This Just In: May 15 - 22 | This Just In | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Yard Sell

Summary: Instead of watching the clock during tough economic times, resourceful people are simply selling their old ones! Reporter: Aaron Saykin, WTAE Channel 4 Airtime: 2 minutes, 17 seconds on May 9 Visuals: * Items displayed outside for a yard sale, including a boxed product called the "Food Saver," a small desk fan, a box of coffee mugs and a set of golf clubs. Highlights: * When Saykin starts, "Well, let the yard sales begin. We're out here on Clematis Boulevard in Penn Hills, where, at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, [this] family is going to have another big yard sale." * When he adds, "And you know, they say wherever you look in most neighborhoods this year, you're probably going to see a sign for a yard or a garage sale. It's a sign that competition is going to be fierce in a year where money is, well, a little bit tight." * Saykin's narration: "In this tiny Forest Hills neighborhood, confusion and competition -- two different garage sales on the same weekend, and two different signs pointing in two different directions." Oh my! What's a shopper to do? * When a woman hosting a sale explains, "[T]he people who are having theirs not 'til tomorrow, already had their signs up today, so we had to go resolve that this morning." * When Saykin asks her, "Your customers were getting lost?" and she answers, "That's right." * When Saykin notes, "A fitting start to what could be one of the busiest garage-sale seasons in years. And faced with rising fuel and food prices, sellers may be getting more savvy to squeeze out a few extra dollars." * When Saykin agrees with the woman's idea to put price stickers on items, adding, "That way, customers won't leave if you're too busy to tell them. Aside from advertising your sale, experts recommend ... offering bags so customers can buy more. Having enough change on hand so you don't have to cut the price. For you yard-sale shoppers, always haggle." * When Saykin reveals, "We also came across another interesting tip. Somebody suggested actually serving coffee and donuts to those 'early bird' shoppers in the morning. Now, there's no empirical evidence that we could find that that would increase profits. But the shoppers will be happy." What We Learned: Apparently, there is some sort of sign protocol involved with yard-sale signage -- so don't put them up too early unless you want your neighbor knocking on your door to "resolve" things. Unanswered Question: Clematis Boulevard -- isn't that near Wisteria Lane? News Value: 7. Reuse and recycle. And resell!

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