Ever heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? This idea is the key to yard sales. It sounds easy enough, but here are some tips to make sure your next yard sale is a huge success.
Make a plan. Don’t wait until the last minute to start thinking about your yard sale. You’ll either be running around feeling overwhelmed and unorganized, or worse; no one will show up. Make it easier on yourself and start preparing early on. You can even make a schedule! A few weeks before the sale, start asking yourself the important questions – how are you going to display items? Where will you put up signs? Are there any regulations regarding yard sales in your area?
Use your yard sale as an opportunity to CLEAN! There are always chores that we never seem to get around to. Use this opportunity to go through your house, top to bottom, and unclutter. Hit the attic and basement and get rid of those items you forgot you even had. Take a look through your closet and find clothing to sell. If you haven’t worn it in over 6 months, it might be time for it to go. Don’t stop there – keep going and clean out the garage, pulling items that you no longer need or use. Keep Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes on hand while you sort - they're great for easy clean up!
Location is key. If you live in a remote, hard-to-get-to location, you might consider asking a friend or family member to borrow their lawn for a few days. Busy intersections or high traffic streets are best, as you’ll grab the attention of people driving by. Do you have a friend looking to de-clutter as well? Teaming up is another great way to find the best location possible.
Timing is also key. You don’t want to have a yard sale in the subzero temperatures of winter, but you also don’t want to have one in the blazing heat of summer. Pick a time of year that will be comfortable for everyone. Follow the weather forecast as much as possible, and don’t plan your sale for a weekend with a high chance of rain. The best days of the week to hold a sale will differ based on where you live. Many experts say Sunday is the most successful, because many families reserve Saturdays for errands and activities. However, Fridays have also become a popular sale day. Do your research.
Price appropriately. Let’s face it; people go to yard sales because they are looking for that steal of the century. Even though you may have paid a hefty price for something at one point, you can’t expect the same when you sell. When pricing your items, it’s important to think about bargain prices to entice your customers. While it’s nice to make money, uncluttering your home and getting rid of things you no longer use should be your main goal. It’s also important to make sure your prices are prominent and easy for shoppers to find. It will be a nuisance for both you and your shoppers if they are asking the price of every item they pick up. Decide how much you're willing to negotiate on larger ticket items before the sale!
Spread the word. Be sure to advertise your sale! Think about where you can put signs that people will actually see. It’s also wise to put advertisements in your local newspapers and online, using sites like Craig’s List or Front Porch Forum. Put some thought into the advertisements you create. Hanging signs should be big, bold and clear (don’t choose yellow paint on white paper, for example). If you’re attracting drivers, they have to have time to slow down and follow the directions on your sign. Wording is also important – using terms like “Moving Sale”, "Multi Family Sale" or even just “Big Sale” will generally grab more attention than something like “Rummage Sale” or "Yard Sale".
Presentation matters. Make your sale items look organized and appealing. Group similar items together – kitchen wear, toys, tools and equipment, etc. Pay attention to little details like lining up books on a bookshelf and hanging any clothing on a rack. Nothing besides furniture should be on the ground! Make sure your display tables are clean and sanitized by giving them a wipe down with Seventh Generation’s Disinfecting Wipes every couple of hours. If you want to go above and beyond in the presentation department, offer shoppers treats like lemonade or homemade cookies. You could even get the kids in on the action and have them host a lemonade stand to make some extra cash!
Good luck on your next garage sale!