Scottsdale Sale Is A Wrap
It was quite an odyssey but our first sale in Scottsdale is now in the books. What a process to go from packing and sending four U-Box containers from home, then unpacking everything into the house because the garage was filled with construction materials, debris and more items to sell and then trying to set up for a sale. I wish I would have taken a before photo of the garage, every inch was filled and left a mess over the summer except for a pathway to get to the laundry room. The contractor removed his garbage and with Dolly's help the construction materials were placed in the storage closet and everything else on the patio. We spent weeks recycling cardboard boxes and are finally now caught up.
I had to clear out the garage twice - the first time to have the epoxy chip floor installed and the second time to have the walls and ceiling painted in the garage and laundry room. I had started to put items back in the garage because I did not think the painters were going to arrive in time for the sale but they ended up coming on Monday. It was a quick one-day job so touch-ups are needed but overall I was really glad the basics got done before the sale.
This is a two-car garage which is not as large as my garage at home but there is plenty of space for four 6-foot tables of jewelry cases set up in a U-shape. Behind the tables I have a decorative shelf and desk that I purchased from Melinda's cousin's moving sale. They were good for displaying purses and hats. Across the way there were two 6-foot tables filled with shoes. I had to put all of the clothing racks on the driveway except one small one but it was not too bad because the customers entered through the garage.
Even with weeks of preparation and the last week practically 24/7 the sale was not at all prepared the way I would have wanted. Most of the household items were not priced and we could not get to four large bins of Mother's Christmas decorations as well as more boxes of items on the dining area floor. In addition, I was not able to get the jewelry cases filled. I tried using the label printer I purchased on my last visit to make jewelry tags but could not get the text to align properly. I ordered the same label printer I use at home which works great for jewelry tags but it arrived late and by then it was too late to tag anything. I manned the garage and I had to have customers rummage through my boxes of unpriced Native American jewelry to see what I had. I was so embarrassed!
However everyone was such a good sport and we met many nice neighbors who were out on their walks. They loved the garage floor and complimented the way the garage and house looked. One customer (who I do not think was a neighbor) said the house needed updating! I thought that was hilarious since the entire first floor has just been remodeled.
After months of worrying about the HOA shutting us down even though there are no rules about having a sale or someone incorrectly reporting us to ES.net I was so relieved that the event was very low-key, everyone behaved themselves and no HOA members surfaced. The worst thing that happened was that a few people parked in front of our driveway but since it was ours I let it go. This was truly our moving in and downsizing sale and was 100% a legitimate sale.
Between the garage floor and the painting I took some time to individually photograph vintage Native American jewelry for the ads and future online store listings. I actually enjoyed working in the garage, there was plenty of space to spread out as opposed to trying to do everything in a corner of my bedroom. The lighting is pretty good and there is a ceiling fan to get some air circulating. There is also some shelving in the laundry room that I can use to store photo props.
Overall the sales were very good - a man came from California to buy jewelry for his store and found many great pieces including the above bracelet which is one of my all-time favorites. But I am a perfectionist and know that the advertising could have been better. I was able to write a detailed description but only had time to post preliminary photos of the larger items and the Native American jewelry photos I had shot before. Several people did come for jewelry pieces they saw in the photos but I know not having photos of many of the items and no jewelry case photos really hurt. I thought about postponing the sale to January but we have been so cramped living with all the extra stuff, Rachel and John are coming to visit and the pet sitter was booked for the weekend so I went forward with the sale.
The weather was ideal for the four days of the sale - quite cold in the morning but warming up to the high 60s by the end of the day. Many sales start at 8:00 but being used to a 10:00 start that is very early for me. I compromised and went with the hours of 9:00-3:00. Mornings were busy and things died down by about noon each day. Then we would get a surge towards the end of the day. It was well worth being open all six hours.
