“One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure”
aka a perfect time for a yard sale.
We have all heard of this proverb but rarely believe it. How could anyone else want my old shower curtain, or my old art supplies… You would be surprised. If you find yourself swimming in a house full of ”trash”, and want to do a nice purging of the living space a yard sale or garage sale is the way to go.
Although you won’t be able to go into retirement from your yard sale funds, it’s always nice to have a little extra spending / redecorating cash. Yard sales are a great way to motivate yourself to sort through those boxes and clean house. Don’t be too generous to the trash can when cleaning, you would be amazed at some of the things people want to buy… Think about it, you wanted that ”trash” at one point in time.
So next time you find yourself frustrated with the lack of space or annoyed because your house is full of junk, get everyone together to have a yard sale. This world is divided into those who like yard sales and those who think it’s a waste of time. My belief is that if you are going to get rid of the stuff, might as well make an event out of it. Who knows how much spending cash you can make in one morning!
Materials you need:
– Price Stickers
-Change – coins and cash
-Mirror ( if you have clothing)
-Pen / Paper
-Poster Board / Boxes / Cardboard
– Plastic Bags
– Lots of stuff to sell!
1- Before you can even get started with planning the ultimate yard sale – make sure you have enough stuff. Go through all your stuff and see what items are able to be resold. General rule of thumb is that even if you have used it – if it’s in good condition, and has some life left in it — you can sell it. *Make sure that your item is functional – last thing you want to do is sell a broken item *
2- Organize your items by category /price. For example, put all your books together and price them accordingly… Organization is key to a great yard sale!
3- Price your items individually. With the exclusion of grouped items ( books, pens/ pencils, old CDs, DVDs) make sure you price each item separately. Try to put a sticker on each item rather than grouping items and then having a price chart. Individual pricing makes is a lot easier to calculate your items, and less likely that people will try to trick you with the wrong pricing. As far as books and grouped items go, put them all in a box / container according to value – and label the box.
4- Pick a date. Make sure you avoid holiday weekends because a lot of people will already have previous plans, and miss your fabulous yard sale! Figure out what day you want to have it and also what time you want to start. Yard sales usually do better if you start early.. this is speaking from personal experience. *Not to mention, starting earlier means you can get out of the blazing heat faster* If you don’t want early birds, make sure you write that on your sign.. otherwise you may find people peering in while you are still setting up.
5- Know your demographic. When having a yard sale it’s important to know your ”client”…just like any other business. Knowing your client is important so you can have a good idea of what kind of items will sell, and for what price.
6- Check with your city, local government and / or homeowner’s association to see if there are any sign posting guidelines. Depending on your area, you may have to obtain a permit before opening up shop.
7- Start advertising! Make sure you give yourself enough time to put an ad in the local newspaper. Try posting an ad onto online communities and other classified websites. Good websites to post on are www.craigslist.org or www.pennysaverusa.com.
8-Time to make your signs! Don’t underestimate the power of the street signs. I am always surprised by the number of people who stumble upon my yard sales as a result of my bright, eye-catching signs. Signs are a great way to catch those yard sale shoppers. When making the signs try to use large, bold lettering and make sure you put an arrow in the right direction. Don’t put too much writing on the signs- you don’t want to cause any accidents from people trying to read the tiny writing. Write down the necessary info: YARD SALE, location, date, time. If you have the luxury to post the signs up a day or two early — do it! Just make sure you have the date on the sign. At the latest- try to post the signs up early, early morning on the day of your sale. Again, the longer your sign is up – the more people will see it. After posting your sign – drive by the signs to make sure they are visible. *If you don’t have the time / artistic skill to make bright, bold posters- generate an online poster. There are various websites with Yard Sale Sign generators and here are some: www.garagesalesource.com and yardsalesearch.com.
*A great sign making tip from the “YARDSALEQUEEN” at www.yardsalequeen.com is to use paper bags as signs. This is such a great idea! Get a hold of paper grocery bags- write your information on the blank side ( or post your poster onto the bag) – add rocks to the bottom – staple bag shut and you instantly have a great sign!! SUCH A GREAT IDEA ( easier clean up too!)
9- Day of your sale – make sure you stock up on plastic bags. Having plastic bags to put your sold items in will make the shopping experience that much more pleasant for the customer.
10- Get lots of change. Depending on how you price your items, you will need to have lots of change and small bills. When I had my last garage sale – I made sure I stocked up on a lot of quarters and coins, since I had a lot of smaller items.
11- Set up your sale in an orderly manner. An organized selling area will result in your customers wanting to take a closer look. It’s just like shopping at a sale in a department store, it’s so much easier to shop when it’s organized. Try to put your ”hot” items up in front – so people driving by can spot them. I put a lot of my larger, new items up in front so people can see the large showcase of items at my sale.
12- Be kind and greet all your customers. Time to release the inner salesperson. Make sure you explain the pros of the item your customer is interested in. If they try to haggle the price with you – use your own discretion. If you think another customer will pay the marked price- say no. If you don’t think there will be another buyer, take their offer.
13- I usually start slashing prices an hour before closing time. You will find that many pro- yard sale shoppers will come towards the end of the sale — and they are looking for the real deals. Try to package items up and sell them at discounted rates.
14- If you have a lot of items left over at the conclusion of your sale- you have a couple of options. Save the items you think have value, and bring them out for your next sale. Donate larger items to a charity of your choice (they will usually come pick up the items). Or, you can post an ad for free items and just get rid of everything.
15- Make sure you clean up after yourself- Take down signs.
Having a yard sale can be a therapeutic experience.. you get to cleanse your home, while making a little extra money. Although moments of the yard sale can be stressful, it’s a great way to recycle usable products to those who want a great deal!
There are so many factors that go into yard sales. I have found the following link to be extremely helpful in my planning / executing of yard sales. For more information on yard sales please visit the Queen, at www.yardsalequeen.com. She has some great do’s and dont’s, along with great links!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT! — YES, a free box does wonders! All the little items do extremely well with a free box. Concessions are great too… especially with the hot, summer days – cold drinks do great. T