North East Tennessee Home Education Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question, please check here first.

Question 1: What am I allowed to sell

Here's a sampling of things that have sold in the past and that would be of interest to other families:

- books and curriculum
- audio books
- family-friendly DVDs and CDs
- furniture like bookshelves, filing cabinets, school desks, etc.
- toys like LeapFrog, American Girl, Lego’s, Playmobil, doll clothes, Lincoln Logs, etc.

-items that are good quality toys,

- items that have quality educational value
- art supplies i.e. paints, brushes, paper, easels, etc.
- music supplies i.e. instruments, teaching books, etc.
- science supplies i.e. beakers, dissecting equipment, chemical sets, etc.
- globes and maps
- phonics sets

This is just a sample list. As you can see, we allow a very broad range of items.

With that said, we do have a small list of things we cannot allow to be sold and it's basically common sense. Those items would include:


*Junk (Please don't bag up fast-food toys)
*obscene books, movies, or CDs

*R Rated Movies

*Gothic novels, comic books, etc.
*things that are broken

*"steamy" romance novels ... use your good judgment as homeschool teens shop too!

 *movies, DVDs, CDs, etc. that have been copied. It is copyright infringement to sell copies or to keep copies of something you're selling.

Question 2: WHO is allowed to participate in the book sale?

Anyone can participate. You do not have to be a member of NETHEA, although you will have the opportunity to join when you check out. NETHEA (a branch of THEA) is a regional support group that benefits homeschoolers through lobbying efforts and various activities and programs that benefit homeschool families /New Consignor Registration

With that said, we do NOT ALLOW DEALERS. Families come from long distances to purchase the books and curriculum they need for the coming academic year. Our first obligation in ministry is to them. If we see someone with a portable scanner, they will be asked to leave the building.

Question 3: Is the sale really only five hours on one day?

Yes, even though it's only a five hour sale, we sell several thousand dollars worth of materials in that time period. It's a great way to clear out the things you’re finished with and make some money while also finding materials for the coming year. It's an amazing sale!

Question 4: Do you have price guidelines?

Not really, but pricing suggestions can be found here: Labeling & Pricing Items.  Use your good judgment. If you mark items too high, they are not going to sell and you'll be stuck with them at the end of the sale. If you have a bunch of items that are priced slightly lower, you'll probably sell more and not take home a bunch of leftovers. Ask a fair price and your items will sell.

Question 5: Am I allowed to bring my children?

Children are allowed, but we would recommend that children be left with a sitter. This is a wonderful sale and it's difficult to pay attention as well and find what you want if you don't have little ones in tow. If you need to bring your children with you, just make sure they stay with you at all times.

Question 6: Does anyone pick through the "good stuff" before the sale?

Since everyone who brings books is allowed to shop because no one has to man tables, we must use volunteers for the sale. Because it's only a few hours sale, there would be no opportunity for workers to shop if we didn't allow them to shop early, but we can assure you that there are PLENTY of excellent materials for the sale. We use as few volunteers as possible partly so that there will not be very many people shopping before the sale. Volunteers are NOT allowed to shop for anyone else (even extended family) and they're not allowed to buy products for resell. With these two rules and the fact that most of the time they're already exhausted by the time they shop!

Question 7: Is there security at the sale?

YES. We have had a few issues with shoplifting. These products belong to homeschool families. They do NOT belong to NETHEA. When something is taken, it's actually stolen from another family so we take security of your items very seriously. We have several people on "security duty," including a former police officer. We DO check ALL bags, buggies, slings, backpacks, purses, etc. before anyone is allowed to leave the building. Since we've implemented tighter security measures, we've had much less of a problem with shoplifting so we will continue to do this.

Question 8: What if I decide I don't want something?

Ideally, if you don't want something, you would take it back to the table where it belongs. If there is a reason why you can't do this - or don't want to - PLEASE ask a worker to return the item(s) to the appropriate location(s). They will be more than happy to do so. Many people return to specific tables looking for things and have great luck in finding them later. Sometimes people just change their mind or decide they don't have enough money. For whatever reason, many items end up on the tables later in the morning so it's always wise to go back and look for things several times. Please allow us to return any unwanted items to the correct location.

Question 9: Are there workers available to give me advice on curriculum and other products?

