Summer is the perfect time for yard sales. Buyers are looking for great deals and homeowners desire to make a little money and clear out the clutter in their homes. With a little planning and by following the tips and suggestions below, you can have a successful yard sale that will not only get rid of your clutter but give you some extra padding in your wallet.
1. Organize your neighbors – Community or neighborhood yard sales generate much more traffic thereby increasing your sales. People attending yard sales prefer to attend neighborhood yard sales over driving from one place to the next. They usually will go to neighborhood yard sales first giving you the advantage of catching them before they have spent their funds elsewhere.
2. Advertise, advertise & advertise so more – Serious yard sale buyers read the newspaper to find the best yard sales and plan their routes accordingly. Advertise your neighborhood yard sale in your local newspaper two weeks in advance. Make sure to highlight that there are “multiple” homes having yard sales and include such hot items as electronics, baby items, clothing and furniture. This will give you much more traffic the day of your yard sale. Ask local businesses if you may put up flyers and have all your neighbors put up flyers at their employment, churches, etc.
3. Signs – A few days before the yard sale, place signs at all major intersections near your neighborhood promoting your yard sale. Invest in a few durable Yard Sale signs because they will attract more attention than homemade signs on poster board. The morning of the yard sale, use balloons to decorate the signs to attract more attention. Make sure that you also use directional signs to point the way to the yard sale.
4. Clear mark all items with prices – Start several weeks in advance tagging the items for sale. People attending yard sales do not want to ask what something costs so clearly mark all items with your starting price. Remember that savvy yard sale buyers will haggle over the price so be sure that you allow for dropping the price. Two-for-ones are a great way to get people to buy books, CDs and DVDs. You can use pre-printed price labels or use colorful stickers and clearly print the price on the label with a black Sharpe pen.
5. Presentation – This will also make a huge impact on your sales. If possible, use folding tables and arrange similar items on tables so that buyers can easily shop. Leave room between tables so that buyers can move easily around your items. For clothing, use rope to fashion a clothesline between trees or poles and hang clean, pressed clothing on hangers from the line. This will attract more buyers and encourage sales. Make sure that all clothing items are clean and sizes are clearly marked on the garment label or price tag.
6. Be prepared for early buyers – If your yard sale begins at 8am, the serious yard sale buyers will be out by 7am. Have all of your items out and ready for sale at least one hour before the yard sale is scheduled to begin. By doing so, you will attract the buyers that are serious about shopping and purchasing at the yard sales before they get to other sales.
7. Don’t forget the change – The day before your yard sale you should go to the bank and get at least $100 in change. I try to keep everything priced in round numbers as much as possible but if I do price under a $1 I only use increments of twenty-five cents. You should have mostly one-dollar bills but have at least a few fives and tens for those who come early with larger bills to break. The worst thing you can do is not have enough change and loose sales because you cannot make change for the buyer.
8. Don’t work alone – Have at least one or two helpers at your yard sale so that buyers do not have to wait for a purchase or to ask questions. If buyers must wait, they may put the item down and leave. I use aprons to hold change so that I can easily sell items no matter where I am standing. I also have a collection of plastic grocery bags for individuals who want to purchase several items. By doing so, I encourage buyers to purchase more items because they do not need to try to balance what they purchase in their arms.