Monthly Archives: April 2015

Garage Sale Top 10 Tips

Top 10 Tips For Having A Successful Garage Sale

Confession time ~ I just love garage sales … both going to & having 🙂 Here are my Top 10 Tips (aka … a few things I’ve learned from experience) for having a successful garage sale:

1) ADVERTISING ~ Have good signage that makes it easy for potential customers to find you. Make sure to place signs where people can see them coming from all directions. Put a sign decorated with colorful balloons / flags / streamers at the foot of your driveway. Remember to take them down after your sale ends. Also, hang a sign on your local grocery store bulletin board and create a free ad on Craigslist.

2) BE PREPARED ~ Be prepared to start very early. If possible, have everything set up and ready to go the night before. Customers may be at your house before your official start time, especially if you advertised well ∧∧∧ 🙂

3) ORGANIZATION ~ Try to organize your sale tables into departments … tools, toys, books, clothes, jewelry, kitchenware … etc. Try to lay everything out on a table, many people don’t like digging through boxes under tables. If possible, try to “display” items … for example, if you are selling dishes, display a place setting showing each piece in the set. For jewelry, display each piece in a separate compartment (not tangled up) or to show earrings, hang them on a piece of screen.

4) PRICING ~ Have everything priced ahead of time. Many customers will ask for a lower price, be prepared to haggle. Remember, everyone is looking for a bargain … so don’t expect to get the price a store would charge. Also, while you are pricing, try to wipe off / clean everything (no one wants to look at dusty or dirty items).

5) AMBIANCE ~ Have some fun, upbeat music playing in the background (you want to be able to have a conversation). If at all possible, have some of your sale items displayed in a shady area (maybe under a portable gazebo / tent). If it’s hot & humid, have a fan going to create a breeze 🙂

6) CHECK-OUT ~ Have your check-out area in an obvious place … a patio table with an umbrella set up for shade would be great. Have it near an outlet with an extension cord, so people can make sure their item works before purchasing (most garage sales have a NO RETURNS policy). Have an assortment on batteries on hand too.

7) CORRECT CHANGE ~ Have plenty of singles and coins to make change. It seems like everyone wants to pay with a twenty dollar bill and the singles can run out fast.

8) BAGS ~ Have plenty of bags or boxes (save them from shopping) for your customers to carry their treasures (purchases) home. If you are selling furniture or large pieces, have some rope or twine available for them to tie the trunk down or secure it on the roof of their car.

9) REFRESHMENTS ~ Have some candy or cookies for sale at your check-out area … have some water bottles on ice, too. Nothing is better on a hot summer day !

10) SECURITY ~ Sadly, this is something you need to be aware of. Pay attention when a large group of customers come together (especially with kids). One may ask questions to distract you, while their friend steals something … I speak from personal experience 🙁  Also, don’t put their payment in with your money until you have made their change … they could say they gave you a 20 dollar bill when they really gave you a 10 (again, personal experience). If possible, have another family member run the sale with you, or maybe ask a friend to keep you company for the day.

11) BONUS TIP ~ Offer some FREE items … little trinkets or small toys (stuffed animals or McD’s happy meal toys). Keep your FREE box at your check-out area and place a couple signs on your tables advertising a “free gift” with your purchase. Who doesn’t LOVE getting something for FREE ?

Tornado Photo Credit - Batavia Patch

Tornado Touches Down / Stormy Spring Weather in Illinois

Spring has arrived in Illinois with a vengeance. Last night, a huge tornado touched down in several small towns about 75 or so miles west of Chicago. The town of Fairdale (with a population of less than 200 people) was decimated. The news reports are saying that every building in the town was damaged, if not totally destroyed. Close by, the towns of Ashton and Kirkland were also hit by the massive tornado. There was a lot of damage in Rochelle, IL too.
We actually have friends who live in Rochelle. I was able to “talk” with them via text about an hour after the tornado touched down. They assured me their family was safe, but asked us to pray for some of their friends that were trapped in the basement (where they had wisely taken shelter from the storm) of a nearby restaurant called Grubsteakers. This restaurant is (was) a local landmark located at the intersection of Rt. 64 and 251 in Rochelle. It was a staple in the community – people have been eating there for decades … my own husband was there a few months ago.
I don’t know why, but I have always liked stormy weather (from the safety of my home). I think it’s because I love the sky. It is amazing (and sometimes frightening) to see a huge flash of lightning and then wait for the accompanying clap of thunder. The sky produces innumerable variations of colors and shapes. Sunsets are probably my favorite though … so many awesome color combinations. I also love star gazing on a clear night.
However, that same sky that gives us amazing sights to see, can also produce very angry and scary images too. The sky can darkened so quickly during a storm, especially when that storm hits late in the evening just as it is getting dark for the night. I can’t even begin to imagine how scared those people were …
I’ve never experienced a tornado … have you?

