Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yard Sales - Making yours a success

It is getting that time of year, Yard Sale Season! I have found some great deals at yard sales & made some decent money at them as well. Holding a yard sale can be a lot of work, but a great way to earn some extra cash! Here are some tips to make your yard sale a success!

  • Having a multi-family yard sale can cut down on some of your work, by having extra helpers.
  • Talk with your neighbors & organize a neighborhood wide yard sale. This brings more people out.
  • Advertise well. Advertise in your local paper, being sure to list the "bigger items" that you will have for sale. If you are selling clothes of any sort, be sure to list size ranges available. Also make signs to post, however, make them simple. Only list Date, Time & Place, this makes it much more noticeable & easier to read.
  • I generally like to have my yard sales on Friday afternoon & Sat. mornings. I have had great luck with a Friday afternoon & if it is raining one of those days, no biggie.
  • I also like to have my sales from 7:30 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. on Saturday mornings. Most sales start at 8:00, so I get the earlier crowd. Also, buyers are generally done by 11:00, I've never had many sales after 11:00.
  • Expect the early birds, they get the worms! If you are absolutely opposed to early birds, be sure to say "No early birds" in your ad. However, I say if you are willing to dig through my box to give me money, who am I to turn you away? Some even help put stuff out.
  • I also prepare for my yard sales all year long. I have a table in my basement that I place anything I want to get rid of on. Then when I have some extra time, I will go mark whatever is on the table. I bind all clothing sets together, you can do this by using safety pins, rubber bands, or yarn. I try to keep it separated between spring/summer & fall/winter clothing. I don't even mess with putting out fall/winter stuff in the beginning of spring.
  • Be sure to mark everything clearly. Put tags in a easy to find spot. Generally, if I am at a yard sale & something that I want isn't marked, I usually just walk away. Many people are not comfortable with the "name a price". It is also easier to price everything at .25 or above. Change can be tricky when you have things priced at .05 or .10. If you feel .25 is to much for something, put it in a box marked FREE.
  • When pricing items, remember that people don't care what you paid for it in the first place, they only know what they are willing to pay. We often let sentiment get in the way of our pricing as well. Be sure to take condition & style into consideration when pricing.
  • If something is stained, throw it away! Very few people are willing to pay money for something with stains. And if that is what they notice from the get go, they will not look through your other stuff to get to the unstained things.
  • Be sure to place some of your larger items closer to the curb, it will attract the people just driving by.
  • If you are selling something electrical, be sure to put on the tag if it works. Better yet, have a stash of batteries or an extension cord so that customers can try it out themselves.
  • Clean your toys! They are much likelier to sell.
  • Group several small toys together in a bag & mark it $1, I always sell out of these!
  • Be willing to bargain. For larger items, such as furniture, always price $5-$20 more than what your bottom dollar is, that way you have some room to bargain. If there is something that you prefer not to bargain with, just tell them "I think it's worth that price, if it hasn't sold by late morning, I may be willing to go down."
  • Keep things neat. Straighten rummaged through clothing, & continually move things around to fill empty spots.

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