As I mentioned, we met some interesting people. A very elegant woman with a grey bob dressed all in black visited us a couple of times. She had four of the most amazing huge sterling bracelets on her arm and the leather handle of her purse had a sterling decorative cover over top. On the second visit, I learned that she is 88 years old and she told me that she has an antique mall booth. I love the antique malls around here and twice I asked her where her booth was. She chose not to answer me! I was not asking in order to compete and take a booth anywhere but as a shopper. I am content taking matters into my own hands and doing my thing as far as selling jewelry goes. However my wrought iron garden pieces did not sell so after the first of the year I am going to inquire with a local mall to see if they would like to consign them. They have an outdoor section on the side of their store filled with vintage wrought iron and on my last visit I noticed that there was plenty of space for my pieces.
Mother handled the family/dining areas and we set her up with a 4-foot table so she would have an official place to set. It was really good for her to socialize with the customers and especially the neighbors. One couple mentioned that they recently hired a company to do an auction for his mother's home in the community which happens to be the same model as mine. Now that the home is clear, they are now going to renovate but everything in the home is original. They gave Mother their information and said we could come take a tour to see how the home looked when it was built. A previous owner took out the wrought iron railing leading to the second floor and we currently have no railing. I said if she ever decides to replace it to let me know because I would buy it. I would definitely like to take them up on their offer and pay them a visit after the first of the year.
Melinda helped us out by cashiering on the patio. The original idea was for the customers to go from the garage, through the house, on the patio and out the alley door but there was never an excess of people. I just let them go any way they liked.
I decided not to go for a fifth day even though they are often good for jewelry sales. I did not want to push the smooth experience and there was nothing I really wanted to go to 90% off on. On Saturday morning I got up early and furiously posted all of the major items to Facebook Marketplace. This was successful as I found a buyer for the Drexel sideboard I have had for resale for years as well as an IKEA bookshelf. I feel confident that I should be able to sell more of the items as time goes on. They are under the covered part of the patio right now and pretty safe from the elements. Next week I will reduce the prices a bit. I also posted the sale to a couple of local groups - AZ Luxury Marketplace and AZ Girlfriends Marketplace. Hopefully some folks came out from these ads as well.
I would like to make this an annual event if I can as I will always have jewelry, clothing and accessories. I will think about pushing it before we go and having a spring event which would be perfectly prepared. It would definitely help to be able to sell a bunch of jewelry and not have to worry about taking it home for the summer.
To celebrate the end of the sale, we took Melinda to a restaurant down the street we had yet to try called Forno 301. Last time we were here, it was a different name and was drive-through Italian food. We tried it once and really enjoyed it, especially the pesto pasta which is always my favorite. However I noticed the name change and that the restaurant seemed to have added a dine-in option. The dining area is small but large enough as it was not crowded. I did not like where they were going to seat us, it was right on top of a couple at a high top table so we asked to move. We ended up in the opposite corner which was pitch black. Luckly the server came with a cordless table light which helped. The chairs were those uncomfortable little metal chairs restaurants often have which I cannot fit into, I have to sit side saddle. Melinda ordered iced tea and it arrived a very pale orange color so she brought it to the bar and swapped it out for a Sprite. The Sprite was just slightly fizzy water with no syrup so the server brought her a can of Sprite and a glass of ice. We ordered two salads to share and the server brought us our plates but next thing we knew our entrees arrived. Melinda complained and they brought us the salads a bit later but comped them. There were a lot of hiccups with the service but the food was really good. I had gnocchi with pesto sauce and it was the same sauce as before. Melinda had fettuccine carbonara and she loved it, saying it was one of the better ones she has had. Mother and Kuochun had the pasta of the day which was rigatoni with crumbled sausage, bell peppers and onion and they loved theirs too. The salad was something easy to make at home but it was still good. I would definitely drive through to pick up homemade pasta and/or pizza but would skip the dining experience.
The next step is to move all of the unsold items and display pieces to the garage in preparation for having the house cleaned next Thursday. The week after that we are headed out for our much needed trip so as usual there is much to do before we go. It will be great to finally be able to put everything back in place so things can get back to normal once we return.