It’s yard sale season! A time to unload or acquire new junk, depending on whether you’re buying or selling. If you’re thinking of having a yard sale, here are a few tips for making it a success.
Have your sale on Saturday. Saturday sales tend to do much better than sales held on Sundays. Don’t worry about competition on Saturdays. Other sales in your area will increase traffic and bolster your sale.
Advertise. If you are selling high ticket items, like furniture or tools, you may want to pay to advertise in your local paper, otherwise, advertise for free on Craigslist. And of course, make signs. Use block lettering, and both arrows and your address to direct potential customers to your sale.
Put things on tables. It may be tempting to throw down a couple of blankets for displaying your items, but for the most part, this is ineffective. Things that are small or need to be sorted through, like a box of books or CD’s, should be easily accessible. Larger items, such as ceiling fans, baby gear, etc., can be placed on the ground.
Label everything. Nothing is more aggravating to a yard-sale customer than to have to ask the seller the price of each item. Interaction with your customers should be limited unless initiated by the buyer. Stand back and let your buyers browse at their own pace, and make their own decisions without feeling like a sale is being forced on them. To make things easier on yourself, group items together on tables or in boxes, then display one sign that clearly states the price. For example, “everything on this table is $5”.
Start Early. Did you advertise your sale to begin at 9:00? Be ready at 8:00 and expect early birds! Serious buyers start early and finish by 10:00. For this same reason, end your sale by Noon. You will not miss much in sales after that.
Price effectively. Don’t so much consider what you paid for the item, but what the item is worth. VHS tapes should not be priced over $1.00. Keep in mind when selling DVD’s, that with the induction of Blu-ray, some of the movies that you are selling can be purchased brand new in DVD format for $5.00. Paper back books should be sold for $1.00 or less. Hardback books can be sold for more depending on the quality and content.
Be prepared to negotiate. For many yard sale veterans, getting a good deal is the thrill of the hunt. Stand firm on larger ticket items or items that you wouldn’t mind holding onto should they not sell. And do not negotiate too early in the day. If someone offers $5 for your fish tank that is marked $15, tell them that they may have it for that price at the end of the sale if the item is unclaimed.