I ran this article, The High Tech Garage Saler, in my last issue of Yard Salers (you can subscribe at www.yardsalers.net). I thought it was so good I'd re-run it in my blog. It came to me from Tim, of www.happyhourcomics.com. (Thanks, Tim!)
The High-Tech Garage Saler
The competition for re-saleable items has really heated up in the last couple of years with a surge a part time eBayers hitting the circuit. Adding a few pieces of technology can help you get ahead by getting you to more sales faster and helping you with your purchase decisions.
First of all just looking in the classified adds in your local paper is not enough. The daily paper in my area charges $35.00 for a garage sale ad, so most people have started listing on craigslist.org.
They have separate listings for every metropolitan area and even if you are suburban or rural you will find many listings. It is searchable so you can look up your community easily.
The posts go up real time so you don't have to wait to get the morning paper and you will often find sales in the middle of the week.
I take my laptop computer in the car with me when I go out sailing with a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver that plugs into a USB port and sits on my dashboard. The software that interprets the data from the GPS receiver shows your position on a map and gives you a route to your destination. With Microsoft Streets and Trips I can put in all of my sales and use a feature called optimize stops and the computer organizes the sales into the quickest route around the city. It also allows my to put a pushpin with a label into the map so I can put notes with the start and end time and other info such as apt number 304, in the alley, rummage sale don't miss, etc.
This has really helped me organize my day and can get to 25% more sales. I also have an Internet card for my laptop that works with the cell phone network (available from most cell phone providers). I have the unlimited data plan for about $60.00 per month so I can stay on all day and have it when I need it. You will find people posting adds on craigslist til and even after noon so keep checking and add them to your route.
Also I find that sometimes when I get to a sale, I cannot find it, and I can go back to the craigslist ad using the search feature to quickly find the listing and look at the notes to make sure I am in the right place at the right time.
Many times I find I am close and able to find the sale that I otherwise would have driven away from. The card also allows me to be on eBay and I can run out to the car and look things up to see if it is a good buy. Not only will you find yourself buying items you would have passed on, more importantly you will pass on duds you would have bought. I make better purchase decisions every week that more than pay for the cost of the card for the whole month. Hopefully these tips will help you and increase your eBay sales.
"I am a Power Seller with over 7 years of eBay experience and 9200 feedback. I recently won the power seller challenge and was interviewed on eBay radio. My eBay seller name is happyhourcollectables and my wife and I just started a kitchen specialty eBay store with the user name victoriaskitchen with sales of over $1000.00 in the first month - all local garage sale finds. You can find out more about me at http://www.happyhourcomics.com/aboutme/ and http://www.happyhourcomics.com/consulting/.
Awesome tips! Thank you soo much for sharing them with us! You've inpired me to get a GPS. Great idea to have the ability to look things up on a laptop in a car, too.