Maggies Mentions


Have a Money Making Yard Sale With These Tips

ID-10034597I did many garage sales when my kids were growing up and was able to make extra money. Yard sales or as some call them, garage sales, can be fun and easier to do if planed ahead.

To get started, look around your home and see what you have. Are there things you have not used or thought about using in the past year. Are you going to use those things any time soon? Clothes, furniture, tools, toys, dishes, silverware, blender, books, cd’s, dvd’s etc. Go from room to room with a box or laundry basket and pick out your stuff to sell. Get them organized in piles and add your prices.

I found that putting a price on my items saved me from many people asking “how much is this”? Instead with a price in place I was asked “will you take less for this item”, or they simply gave me what it was priced for and I could concentrate on selling. I used labels where I could and cut poster board for signs for larger items or a bundle of things, like all cd’s are $1.oo.

If you have access to long tables they work well. The more uncluttered you are in the yard sale set up the better. I noticed that when I had thrown a bunch of clothes into a box the people would look into it, pick up a few pieces and then lose interest. So I ran a rope across my front porch outside and hung the clothes up on hangers. They sold well. The garage sale went down my entire driveway so people could walk and look as they wanted.

Once you are organized with your items for sale, makes signs and run an ad in the paper.

Show me your Sign
If your sign is sticking out about a foot off the ground and so tiny someone can’t read it when driving by with out stopping, you just missed out on a potential customer. Make your signs BIG. Use cardboard or poster board in white or bright colors. Write on the boards with a black marker.

Make it easy for anyone to read also by just putting in large words YARD SALE OR GARAGE SALE with your address underneath and an arrow —> to your street and put another one in front of your home pointing to your house. Go to couple of streets over and put one there with the arrow, so they can follow your signs.

Be specific as to what type of sale you are having. An Estate Sale or Moving Sale means your selling everything in the house or more then just items you would normally sell at a yard or garage sale. This could bring more people to the sale. The more you advertise the more the people will show up. Place ads online, bulletin boards, newspapers and even get the word out at your church and school.

Multi – Family Yard Sale!
I had two neighbors across the street from me that loved to do yard sales too, so when we ran the ad in the local paper, and split the cost of the ad in thirds. We also included in the ad that it was a 3 Family yard sale. Potential shoppers love this! They can go to 3 houses on the same street and it lets them know there is more to choose from.

Its An Early Bird Competition
We included in the newspaper ad the time the yard sale would open and close. If you put 8am for opening have your stuff ready to go by 7am. Collectors, antique seekers and bargain hunters check ads and map out where they are going for the day and they like to get their before anyone else. GPS systems help people to find your yard sale… Make sure your address is correct on the ad.

We ran our yard sales for 3 days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We found that the crowd that showed up on Friday were folks on their way to work,  some retired and people that also sold at flea markets and such, so they were looking for good deals. The ones on Saturday were more family oriented and on Sunday, folks who went to church showed up in the afternoon.

To Bargain or Not to Bargain
When we had our Multi- Family yard sales my two neighbors across the street were next door to each other. Cars were parked up and down the street on both sides. Every yard seller has their own method of selling and some better then others. The couple on one side, did not like to bargain. They put there stickers on there goods and some were about the same price you would pay in a store. The girl next door to them and I would bargain away, but not give away. If I had an item for two dollars and they offered one, I would take it. After all was said and done, the couple who did not like to bargain, ended up taking a majority of there stuff back into the house and grumbled how they did not make much money on the yard sale. My other neighbor and I had hardly anything to take back in and we made money.

Spring and Summer are great times for yard sales so get out there and have fun!

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How To Throw a Fun Texas Hold’em Poker Game Party

ID-10057961Plan a Poker Party and make it a fun night even for beginners. Good food, friends and fun are what is in store with one of America’s favorite and easiest poker games, Texas Hold’em. Here are some tips to make it a great event.

The Week Before:
Send out invites by email, text or call up your girlfriends and get an RSVP so you know how many to set up for. Texas Hold’em is best played at tables of 6-9 people. Let your guests know you are going to be playing just for fun and only using chips.

Theme your party like a casino.
Red and Black are popular colors and just a few candles can help with that. You could also use red and black plates, napkins and utensils, the colors match the cards.

