Do you have a garage or basement full of clutter? Hold a yard sale – your unused stash can turn into cold, hard cash. We'll show you how.
Invite the Neighbors
To turn your sale into an event, invite your neighbors. Having a multi-family sale creates a bigger attraction for shoppers. Better still, round up support from your entire block or neighborhood. Having multiple participants means having multiple families to share in the cost of advertising. It also makes the sale a bigger event and is therefore likely to draw more customers.
Post signs at busy intersections and on your street. Big arrows pointing the way toward the sale make it easy for motorists or passersby to navigate their way to your wares. Use heavy, colored poster board for durability and visibility.
Placing an ad in the local newspaper is a good idea too. Be sure to run the ad for several days prior to your event. Websites, such as Craigslist, church bulletin boards, and neighborhood association sites can also be useful.
Another Man's Treasure
Put some real effort into cleaning out your closet, emptying the basement and sorting through the clutter in the garage and attic. Round up every item that you haven't worn or used in the last two years. If an item has been sitting there unused for two years, it's time to get rid of it. Just because you can't imagine anyone wanting your old belongings doesn't mean that somebody else wouldn't love them. So put out your old junk, stand back and collect the cash.
Prior to your event, you'll want to be prepared. Start by cleaning everything and making it as presentable as possible. Set up tables on your front lawn, porch or stoop and arrange merchandise in price order, grouping similarly-priced items for convenience. Either put a price tag on each table or price each item individually. However, be open to the possibility of negotiating on the price: people want a bargain and expect to be able to haggle a bit at yard sales. Generally, items priced at 60% off of retail are likely to sell.
Hang the clothes you're looking to sell rather than laying them on a table. It's easier for customers to examine hanging items and it'll keep your items looking tidy. Have an extension cord available so that shoppers can test out any electrical items that you are selling. Have a trash can handy so that any trash ends up in the can and not in front of your home.
When you hold the sale is as important as how you run the sale. Hold your sale on a Saturday – and if possible, Sunday too. Because Saturday tends to be a popular day for yard sales, you should generate significant traffic. At the end of the day, you can decide whether to continue your sale into the next day.
Be sure to have plenty of change on hand, including bills and coins. While you may be tempted to stick to your prices, just remember that you don't want this stuff anyway, and whatever doesn't sell will need to be hauled away or stuffed back into the basement.
Time To Sell
Wake up early and be out front and ready to sell at least an hour before your event is scheduled to start. You will be amazed at the number of people ready to shop even before the morning paper arrives. Keep in mind that your advertisement may have said that the sale starts at a particular time, but bargain hunters may show up earlier to beat the rush and get a jump on the competition.
Be polite, but don't hover. Nobody wants to feel like they are being watched or pressured while they are shopping. Also, lock your house. You don't want uninvited guests wandering in and out while you are distracted.
When the sale starts to wind down, consider reducing prices. Remember that whatever you don't sell can be donated. There's no need to keep items you were prepared to give away anyhow. Just be sure to donate the items as soon as possible, so as to avoid having the intended donations turn into a new pile of clutter. When you drop off your items, ask for a receipt so that you can write off the value of the items when you file your taxes.