Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Top Five Things to Look for This Summer at Yard Sales (Revisited Yet Again!)

Let's make a different kind of list.  Okay?

I promise that this is the last post on this theme for this year.  I started to actually make this one my post for the group blog, but decided that it might be better to stay within the boundaries of the given task.

I also toyed with the idea of making this a secondary part of the post I submitted, but ended up cutting it out for length.  After I decided that it might be a good idea to include an intro for new visitors, I became concerned about how long the post was.  In the end, I was very happy with the way the initial post came out, so I think I made the right call.

But some ideas are too good to let slide away.  Truth be told, this is a concept I have been wanting to blog about for a while now.  It just took the group blog to spur me into actually doing it.

When I first got my booth, I got asked one question over and over:  "What do you sell there?"  My answers must have frustrated people because I tended to describe items, rather than naming them.  I had one goal in mind when I took my first booth--to have a booth that wasn't like any other space in the mall.  To do that, I spent more time thinking about what the stuff I was selling would be like, instead of what it actually was.

Initially, I used to say that I wanted "things that made you think of bongo drums" when you saw them.  It worked for me--bongo drums are cool and interesting--but not for other people, who just didn't get what I was trying to say.  "You're selling bongo drums?"  "What about other instruments?"  "Do that many people buy bongo drums?"

In the end, I started thinking in terms of adjectives that best described the things I was looking for.  What characteristics do they all have in common?  This is the list I created.  It was important for me to define those terms, as well, using definitions that relate back to the purpose of looking for those items--the booth.

Unique:  Things that are different from the items others are selling.  If it is an item that others have in their booths, it still needs to be distinct in some way.  For example, others also sell books, but I don't sell the Danielle Steele, Stephen King, harlequin Romance, etc books that you find in so many other booths.

Fun:  I want things that make me smile when I find them.  More importantly, I want them to make other people smile when they see them in the booth.

Eclectic:  I don't want to be one note.  I want a range of items, from soup to nuts, that are distinct and different from each other, so that the overall effect of my space is a weird and wonderful menagerie.

Interesting:  Something so fascinating that you cannot resist stepping into the booth to check it out.

Oddball:  Stuff that is unlike stuff that you've seen before.

As time has gone on, my horizons (and my booths) have expanded quite a bit.  I don't hold to this list as hard and fast as I used to.  I carry some things that don't really fit onto this list--although it all does add to the eclectic effect.  Still, this list does form a key part of my guiding re-selling philosophy.  In the end, it's more about knowing how to bend and mold the list, instead of how strictly I adhere to it.

I don't really think I'm proposing anything that new here.  Most folks are already doing this sort of thing without realizing it.  Go back and re-read Donna's Five Things post.  Her opening is a list of adjectives!  (And I didn't even have to pay her so she would do it!)

Try it yourself.  Think about the things you're looking for at yard sales this summer.  It doesn't matter whether you re-sell or buy for yourself.  Can you create a list of five adjectives that gives a good overall description of these items?  Give it a try!

Feel free to share your own list in comments.

For an added challenge, try to do it without using the words "vintage" "retro" "antique" or "primitive."  I know.  BLASPHEMY!


Linda @ A La Carte said...

Most of the words you used make me think of you and how I would describe you if asked. So your booth is you. Makes sense!

Nogrinnin said...

Old, colorful, handmade, graceful, happy.

there ya go - five words.

Donna Wilkes said...

Vintage, retro, primitive - oh, wait, the King of Lists said I could not use those terms. In my booth I tend to look for body parts especially heads, old books with crazy titles, round things, and carnival things. When I taught there was always one student every year who not only did the assigned work, but also completed extra-credit work and extra-extra-credit work. That was you, right? BTW I am using a link back to your blog tomorrow.

Shara said...

Cute, unique, quirky, kitschy, memories How's that? I sell tons of stuff that people remember GRandma, mom or someone having - or they had it as a kid.

Curtains in My Tree said...

Back In The Day things

way back when I was a kid LOL

I like to see different things in a booth instead of all the same in every booth also