When we were getting ready to move, I asked my husband if we should have a yard sale. “I don’t think so,” he said. “Our marriage isn’t strong enough for a yard sale.” We looked at each other, laughed, and put everything in the donate pile.
It’s spring, and every weekend yard sale signs appear on corners, owners hoping for windfalls from parting with household bric-a-brac. Since everyone has stuff they don’t need, yard sales seem like a good way to make some money in your spare time. Before you begin planning your next yard sale, calculate your hourly rate, as this blogger did. You may want to reconsider.
“I made a whopping $600 in five hours! That is $120 per hour! But how much did I really earn per hour? To get ready for the yard sale, I spent 15 minutes a day for one month, or 7 hours. This means I spent a total of 12 hours to make $600, so I actually earned $50 per hour. I spent 4 hours the night before the sale bringing things up from the basement, sorting everything by category and pricing things, which increased my time investment to 16 hours, so my earnings dropped to $37. I spent 2 hours setting up in the morning, which increased my hours to 18 and decreased my hourly rate to $33. I spent 1 hour getting poster board and stakes, 2 hours making up signs, 1 hour driving around the neighborhood to post them and another hour after the sale to take the signs down — a total of 4 more hours, or 22 hours in total. My earning is now $27 per hour. Of course, I didn’t actually do all of this by myself; my spouse helped. That doubles the hours, so my hourly earning is now $13.50. Although I decreased prices sharply near the end, there was still lots that didn’t sell, so we put everything left in boxes and dropped the off at a nearby thrift store. While there, however, I saw some neat things that were selling for a real bargain, so I bought them, and ending up bringing more stuff I don’t need into my home.”
The solution? Ditch the yard sale idea. Take everything to the thrift store. Be sure to take your driver’s license…but leave your wallet at home. Long live your marriage!