Absolutely! Actually, most homeschool moms would be glad to answer your questions if you ask, but we want to allow everyone the opportunity to shop without worrying about answering questions so our volunteers are there to do that. Just find someone in a red volunteer apron and they'll either answer your questions or find someone who can! :)

Question 10: What if I need to reach someone who sold me an item?

This also applies during the sale. If you want to ask a seller a question about an item, check with the sale coordinator. We will try to contact the seller.

Question 11: Will you post the categories so we can plan where to look for what I need?

Click here Books Sale Subjects and Subcategories for a list. Sometimes it depends on what comes during drop off, but basically the categories are the same each year. This list will also be available at the door when you enter the sale.

Question 12: What if I am a seller and I do not want to return to pick up my books?

It is perfectly fine if you do not want to come back after the sale to pick up your books. 1. You can donate your books (which go to homeschool families who don't have money to buy all they need at the sale).  2. A friend can pick up your books.  It's all up to you! When sellers check in, we ask them what they intend to do. If it changes, we're flexible, but it's best if we can know in advance what you're planning to do. We will be mail your check the following week. (We take out 50 cents for the stamp and envelope.)

Question 13: How can I be sure that my leftover books are being donated and not resold?

We make it very clear to anyone who comes here to look through and pick out leftover books that these items are a true blessing from another homeschool family. We state repeatedly that nothing is allowed to be resold and honestly, we've never known of any donated items to have been resold. The families who use these materials repeatedly state how grateful they are. You need to know this!

Question 14: Is there a long wait to pick up my books?

Hopefully not, we work diligently the two days preparing and during the sale to make sure it is successful for you. We hope to have pick-up a smooth transition in returning your books to you as well. However, most people don't realize that we've done this sale for many years and it seems like there are always a few glitches, but it's still a terrific sale and well worth the cooperative efforts of families and volunteers!

Question 15: Can I drop off someone else's books?

Of course. We will accommodate you in any way we can. As long as you have their information (name, address, phone number) and know how they want the books picked up, we'll be just fine. If you do drop off books for someone else, you will need to stay and help us put out those books.

Question 16: Why do I have to "put out" my own books?

You know your products better than anyone else. If you are trying to sell a book about the scientific theories of Albert Einstein, you'll know better whether the book is more about the science and should go in that category or whether it's actually a biography and should go in that section. Since you know your products best, they'll be more likely to sell if you place them in the correct area. Also, we do use a limited number of volunteers and there is no way they would be able to put out all the books we have. They are there to help you, not do it for you. (There are limited exceptions to this rule. If you have a physical problem, pregnancy, etc. and aren't supposed to be lifting boxes.  We will have dollies and we'll assist you in any way we can.

Question 17: What about families who live far away? How can we participate without making several trips to town?
Each year, there are families who travel long distances to sell or buy books. It is ALWAYS our goal to accommodate everyone to the best of our ability. We want to help families and we certainly want to make it possible for everyone to participate.

For this reason, families who live long distances away - (over an hour drive in one direction) have two options for dropping off your books. One option is to carpool with another family. Have one family gather all the books and drive them over on the day before the sale, then you can ride together the day of the sale to shop.

A second option that is reserved ONLY for families who live over an hour away is that you can drive in early on the morning of the sale - 8:00 - and quickly put out your books before we open the doors for the sale. We don't want anyone not to bring your books or come shop because you think you're going to have to make three trips to drop off, shop, then pick up.

You will need to decide what to do about book pick up, but since it's on the same day, you could hang out in the area and pick up your books after the sale at 5:00. It's only a few hours after the sale ends. But at least with this option, you know that you can come to the sale and you'll only need to use one tank of gas rather than three.

Again, this will ONLY work if it is reserved for the most extreme cases. We want to allow as many people to participate as possible, but the whole set-up will fall apart if we start trying to put 10 or 15 families' books out on the morning of the sale. This accommodation is ONLY for those who live over an hour away. The goal is to allow more families to participate so please don't try to do this if you live nearby.

Question 18: What if I'm going to be out of town and have no one to drop off my books?

It is BEST if you find a friend or acquaintance to do this. You may also contact the sale coordinator to arrange options.


Question 19: When will I receive my money from the sale?


All checks will be mailed the following week. (We take out 50 cents for the stamp and envelope.)  You will receive an email when checks have been mailed.  Please cash all checks within 60 days.

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