Sometimes, clutter and a lifetime of accumulating things can get the better of us. While you may not be to the level of hoarding, it may be time to clean up your house, garage, and other storage areas a bit. Having a yard sale is the perfect way to do this. Yard sales are popular around the country and allow you to make a few extra dollars selling your unwanted possessions.
There’s more to hosting a yard sale than throwing a bunch of your stuff on the curb and waiting, though. Like any good sale, there are a few things you can do make success more likely.
If you’re going to host a yard sale, you have to spread the word about it. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. If people don’t know you’re holding the sale, they won’t show up. There are a few different routes that you can take to inform prospective customers.
If people don’t know you’re holding the sale, they won’t show up!
First, there are the traditional yard signs. Sign boards are readily available and inexpensive to buy or make. Place them on the corners of your street and any near, well-traveled areas. If you’re placing a sign in someone’s yard, make sure you ask them for permission first and place it where they’re comfortable with having it displayed (usually in a corner). Write using large and legible words so that they’re easily read while driving by. The easier it is for someone to see and understand your sign quickly, the more likely they are to show up.
Signs aren’t the only way you should advertise, though. They’ll only attract people that live nearby. You should also look to advertise your yard sale in your local paper. The greater viewership seeing your ad, the more likely you are to catch the eye of an interested buyer. You can also advertise online on websites, like Craigslist or your social media accounts. Posting in local Facebook yard sale groups is also a great way to reach people, especially younger ones!
Only list the important information and enough items to give an idea of what you’ll be selling.
When writing these ads, it’s important to list your yard sale’s information clearly and concisely. Write in your address and the date of your yard sale. You should also include an arrow pointing toward your house on any signs (especially the closer to your house the signs get). If you have any specialty categories or items of interest, like furniture or crafts, you should also put that information on your signs. You can list a few more items in a newspaper or online listing, but don’t go overboard. You only want to list enough items to give others an idea of what you’ll be selling.
Organize to Optimize
An organized yard sale is a well-run one. The more planning and preparation you do for your yard sale in advance, the smoother the whole process will run.
Chief among the things you can do to prepare is pricing your items. You can write or type out a price list, place prices on individual items (with stickers or masking tape), or even mentally note what you’d charge. You could even organize your items by price by having items on one table be $1 each and items on another table be $5 each. This should help you avoid being put on the spot when someone asks what something costs. It’s preferable to have in mind a range of prices, since haggling is an important part of yard sales. If you’re not flexible with your prices, you could lose many of your potential customers.
It’s preferable to have in mind a range of prices, since haggling is an important part of yard sales.
It’s also smart to put some time into planning how you’ll organize your tables and items the day of the sale. You’ll want to create aisles that are easy to walk through so buyers can view and pick up items unimpeded. It may also help to keep similar items together, so people can find and sort through the like items that may interest them. The easier it is look through your things, the likelier it is that people may find an item to purchase.
Another helpful sales tip is to split your most interesting items into two groups. The attention-getters will likely be any paintings, collectibles, music items, and pieces furniture you have. You’ll want to place these groups in two different, highly visible areas, the front and back of your sale. The items at the front of your sale, near the road, are there to draw people’s attention in.
You’ll want to place your attention-getting items in two different, highly visible areas, the front and back of your sale.
Bright or neat items (e.g., collectibles or paintings) work well in the front. These items need to be representative of what you’re selling, but also entice people out of their cars. Don’t front-load your area, though. Place some exciting items at the back of the sale, too. These work to encourage shoppers to walk the whole way through your yard sale. Larger items that are easy to see from a distance (e.g., furniture, larger collectibles, or movie posters) work best here.
With a yard sale, you’re trying to attract people to buy your stuff. A great way to get an even bigger crowd at your event is to socialize with others!
Teaming up with your neighbors can really help you make the most out of your sale. By pooling together your resources, you’ll have a bigger budget to advertise and more items to draw people in. It also takes some responsibility off your shoulders and is a chance to bond with your neighbors.
Be up on your feet (if you can) and available to answer questions and talk to shoppers.
During the actual yard sale, it helps to be friendly to your customers. Be up on your feet (if you can) and available to answer questions and talk to shoppers. After all, personality is a big part of sales. That being said, it’s also important to not hover or follow people around. Nobody likes a hovering salesperson.
If you really want to bring people in, consider cooking hotdogs and hamburgers for customers — everybody likes a barbecue! You can give food away to draw people in or you can charge for it. It would be wise not to charge more than a dollar or two, though. If you do plan to be grilling food, make sure to include that in your advertising!
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A yard sale can be a great way to clear out your home and get a little extra cash while you’re at it. But, you have to lay the groundwork for it in advance. Advertise, organize, and socialize, and you’ll be setting the foundations for a successful yard sale event.