Tag Archives: thrifter

What We Carry With Us

This is just for those who run sales or are interested in running them. Or just for the curious. Here is a list of the stuff I often take with me to an estate sale:

Tape: cellophane, blue painter’s, duct, red or yellow warnings. We use many kinds for many different jobs: hanging signs with prices printed on them or signs that warn of steps and other dangers or signs encouraging you to come this way for more treasures; weighting our outdoor estate sale sign stands with rocks so that the wind doesn’t blow them over…again (lame, right?); marking uneven areas on the floor or jutting overhead cabinets so that people will notice them and therefore hopefully not trip or not bump their heads; closing off cabinets or doorways into rooms or portions of rooms where the public is not invited to enter.

Price tags: many sizes and styles. Lots of blank stickers upon which I can record prices; various size tags with strings so that I can mark big items like furniture or tiny items like jewelry. I haven’t tried the print-as-you-price type; they seem so impersonal, even if they do look more professional to some.

Hammer: claw hammer, for pounding in an occasional nail when needed or removing an occasional nail that isn’t needed.

Nails: for pounding with a hammer (see above) if needed to hold something up or to keep something else down.

Rubber mallet: for pounding in stakes, for pounding on walls to get attention (never have, but maybe should have).

Rubber gloves: for wearing when I need to stick my hands into unpleasant or scary places.

Face masks or air filters: disposable one that can be worn when air quality is poor. This job can be hazardous to one’s sense of smell; these help.

Locks: for locking places that can be locked and where I don’t want customers to enter. I use them mostly on gates and garage doors, but have used them on attic doors, basement doors and a few cabinets.

Flashlight: for peering into dark spaces: attics, basements, closets. Get the picture? We usually find plenty of need for this item.

Folding canopy: to provide shade outside when needed. I don’t always bring it with me, but I have it in my warehouse if I need it.

Folding chairs: as with the folding canopy, I only bring them when I need them.

Folding tables: lots of them, usually. How many I bring with me varies from sale to sale. I use them to display product upon and for my checkout area.

Tablecloths: I put them on my folding tables to make them look prettier.

Apron: for keeping my clothes from getting dirty and/or dusty.

Paper towels: for cleaning messes, etc, because you never know when you might need some messes cleaned.

Toilet paper: See Paper Towels. It is not pleasant when you arrive at a house to begin work and you find there is no toilet paper. It happens too often to overlook.

Measuring tape: to measure items, of course. Some items are only differentiated from reproductions by their measurements. Sometimes one just needs to make sure an item will fit where one wants to place it.

Safety pins: just in case.

Plastic bags: for putting stuff in; for giving to customers to put stuff in once they’ve made a purchase. I find that all I really need are the grocery store bags I get when I shop. I get a lot.

Sharpies: Yes, that specific brands and No, I’m not getting a kickback. They last the longest and keep their point the best, or at least that is what I’m convinced of until proven wrong.

Pens: for writing notes or lists or doodles.

Sticky notes: (Okay, I know you all know that I mean a specific brand, but one product placement per article is enough). For quickie notes to customers (Don’t enter HERE either!) or to staff members (Don’t tell customers that the tree is for sell!). Also good for reminders to self (Don’t forget to bring cash for the check-out!)

Trash bags: for the disposal of trash or for the collection of stuff to be donated. Lots of them.

Cash box: For holding cash when customers make purchases so that I can give them change.

Cash: See above. I usually find that small bills work better than big ones for the initial pot. I also always put a note with the cash with the starting amount, which keeps me from forgetting how much I started with so that I don’t inadvertently split MY cash with the client (it’s never happened yet, but best to be prepared).

Receipt book: To write receipts. I usually only give them when they are requested.

Notepad: Every company runs their sales a different way. During a sale, I write down every thing I sell and what it sold for. I don’t want to be bothered with using a computer for this because electricity isn’t always available. And when it is available, it isn’t always handy.

Clipboard: for holding notepad or notes or just to make me look official.

Electric cash register: I only use this occasionally. I have found it to be more of a bother than it is worth. However, at times it comes in handy.

Smart Phone: A must. Good for looking up values of many items one finds in an average household or for calling an expert who can identify that weird doohickey one of your staff just found hidden in a closet. Also great for calling friends to talk them into bring you lunch when you’re working too hard to take a break. I also use it to keep track of employee hours. There is also a camera, a calculator, a calendar, my address book, and Scrabble for your break. Oh, and Facebook because, you know, you might want to tell your multitude of friends what you just found while organizing the garage. It’s advertising, right?

Digital camera: I have a camera on my phone, but I still prefer to use my digital camera because I feel that it takes better pictures.

The Square: fantastic app on my smart phone that lets me take credit card payment wherever I am. Has a device you plug into your phone so that you can slide credit cards, but can also let you enter the numbers manually. Magic!

I think that’s it. I always seem to forget to list something, but this is enough to get you started. Perhaps your company always takes something that you think I might find handy. I’d appreciate the suggestions, since that is part of why I’ve started this blog: its a great way to share.


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