Maggies Mentions


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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!

Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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5 Habits That Will Make Grocery Shopping So Easy

The Family Dining Room

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Of the many household chores you’re expected to do, do you love or hate grocery shopping. The people who love to grocery shop usually do because they have learned to do it in an organized manner.  If you’re still pushing a cart down the aisle and stuffing it with your favorite foods without a plan for how these foods will be used or how much you’re spending, then you need to begin by shopping with a plan.

Planning

1)  Begin with a general game plan for the week.  What meals will you be eating at home? Devise a menu for the week and check your cupboards for ingredients you may already have. This will help you decide what needs to be purchased and when.  You may not want to buy all you salad fixings for the week as fresh produce doesn’t always keep for seven days.  Maybe instead, you will…

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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.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net