You could also decorate with the chips.  Take out a color you will not be using in the game and scatter them among the plates of food for a festive and colorful addition to your serving table.

A green felt tablecloth or cover at the game table will not only give it the casino feel it also keeps your table from getting scratched, keeps watermarks from drinks away and helps the cards stay put.

Setting Up
Pick a table where everyone can sit comfortably and not see each others cards. You can use your dining table or coffee table if you have more guest.

Atmosphere and Music
Bring in the casino atmosphere with songs like:
Texas Hold’em by David Cline
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Casino Royale Soundtrack

Good Eats
Leave out the fried greasy finger foods and serve instead, bite size sandwiches, kebobs with fruit or cheese and deli meats and olives.  Keep plenty of napkins on hand since your guest will also be handling the cards. Little cakes or cookies would be great for dessert.

For drinks you can serve alcohol or non alcohol or both. Put a punch together if are expecting a larger crowd to make it easier on you.

Review the Rules:
Make sure you know what the rules are and how to play the game. If you do have some beginners, maybe play the first couple of hands for fun so they can catch on. You can even print out a cheat sheet for each guest so they can refer to it during the game. You can get that Right Here!

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Email Tips – Is Your Content Going To Spam?

ID-10028680Ever wonder how you can send out a bunch of emails and get only a handful of replies? You could be spamming and don’t know it? Spam filters are very good at keeping your email box from being filled with hundreds of spam every day. If your box is protected then readers/customers are too. 90%-95% of all emails are spam and if you want your stuff read, try out these tips.

Your First Words
How you present your title will determine if your customers are actually seeing your email or not. Sure everyone wants to have a catchy title, its what catches peoples attentions and want to click to open. Words like “FREE” and symbols like ** and even a percentage % sign can throw your hard work into spam land. I have seen emails with the “FREE” word using Fre*e* or FR** in my spam folder. Double dose of trouble getting their email to my inbox. Using quotation marks, dollar signs, exclamation points and capital letters in your title will frequently trigger spam filters.

Make your title to fit exactly what you want to get across. Do you want your customers to know you are having this giant sale over the weekend? Send them an email and tell them “Weekend Sale on all Gold Jewelry” or if you want to be a bit more creative you could put “Grab the Gold This Weekend”. When they click to open your email you could then have a header that may read, “This Weekend Only 50% off all Gold Jewelry” or Buy One Get One Free Necklaces This Weekend Only”. Add pictures of a few pieces and the link could read, “Grab The Gold, Click Here”.

Here are some other words that could trigger a spam filter from your subject title:
Give it away, Giving it away, Save up to, Time limited, order now, Offer, One time, one time offer, great offer, While Supplies last, Act Now!.

Talk to Me
Stuck on the letter portion? Email can be tricky when you mean to say one thing and its misinterpreted as another. Something may seem funny to you and offensive to others. Speak out your words when you finish your letter and before you hit send. If you could have someone proof read it for you even better. Editing is a part of success when you will be sending out an email to one or thousands of customers and potential customers.

Lets Get Personal
Focus on your customer and leave out the “I” in your letter. Replace it with “you” or their name. “Your business is appreciated, or “Jamie you are a valued customer and your comments are appreciated. If you are promoting an item or service it should not be about you, it should be about your customer’s interest and trust.

Fonts and Size Does Matter
Ever get an email that is hard to read because the font is small or even in such a script that you have to get closer to your screen, squint your eyes just to read it… this type of email may have hit the inbox, but has the potential for a delete in under 5 seconds. Set your font for easy reading like Ariel and size 12. Speaking about size, try to keep your emails like your title short and to the point. You want to catch attention with the title and move on to the letter with a few lines that will catch their attention and move on to your blog, website or online store. Add your links and be sure they work before hitting send.

Email Common Sense
No one likes to be bombarded with emails. Space your emails out to accommodate your email list. If someone is not interested in what you are selling, bombarding them with emails will only make them want to get off your list or block you. Pacing them will get better results and even may get forwarded to a friend.

Before you send your emails, think about what type of emails you like to receive how often you want to receive them and what you want to go to spam.

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