When the kids are back to school, and you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, the fall might be the best time for that yard sale that you meant to have during the summer, but never got around to. Not only will you cut down on the competition, when everyone in the neighborhood seems to be having one, but you don't have to sit in the summer sun all day, waiting for a sale. It's also a good time to remind customers that Christmas is just around the corner, and shopping at a yard sale is a great way to save money and avoid the crowded stores.
Presentation is everything. Display your things neatly on a table. When a neighbor and I set up our yard sale, consisting mainly of clothes, I had mine cleaned, ironed and folded, looking like they would in a store. She put hers on a blanket that was spread in the grass. I sold almost everything, while she sold barely anything. Moral of the story? Nobody wants to shop on their hands and knees.
Group related items together, like clothes, books, DVDs, or dishes. But if you find that you have a lot of miscellaneous items, create an “odd box” of things, sold for one flat price. People love to discover a “treasure!”
List all the prices clearly on the items. It’s tiresome for buyers to pick up item after item asking, “How much for this? How much for this?” It also makes it easier for shy shoppers.
Price everything higher than it should be. That way when buyers ask you if you’ll take less for it, which they will, you can say, “yes.” It’s a win/win. They walk away thinking they got a great deal, and you get what you wanted for it. Also have plenty of small cash on hand—ones and quarters—to make change for your customers.
If you’ve got a lot of glass items, be sure to have newspapers to wrap everything in, along with all those plastic bags you’ve been saving.
If possible, play music. Music puts people in a good mood, making them more willing to buy. There’s a reason that supermarkets and department stores play upbeat music while people are shopping!
Finally, be friendly and approachable. No one wants to talk to a grouch, or feel intimidated about negotiating a price.
About SJ Wilson
SJ Wilson has been writing novels for many years, including the recently published, The Soul of Fenway. She loves spending time with her family, especially at the beach. Her hobbies include genealogy, photography, American history, and baseball.