Surprise…surprise…I love a good yard sale. It’s the budget shopper inside of me. Not only do I love shopping at them, but I’ve also thrown one or two of my own. And I’ve even collaborated on a few with some of my closest friends. They’ve kind of been a part of my life too. Growing up, my family threw them all the time. Are you planning on throwing a yard sale this summer?
Now, if you’ve already thrown your own, then you know they’re not easy by any means. In fact they are a lot of work. But, just the thought of something I own going to someone who will love it just as much as I did makes it worth it. That and the idea of extra cash is always a bonus!
I definitely don’t consider myself a yard sale throwing pro, but I do have a few useful tips of my own that I’d love to share with you!
Do you have your own yard sale tips? Share them with us below!
12 Useful Yard Sale Tips 1 of 13
Select a Date 2 of 13
Selecting a date for your yard sale is very important. First things first, check with your city to see what their rules are on yard sales. Are there specific days they're allowed? Or is it the first weekend of each month? Stick with a date that doesn't occur on or next to a holiday when most people will be out of town.
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Location! Location! Location! 3 of 13
Duh! Of course a yard sale requires a yard. I'd suggest a nice big one with lots of room. If you don't have a home with a big yard (like me), partner up with someone who does and is willing to host it. This is what I do. I check with my family and friends. Homes with easy parking is preferred, but not mandatory.
Extra tip: Place bigger items, like furniture, near the front of the yard to catch people's attention. Also, ask the home owner where the closest outlet is in case they ask to test electrical items.
Make Signs 4 of 13
Don't forget your yard sale signs. These will catch a potential buyer's attention. Make them bright and easy to read. Add a few balloons for some extra pizazz. Add arrows to send people in the right direction.
Extra tip: Use sturdy cardboard or poster board and reuse them for your next yard sale.
Advertise 5 of 13
Don't forget to advertise your yard sale up to one week prior! You can place an ad in your local newspaper or try online classifieds like Craigslist or YardSaleSearch.com. If you're worried about putting your address out there—add the closest cross streets instead. List key items you're selling, number of people selling, the hours, and the date.
Extra tip: If using Craigslist, take a few photos of your key items and attach it to your ad.
Got Change? 6 of 13
Make sure you have enough change on hand. This can be a real pain in the butt if you're not prepared. People love paying cash at yard sales, especially with large bills like $20's they've just taken out of the ATM. Visit your bank for $1, $5, and $10 bills prior to your sale. Instead of a money box—wear a fanny pack or cross-body handbag to put your money in while you're selling.
Extra tip: Thanks to technology, you can now take credit and debit cards using your mobile device and a credit card reader.
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Tag and Price 7 of 13
"How much is this?" is what you'll hear all day if you don't tag and price your items. I know this can be time consuming, but so is answering this question non-stop. Find tags at your local office supply stores and get busy pricing before the sale.
Extra tip: While your pricing and tagging, make sure your items are clean and without holes. If they're damaged, make a note of it on the tag and in the price.
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Start Early! 8 of 13
Yard sale seekers are early birds and hungry for deals! I'd recommend waking up early on the days of your sale and starting no later than 7 a.m. That means having all your stuff set up, out, and ready to go by that time.
Extra tip: If you're having a yard sale at a friend's or family's home, bring them coffee and donuts as an early morning thank you!
Image courtesy of Winnond/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Be Prepared to Negotiate 9 of 13
People love to negotiate at yard sales. If you're looking to get rid of stuff, feel free to take your best offer. Or if your goal is to make extra cash, stand firm until you get the price you're asking for. If someone wants something bad enough, they'll pay the asking price.
Extra tip: Don't be afraid to add an extra (cheaper) item to a sale to entice the buyer to complete the purchase.
Create a Shopping Atmosphere 10 of 13
This tip comes from Better Homes and Gardens. I just really liked it. They recommend creating a shopping atmosphere. Instead of just stacking dishes, Marilyn Santiesteban suggests you "bring out your most elegant tablecloth, cut some flowers from your garden and set a beautiful table." Or if you're selling books she also recommends you "create a reading nook and display the books attractively."
Extra tip: Don't forget your mirrors! Place a vanity mirror near the jewelry and a full-length mirror near the clothing. Give them a chance to try things on.
Keep Clean & Organized 11 of 13
Please, for the sanity of your shoppers, keep your yard sale clean and organized. This will help you keep track of what is selling and what's not. Try to keep smaller items off the floor. Make use of tables, clothing racks, and keep similar items together. It makes clean up easier too.
Extra tip: Feel free to make signs for the different "departments" in your yard sale. That way shoppers know where to find certain items.
Keep Shoppers Refreshed 12 of 13
Are you having a yard sale on a warm sunny day? Offer your shoppers a cold soda or bottle of water with the purchase of $1 or more! Don't want to deal with that? Try putting out a big jug of ice water garnished with fresh sliced lemons or cucumbers for their convenience.
Donate What Doesn’t Sell 13 of 13
After all the yard sale madness, instead of packing this stuff away, why not donate it? One person's trash is another person's treasure. Check out this post on Oprah.com that gives you tips on where you can donate your goods. Or you can always take it to your closest Goodwill Donation Center.