Bye-bye, Baby Gear
How to host a successful yard sale
When it’s warm out and you notice the clutter in your house is about to get the best of you, it may be time for a yard sale.
Yes, yard sales are work, but the advantages are many. Not only can you earn cash for your collectibles, but you rid your house of unwanted items while saving them from the landfill. Plus, you offer bargain-hunters a great deal. However, a successful yard sale takes planning and organization. Don’t just haul dust-covered junk outside and expect customers to flock to your sale.
Get The Word Out
If you want lots of potential buyers, take time to advertise your sale. Social media makes that easy and free. Post your sale on Facebook and Craig’s list. You can also place it in the classifieds of your local newspaper. Be specific in your ad. Make sure to highlight high-demand items such as baby clothes and play toys by popular makers like Little Tikes. Include photos. When I held a yard sale a couple of years ago, I advertised several such items and sold some before the sale.
Advertise the times of the sale and if you don’t want people coming by early, make sure to include “no early birds” in your ad. The night before, place sturdy signs at intersections to make it easier for people to find your sale.
Price Items Clearly
Although it does take time, it’s best to price each item in your yard sale. It saves the aggravation of having people constantly asking you “How much do you want for this?” Put the price on top of each item in clear view.
As a general rule, price items about a third of what they cost new, says The Dollar Stretcher (stretcher.com) website. (I think this may be a little high.) Pricing should also take into account the condition of an item and demand for it.
When pricing remember, you can always come down, but you can never go back up. Selling things in a group can also be helpful, such as “all books 25 cents” or “anything on this table, 75 cents.” Offer specials, too: books 25 cents each, or five for $1.
Make Tables Attractive
Your yard sale will be more profitable if you take the time to clean items and display them attractively. Place them on tables; ask friends and neighbors to loan you portable tables if necessary. If you’re selling electric-powered tools, make an extension cord available so items can be tested. If you have battery-powered toys, make fresh batteries available.
Put Kids To Work
Your children can stay busy with a lemonade stand. If it’s hot, they’re bound to make a tidy profit. Let them have a table of their own to sell their old toys. Assist them in setting reasonable prices. They will make a little cash and learn a lesson in economics.
Invite The Neighbors
Make it a neighborhood sale, which will attract more customers. It’s also cheaper to split the cost of the newspaper ad and signs with others. Good luck!
— Bargain Beth is freelance writer & bargain hunter, Beth Bartholomew.