When I was about seven years old, my neighbor and I devised our first plan to become savvy entrepreneurs. We were going to sell used toys and Country Time Lemonade, and turn them into untold riches. I am fairly certain it was her idea but I jumped on that bandwagon immediately!
Carefully I picked through my things to find what I could reasonably let go. Mind you, we were both the youngest in our families so a lot of our toys were hand-me-downs. As the youngest kids, we held onto things out of fear that we might not live to see another day if we gave them up – it was pure survival. We had everything going for us that day. The weather was gorgeous, our sales pitch was perfect, our prices couldn’t be beaten, and we were dang cute too! We were so excited at the prospect of turning these old treasures into pure profit that we neglected a few key details – location, advertising, and location.
After about an hour of selling stuff to each other and the stray sibling for ten cents or so, we cashed out and hopped on our bikes. I am fairly certain what we didn’t sell went back into toy circulation. While we didn’t change tax brackets that day, we had a lot of fun and our parents were delighted that we were occupied for most of the day.
Found Money for Your PCS Yard Sale
Contrary to my first experience, Yard Sales can be time well spent in the right location. It can also be an opportunity to build up some savings to use towards those unexpected PCS expenses. Ideally, you’ll want to get the plans going a month out from when you will host the yard sale but don’t let that stop you from pulling one together at the last minute.
A few considerations:
Talk with your CLO office about post specific requirements for hosting yard sales.
Decide where and when you will host it, and if you will do an event solo or with others.
Separate out what you will sell and work on pricing your items.
4 FAM 368.2 Employees’ Personal Property Sales Abroad - outlines the guidance on selling personal effects while overseas. It’s worth noting that you cannot sell items for a personal profit. If there is a profit for your sale, there are additional steps you must take.
Hosting a Yard Sale - The Fast & Simple Way
Gather everything you want to sell or purge
Pick your date and time - post it in CLO newsletter, WhatsApp groups or other community groups
Gather Supplies: cash box, a calculator, change for cash, paper for signs, markers, tape, blankets or tables for display
Organize your items by price and keep it simple
$1, $5, $10, etc - put items on tables or blankets with a sign listing the price per item
Any items under $5 - list as Any 3 items for $15 or $10
Separate high ticket items and set prices then other items can be a set amount regardless of what it is
Early-Bird discounts - reward your shoppers that arrive at the start with a discount
Anything not sold can be donated or thrown away
No Time for a Yard Sale - Alternative Options
Placing Classified Ads in the CLO newsletter for big ticket items.
Finding an online marketplace within your local community.
Asking if your commissary would like to purchase any remaining consumables that you won’t finish.
Donate items to a local charity and claim the value as a deduction on your taxes.
Our family has loved all of our yard sales. We usually got together with other families and focused on items in good condition that we no longer needed or wanted. We would also put advertisements in CLO newsletters and WhatsApp groups. Whatever we didn’t sell we would donate to local schools, our household staff or other communities that could benefit. Just about everything found a new home which was the main purpose in the first place.
If you need help sorting for your upcoming PCS, reach out to us to schedule a discovery call.