How to Have a Successful Yard Sale
Having a yard sale has fast become
Here are some tips to help make your sale a success.
You can never start too early when it comes to collecting items for a yard sale. I keep several boxes in my basement for yard sale items all year long. During the year when I come across an item I no longer need or want, I throw it in the box. Mark each box by items … clothes, toys, etc.
Sell large-ticket items through alternative means- Get the most for your large-ticket items by not selling them at your yard sale, where shoppers expect to pay rock-bottom prices. Instead, before your sale, advertise items worth $20 or more through other free or low-cost outlets, such as neighborhood newspapers, employee newsletters, student publications or church bulletin boards. Take your better clothing to a consignment shop, and explore options available through re-sale stores for books, appliances, sporting goods or baby items.
You’ll want to include the following information in your ad: Date and times of the sale, your address, and special items you have for sale that will draw customers. Be sure to mention specific items that are in demand (Little Tikes toys; collectibles; furniture items). Mention in your ad "No Early Birds". Be sure to have everything ready the night before so when you open for business you won’t be trying to organize your things and helping customers at the same time.
Make sure that you have signs strategically placed in your community. Place them in high-traffic intersections within a few miles of your home and include directions. Use bright paper (yellow or lime green work well), with BIG lettering. Using your home printer works well, since the ink in laser printer/copiers won’t run in the rain. Staple your bright, easy-to-read sign to cardboard for stability. Drive by your own signs to make sure that they are visible from a distance.
Supplies you’ll need:
Cash box or fanny pack – you will want to start out with plenty of change. I usually have $20 in ones, $30 in fives, $30 in tens, and a roll of quarters. You won’t want to miss a sale because you can’t supply change! Once you’ve taken in some money, take out some of the larger bills and put it away in a safe place in the house. You’ll need a calculator, cleaning towel – nobody wants to buy your dust! Have a clipboard handy with paper and pens. Some customers may want to pick an item up later and you will want to take down a phone number. Or, they may want you to call them if you don’t sell a particular item and they may make you an offer. You’ll need newspaper to wrap breakables, stickers (have everything priced), plastic bags to bag small items, tablecloths to make the tables more inviting. You can also use flat sheets or bedspreads. Tables – if you don’t have access to banquet type tables, use an ironing board, doors, plywood, and chairs. Picnic tables are great – you can use the top of the table and the seats, card tables, coffee tables, the kitchen table! If you place clothing or stuffed animals or other things on the ground, use a tarp or a blanket so things aren’t directly on the ground. If you have a chain link fence, they make a great place to hang clothing. You can also use a wooden clothes dryer to display items. If your sale is on a hot day, make some lemonade or just have water and cookies so people will browse longer.
Price Your Items:
Mark every item. You’ll avoid a lot of questions and haggling this way. Groups of similar items like books or video cassettes are an exception; it might be easier to just mark them 25 cents each rather than mark each one. Items such as this are also great to offer a deal: 25 cents each or 5 for $1. A general guideline is to price items at 1/4 or 1/5 of the retail price. However, this is a VERY general guideline. You may be able to get more on some items and much less on others. Obviously new items will bring more (especially if the price tag is still on it!). You’ll want to consider the demand for the item you’re pricing. Clean and repair your toys. It is amazing how much more money a shiny toy will bring than a dull, dingy one. When pricing, use quarter-dollar increments. Making change will be much easier.
Have a table or basket that is priced "Everything is 25 cents or $1 etc." Trial Size items: I put them all in a mid size container with a piece of cardboard for a sign. I cut out ads from the sales flyers showing what a product sells for on sale and tape it to an index card and put: CVS’ price: (or whichever store it may be) and show the ad and then on the other half of the index card I put – Sandy’s yard sale price: $ — . I usually put my price at about 50% of what the sale price is. This shows people they are getting a good deal. Try to put "like" things together. If you sell from your stockpile, put all health and beauty items, food items, cleaning supplies, office/school supplies, etc. together.
Have a table and chairs for a checkout point. I usually do my sale with a friend and we set up a table with two chairs and have the customers come to us when they are ready to checkout. When you have a slow spell during your sale, walk around and straighten things back up. Keep your tables looking neat. As your sale gets picked over, be sure to re-arrange merchandise to fill holes.