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How to have a yard sale (and make a few bucks, too!)

by on Mar 30, 2007

Yard sales are not for getting rich, buy they are a good way to get rid of your excess crap. With some good merchandising, you can generally make a little money from your yard sale, too. Here are some tips:   

  • Set up your yard sale in advance. Yard salers start shopping at the crack of dawn, and are usually finished shopping by noon, so having it all set up in your garage the night before is really helpful.
  • Advertise! You can advertise in the newspaper, but I find CraigsList and a local yard sale Yahoo Group to be way more effective. Also, you may be able to advertise in your local freecycle, if you’re giving the leftovers away afterwards.
  • Put up lots of clear signage. Start at the closest main road and  put a big sign there. Try a yellow sign with BIG BLOCK LETTERS. On the main road sign, don’t put a lot of info. People driving by won’t see it. Instead, write “HUGE YARD SALE” and an arrow pointing to the street they want to turn on to get to your house. Continue with the same color scheme at every turn until you get to your house.
  • Have some decent stuff for sale. I’ve been to one too many yard sales where all they’re selling is a few ugly, cracked mugs and some clothing from 1982. This is absolutely not worth your time. If you don’t have anything decent to sell, throw it away or give it to charity.
  • Make your yard sale a good shopping experience. Set things up like displays in stores. Put like items together, and try to put as much on tables as possible. Use a broom handle to hold clothing on hangers.
  • Put prices on EVERYTHING. This is really important. I’ve been to yard sales where people don’t price anything, and just want you to make an offer on their stuff. I hate that, and will walk away immediately. I don’t want to offer to little, and be insulting, and I don’t want to offer more than they would have taken for the item, either. Give everyone a break and use masking tape to put prices on the items.
  • Don’t get sentimental when pricing. This will lead to overpricing, which is bad.
  • Watch your shoppers. I hate to say it, but people will steal anything, it’s ridiculous. I’ve even caught people trying to switch price tags on stuff. Same goes for your money box, watch it carefully.
  • Have plenty of change. You don’t want to miss out on selling your old baseball glove for 2 bucks, because you don’t have change for a $20, do you? Make sure you get lots of quarters, too.
  • Toward the end of the day, start slashing prices. You need to get rid of this stuff, not make a fortune on it.
  • Do NOT bring the stuff back into the house if it doesn’t sell. You wanted to get rid of it, remember? Put it down by the curb with a sign that says “FREE” or freecycle it, but make sure you don’t bring it back in.

Alright, now go have that yard sale and get rid of your extra crap!

You might also be interested in The Ten Commandments of Thrifting…

created at: 03/29/2013

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