Book Review & Giveaway ~ Hot Flash by Kathy Carmichael

hot flashWhat’s the recipe for a happy marriage?

That’s what chef Jill Morgan Storm wants to know, and according to responses to the “Marriage Satisfaction Surveys” she and her closest friends cooked up, the answer is to marry a traveling salesman who is rarely home.

And Jill certainly deserves some happiness, after everything she’s been going through. Her teen-aged son, who only speaks to her in French, needs college tuition. Her crazy mother is determined to find her a man—and only brings her unsuitable ones. A pesky schoolteacher keeps annoyingly trying to fix her life. Her sous chef job is in jeopardy, and, most aggravating of all, her ex-boyfriend has absconded with her favorite skillet.<

What’s a single mom to do?

Faced with the answers to her surveys, she sets off to find the traveling salesman who can share her dreams. Along the way, can she find herself and a man who will claim her heart?

My Thoughts:
Never under estimate the schemes and plans that are formed when lifelong girlfriends get together for drinks 🙂
That being said, we meet Jill Storm, a sous chef working at a prestigious Las Vegas hotel. She is a single mom raising a moody, artistic, teenaged son. She tries to be supportive of her ex-husband who now goes by the name “Stormie” after a undergoing a gender change procedure. She is stressed about how to afford college tuition for her son. Not to mention she is turning the big 4-0 and wonders if she will ever find true love.
Now back to the afore mentioned “schemes and plans” … she sent out a survey to wives in really long term marriages asking their secrets to marital bliss. We then learn of all her escapades while trying to find the perfect mate 🙂
This is the second book I’ve read and reviewed (read “Chasing Charlie” review here) for this author – I’m a fan for life! This book was a hilarious, light-hearted read ~ I couldn’t recommend it more highly 🙂

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

Available to buy from…

Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Barnes and Noble   iBooks   Kobo

“Witty dialogue and wickedly funny characterizations make Kathy Carmichael’s Hot Flash a jewel among romantic comedies. Great fun!”
~ Eve Gaddy, Harlequin Superromance author

“Hot Flash is a keeper! It has heart, and I’m going to read it again. And again. Wonderfully well done!
~ Kay James, Romance Reader at Heart

“I have never laughed or cried so hard as I have with this truly wonderful book!”
~ Kathy Boswell, managing editor, The Best Reviews

“I highly recommend Hot Flash to anyone who loves to read romance. You will not be disappointed.”
~ Romance Junkies

About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Kathy Carmichael resides on the west coast of Florida with her Scottish husband, two not-so-wee sons, three cats, a part-time dog, and a huge collection of dust bunnies.

Kathy writes award-winning romantic comedies and humorous mysteries. Her Texas Two-Step romance series is a reader favorite.

Kathy’s romantic comedy, Hot Flash, was named by the American Library Association’s BOOKLIST magazine as one of the Top 10 Romance Fiction titles for 2009.

In addition to her novels, she’s sold short stories and wrote a bi-monthly column on the business of writing for a national writing trade magazine. Kathy is also a contest judge for Writers Digest.

She’s a member of the International Thriller Writers, an active member of the Mystery Writers of America, Sisters-in-Crime, Novelists Inc., the Florida chapter of MWA, is the published author liaison of the Tampa Area Romance Authors, and is an active member and past national board member of the Romance Writers of America.

Kathy loves hearing from readers.

Find the author on the following sites…

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Google+   Pinterest   Goodreads

A special fun survey has been prepared to accompany the book. You can take the survey or read the responses HERE.

Read an excerpt from the book HERE

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