Organizing the Cooperative Yard Sale Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
Churches, schools and neighborhoods often come together to plan and have cooperative yard sales. After all, the more items you have up for sale, the more attractive it can be to lure in the potential buyers. When you have multiple parties involved though, planning and implementing the cooperative yard sales requires that a leader emerge to organize every aspect of pulling the yard sale off.
Plenty of pre-planning goes into cooperative yard sales. If you are the person in charge, then you may want to start by enlisting help from other school or church members or your neighbors. Form a committee for planning the yard sale and assign a specific role to each of the members. For example, one member may be in charge of recruiting other members to sell their stuff at the yard sale. Another team member may be in charge of creating and managing the pricing system, while someone else is in charge of managing the money on the day of the yard sale. Another member may be in charge of promoting the cooperative yard sales to potential buyers and shoppers.
Pricing & Recording Sales
You can use different systems for pricing the items for sale and keeping track of which persons items sell. One system is to use a color-coded system, where you use colored sticker dots, with each color being used for all that person’s stuff. You can also use white stickers or price tags, but use a different colored pen to put the price on each item and to identify who the item belongs to when it sells.
You’ll need to have a master list of which color belongs to which person where the buyers pay, so that the person recording the sales knows who to attribute the sale to.
Another pricing strategy is to write the person’s name or initials on the price tag or sticker. This way when the item shows up at the checkout station, you can identify who the item belongs.
The easiest way to record sales is to divide a sheet of paper up by columns. Each column is assigned to the person selling the item. Depending on your pricing system, write the information as the column header that can help you identify where to record the sale of the item. For example, if you are using color sticker dots, then you can simply put one dot on each column. This allows you to quickly identify where to record the price of the item according to the color of the price tag.
If you are using a name or initial system, then assign the name or initials of the person to each column on the record sheet.
Once cooperative yard sales come to an end, it is time to reconcile the money and pay the participants. The easiest way to do this is to add up the prices you have recorded in each column of your sales sheet. Then count up the total amount of money you have on hand to ensure that the amount matches. Count out the amount of money due to each party, slide it into an envelope with their name on it and a copy of the sales record for that particular person.
Cooperative yard sales can be a highly productive and lucrative way for churches and schools to raise money or for members of a community to clean out their homes and make a little extra cash in the process. It makes the process and the experience much more beneficial and smoother when you get organized and stay organized from the beginning to the end.
Author experience: Kristie has planned and held numerous garage sales, including cooperative yard sales.