I spent most of the day helping my mom at her yard sale, and I'm here to eat a little crow. Mom had a tremendous amount of customers, especially considering the cost of gas and her location 3 miles from the highway. Dozens of oak trees shade her front yard, and the cool October breeze made it a pleasant location to work (if you didn't mind a continual shower of acorns).
I wish I had brought my camera to snap a few of our tablescapes. I'm convinced that visual merchandising at yard sales is every bit as important as it is in department stores. Of course, true bargain hunters relish "the dig" through piles or boxes. However, I think artful groupings of junque do motivate buyers. Consider the one gentleman (minus several teeth) who purchased a paisley bolster pillow, two oriental rug design draperies, and a Napoleonic horse print--all random items grouped together because of their various shades of red. I'm not sure he would have pulled all those elements together on his own!
We set up a bag of sand, cups, and a table for my son, who entertained himself for at least three hours. All of our customers' children ran to join him. This added bonus let the parents shop just a little longer and let us pay more attention to the sale.
I'm absolutely pooped. I still have to convince my mom not to let the leftover stuff re-enter her house, but I'll tackle that tomorrow.