as important as making the sale. While you could pretty much put the stuff in any random order, it is very important that you make it look "wanted" to the buyers. Thus, the number one lesson is presentation -it has to be clean, crisp and inviting (don't be fooled by the word "yard")
- What you are selling has to match with the price you are selling at. I mean, you cannot sell a 'slightly rusted' German can opener for 10 bucks, while the 'almost brand new' toaster is lying around for $5. The only way you can win customers is if you show them that they are not just buying an object but buying value as well. So, the number two lesson is to give customers a use value greater than the cash value you are taking from them. It may seem that you are giving up your profit - absolutely not. Instead, you will end up increasing the customer traffic
- As the buyers are browsing through the stuff, there are 2 things that you can do: a) leave them alone and let them browse in peace and answer only when asked a question b) start up a small talk and ask them what they like, offer them suggestions while they are browsing. The key here is to know when to use strategy a) vs. when to use strategy b). You can pretty much gauge this right away when you share a 'hello and smile" with them. Once you have established that camaraderie, go for it! The lesson here, be pleasant and approachable and know when to back off
- When the buyer truly wants something but is not willing to pay the price on the tag, what do you do? Just ask "how much do you think you would pay for this?" If he/she quotes a price that you did not expect, for example, the tag says $10, but he quotes $5 - just say, "how about $7 and we both win" Chances are the customer will be happy, feel like a winner and buy the item in question. So, the final lesson (if there is something called "final") is make customers feel like winners, and you will have no problems attracting more of them
Don't forget to have fun!!
Shikha and I know that we made a few mistakes, but instead of looking at them as mistakes, we prefer to call them experiences. Yard sale was great, and we had a nice time selling and meeting new people. This is exactly what we hope to feel when conducting our business.
Have a couple of pics for you....enjoy
and, a totally random shot of sun through the tree leaves (almost fell on the toaster while taking this one)