Kindness. I was surprised at how little I saw this past weekend. Let me fill you in. I went to my Mom’s to help her and my step-dad set up a yard sale in the driveway. Their development was having a community sale. I’ll start by saying they have some wonderful neighbors, people who would do anything for them. It’s not the sellers I took issue with, it was the buyers.
As a buyer myself, I always try to be kind with anyone who I may purchase from. It is important to remember that these are people’s treasures and have been curated over a lifetime. Some items bring back fond memories. For me, being kind is a good business/life practice.
The worst are the jewelry buyers. Ugh.
The conversation went something like this, “Hey. Got any jewelry?”
Us, “No, sorry.”
They turn around and walk away. No thanks, no acknowledgement.
Really? Can you be a bit polite? Who in their right mind would trust you with anything of value looking like you just rolled out of a dumpster and went to a yard sale. And, why are you showing up 2 hours before it starts! That left a bad taste in my mouth.
If you are in my business, you may use yard sales as a place to find vintage or Antiques. I do not usually shop these sales, but if I decided to frequent yard sales for my store, I would do something like this. First, I would have some cards printed up by VistaPrint with my name, phone number, and what I wanted to buy. Most people need time to think before selling their treasures, especially if they are selling jewelry because there is usually a sentimental attachment to various pieces. A card gives them the option to call you when they are ready to sell. Not to mention a business card is more professional and less sketchy. Second, i would use a greeting other then “Hey”. Most people are older, but even if they're not, show them some respect. And finally, I would always use my manners... please, thank you, you are welcome, a smile. Being kind does not cost a cent and it may even bring future business.
If you just love a yard sale, then for the most part you like the people part. In the world we live in today, give it some thought, go out of your way, and treat others better than you want to be treated.
We could all use a little more kindness.