Originally Published: August 14, 2009 9:32 p.m.
Garage and yard sales are a great way to get items - and yourself - back out into the community, according to businessman-turned-author Jon F. Fulghum of Prescott.
"These sales are a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors and get rid of items you no longer want or need," he explained.
To help people "be better organized, have fun, and sell more," Fulghum wrote and published a how-to book titled, "Everything You Need to Know About Garage & Yard Sales."
A native of Nashville, Tenn., Fulghum holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration. After five years in the Air Force, Fulghum spent the next decade working for Prudential Life Insurance, and five years after that with the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. He then established his own company, Summit Benefits, in San Diego. Fulghum owned Summit Benefits for 17 years before selling it in 2000.
The Fulghums spent the next two years traveling around the United States trying to determine where they were going to retire. They decided on Prescott and moved here in 2003.
After moving to Prescott, Fulghum started writing self-development and how-to books on spec. He has five completed manuscripts waiting to be published.
And in 2004, his neighbor across the street, Gordon Mills, introduced him to the world of garage and yard sales. "I got hooked," he said.
Hooked is putting it mildly. Once, the friends hit 76 sales in a single day.
And in observance of National Garage and Yard Sales Day, which was Aug. 8, the two men spent Friday, Aug. 7, canvassing as many garage sales as possible.
In late 2006, Mills told Fulghum, "You need to write this (book on garage and yard sales)," which he did.
"The purpose of the book is to provide a guide on how best to organize and carry out a (successful) garage sale," he said.
In the first chapter, Fulghum says the six reasons for a garage or yard sale are:
To get rid of things that you no longer want or find useful.
To downsize possessions.
To prepare for a relocation.
To dispose of part or all of the remains of an estate.
To make money for personal use.
To earn money for charity.
He also points out there are six types of sales: single family, multi-family, community, estate, charity and rummage.
He also identifies the five types of shoppers at garage or yard sales. They are merchants, collectors, hunters, opportunists and missionaries.
Through the rest of the book, Fulghum describes why people attend garage and yard sales, how to pick and price items for a sale, when to hold them, how to price items and advertise the sale to have a successful event.
The book is available at www.jonfulghum.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com for $10.95.
In his acknowledgment, Fulghum wrote, "This book would not have been possible had it not been for the person who first introduced me to the rewarding world of garage and yard sales - my friend, Gordon Mills."
He said his book "is designed to be a small one people can read and digest quickly."
Since writing the garage and yard sale book, the Associated Press has interviewed him twice for a story. Parents Magazine, the New York Daily News and Arizona Channel 3 were among the dozen or so media interviews he has given during the past two years. He has also given a seminar at Yavapai College on the subject.