Getting People to Help
Why (and How) to Make It a Group Effort
You can’t keep an eye on every shopper or kindly explain that, no, your adorable Labrador retriever is not up for grabs while simultaneously making sales. The more people involved, the better. (“Multifamily” spells “gold mine” for experienced shoppers.) But keep in mind that having more sellers also requires more organizing and delegating. Decide ahead of time how you’ll price items and tell them apart. Some people use different-colored price stickers for each seller (green for you, red for Mom, blue for Aunt Evelyn) and then place the stickers in a notebook next to the cash box after items sell. Others simply send interested shoppers to the appropriate seller, using the price tags as a reminder of who is entitled to the cash.
Enlist Some Muscle
Make sure you have someone on hand who can help move heavy objects or load items into buyers’ cars, suggests Gwen Glass Carbone, a New Hampshire auctioneer and the author of How to Make a Fortune With Other People's Junk ($17, amazon.com). If a shopper is interested in a piece of furniture but has no idea how she’s going to load it into her trunk, she might think twice about making the purchase.
Keep Kids Occupied
Try to involve the kids so they’re not needlessly wandering around in the front yard. Why not have them operate a well-placed lemonade stand? Besides giving them something to do, you’ll be offering weary shoppers a refreshing break. You can also set up a table where little entrepreneurs can sell their own toys (and, best of all, you can smile knowingly as your customers try to “negotiate” with your stubborn 9-year-old).