03 May 2016

The Next Step – Yard Sale Quick Tips

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Spring is here and the weather is settling down. After Spring cleaning comes Yard Sale Season! Some people make a day of it and go from yard sale to yard sale enjoying every minute. Few people enjoy running a yard sale. If that’s in your future, here are some tips to make it easier.

  • Make sure everything is priced in advance. Early birds will make it difficult to price the morning of the sale. Price in 25 cent increments. You don’t want to have to worry about finding enough pennies when you are trying to make more sales.
  • Have hanging clothes on rolling racks. Roll them out first so early birds have something to look at while you put out everything else. This will also mean that the day of the sale you will have one less physical task to do. Hanging things can really strain your shoulders, etc. If you don’t have a garage to store them, the clothes will still be much quicker to set up if they have already been hung neatly and on the rack already. You will know how much will fit on the rack and they will be able to be taken out and hung up quickly and easily.
  • Post a sign that says that all sales are final and items are being sold “as is”.
  • If you have furniture or other big items in the house to sell, have signage up and have photos available at the yard sale. If they want to see the item in person, have a friend or adult relative take the person in to look at the items. Do not have the only adult leave the selling area and do not have a child escort the buyer. If you are the only adult there, set an appointment for them to come back after the sale to view the items.
  • Use tables as much as possible. People don’t like having to bend all the way over to look at something.
  • If anything is being sold that uses power, have an extension cord plugged in and available so the buyer can test the item.
  • Make sure you have enough cash to make change. Early in the morning yard-sale regulars often only have $100, $50, and $20 bills. You may want to consider an extra “stash” of cash inside the house. Hide it well and send an adult in to get what you need, don’t take a customer in with you – you don’t want them to know where to find it. This should be in 1’s, 5’s maybe some 10’s and a roll of quarters. This money would then be returned to the bank after the sale.
  • Many people like to have drinks available for shoppers. Sometimes free, sometimes at a charge. This is a great time for the kids to have a bake-sale and/or lemonade stand. Make sure the child has their own “bank” and a large trash can.
  • Be prepared to haggle. You need to be ready to bring down your prices. Don’t get hung up on what YOU think something is worth – it’s more important to sell it for SOMETHING rather than still owning it at the end of the day.
  • Plan that any items not sold at the sale will be taken for donation immediately and not go back into the house, or you’ll have to start spring cleaning all over again.

These steps should make holding your yard sale much easier and more efficient. You may want to spend some time thinking about what you like when you visit other people’s sales. Also remember, if someone cruises by in their car, peers at your items and then drive off, they are not commenting on the quality of your items. It just means that they do not have a need for those kinds of items right now (just like you). They may not stop because they only see baby gear and their youngest is in college now.

Bonus tip: Have fun! If you have some music going and it looks like you are having fun, others will want to stop and see what’s going on – and may buy something after all. I’ve seen people buy a game the sellers were playing when they drove up. They packed it and sent it on its way.


© 2016  Maria Spetalnik, CPO ®

About the Author

is an author, a speaker and the founder of Conquer the Clutter.

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