Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Book Sale Proceeds

Well, that was fun!

At the RVHEA Used Book Sale, my table raked in about $300 in a short three hours. My girlfriend, a fellow homeschooling mom who was sharing the table with me, and I split the proceeds fairly evenly. We did keep a detailed list so we knew exactly what each of us made and exactly which things sold.

Now for the what did I learn section.

First, vacuum your car, farm your kids out for the day of the sale (after they help with the car) and have everything priced and packed up in the sections you plan to display them in. Set up needs to happen fairly quickly and it was so nice to be able to plunk bins on a table, lift the lid and be pretty much ready.

We received a lot of compliments on how organized our table was. That's kind of scary when you look at who you're talking to (me, not Friend).

Second, people begin shopping while their kids - the ones they didn't farm out - set up their table. So there we were, labelling bins by subject, still carting things from the car while elbow wrestling with early bird shoppers. Next time I go, I'll bring a kid to bolster our forces. This time, there was no room in the car. That may have had something to do with letting my husband pack the car...

Third, this particular sale seems to be busy for the first hour and a half. Then traffic really tapers off. If I go again, I will be prepared to drop my prices on non-curriculum-y things at this point. I felt really bad for the shoppers who trickled in a half hour before sale end. Most of the tables had been packed up and there was a steady stream of stuff begin packed out to waiting vans in the parking lot. Poor form, me thinks.

Weird things I noticed: We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes early. The parking lot was full. Homeschooling moms are all about getting the deal! People were trying to sell really, really old resources in some cases. Or they were trying to sell off hundreds of things (books, VHS) in a large Rubbermaid tote. I wasn't prepared to dig. And if I was, I don't think I'd be paying what they were asking for the dogeared, torn stuff they'd tossed in there in the first place. These people also brought a lot of things home. Toys, story books and other colourful things (K'NEX, etc.) that can be classified as 'manipulatives' or 'learning activities' are kid magnets. I'm not ashamed of the sales I made due to begging children.

Sorry for the poor quality pictures. I turned the flash off and was operating one handed as I usually had one hand in the book bins holding up a stack for someone who was flipping through them. As a vendor, I haven't really come up with a solution for the one-arm shopping situation. You see a book you want, you have to hang onto it, leaving you only one hand to pick through the rest of the things you want to look at. OH well, it makes opportunities for pleasant chit-chat. Oh, and I was so busy I didn't even think twice about negotiating prices with people. "Will you take three dollars for this," a lady asked me. I replied without even thinking, "No, but I'll take four." Sold. Easy peasy.

So I don't think I'll go back for the next sale in September, or even the one next Spring. But I think I would for sure go in a couple of years once I had a good selection of sale-worthy things saved up.
Next big project: Kitchener-Waterloo Conference this weekend...


1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

Happy Easter Bonni!

Peace and Laughter,