I have taken part in second hand homeschooling curriculum sales for the past two seasons and plan to again this year.I find they are not just a great way to make money but also to save money.
Bring Along Someone to Help
If I can I either have my eldest child come along to help for either the day, or if the sale is right in our home town, just a few hours. By having someone man my table for a while, I save money picking up items my family needs as well as make money selling the items we no longer need.
Get The Word Out
Sometimes finding information about when and where these sales are can be kind of tricky. It is not unlikely to hear about a sale from a homeschooler, either the day its beginning or after has already taken place.
To find one before its too late to enter, I would put out the word to all your homeschooling friends that you have items to sell and would love to take part in any local second hand curriculum sales. I would suggest doing this around March as most used curriculum sales are held in April or May.
Facebook is another great place to inquire. Snap a picture of your no longer needed homeschooling items, and in the status box above ask if anyone knows of any second hand curriculum sales that you could enter to decrease your pile.
When I did this on my Facebook, I ended up selling a few items right then and there, which was a nice bonus, and I also did find out about a sale I could take part in.
Look For Listings in Homeschool Publications
I have seen listings of such sales with contact numbers in the magazine put out by the Indiana Association of Home Educators (IAHE) as well as on their website. You may not live in Indiana, but I am guessing other states and provinces have similar publications.
The ad in these magazines, may not state that they are taking vendors, but it does not hurt to call the contact number and ask if they have any table space available and if they do, how much is it, and what are the rules.
Know the Rules
Rules are usually pretty simple. Items must be those used in homeschooling, meaning you can’t sell things like clothes, or kitchen supplies. However, you can bring along all fiction and non fiction books, educational DVD’s, and educational board games. In other words anything that could be used for teaching purposes, but may not be a specific homeschooling curriculum is fine.
Know The Cost of Taking Part
The purchase price of a table at these sales is usually very inexpensive. For instance, in our area I think the highest I have seen a table listed is $10. At that low of a price, it won’t take many sales for you to make back your investment, and start making a return on your efforts.
Ask Who Provides The Table
Ask if the table is provided, or if you have to bring your own. Sales differ on this policy, and there is nothing as frustrating as showing up at a sale with boxes of books and no table to display them on.
Price Your Items Effectively
To price your items effectively I highly recommend, researching the value of your items on eBay, Half.com, and Amazon. I suggest pricing your items about 20 to 30 percent less than the final sale price listed on the websites. This way you save the effort of having to list and mail your item, and the buyer saves cash.
I often print and tape the completed list price sheet from eBay, to my items, right next to my price (that’s 20 to 30 percent less than eBay’s price) just to avoid hagglers, and to let buyers see that they are getting a deal.
If you get to the sale and see items of the same title and condition, and they are priced way less than your items, stay firm on your prices the first few hours, especially if you know that they are hot sellers on eBay. Their lower priced item will sell first, but yours will still probably sell later in the day.
This is just one more reason this is the type of sale where you really want to put time and effort into researching the value of your items. You want to make sure that your items are priced accordingly so that they do sell, and if they don’t you know its just because the right buyer didn’t come along that day, and nothing to do with your prices.
Used Curriculum sales are one place where I don’t go down too much on my prices, as I research well, and know that I have competitive prices. I also know that what I don’t sell at the sale will sell on eBay later in the curriculum buying season when I do my 2 to 3 day eBay homeschooling curriculum blow out (I will write about that another Selling Saturday).
How about you? Do you sell or shop used Homeschooling Curriculum sales? Any tips to add?