Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some tips and ideas for having a successful yard sale

   We are right upon yard sale season. Yard sales are for everyone. I love yard sales to find things that are unique and that you can't find in stores anymore. The saying someone else's trash is your treasure is absolutely true. I have gotten some of the neatest things at yard sales. I don't have many yard sales myself, although I am having one this weekend. I have been getting ready for it for quite a while. Having a yard sale can be a lot of work. Well, getting ready for it involves the most work.
   Pricing everything is a must. If you have bulk items such as books, you should label them with a large sheet of paper. I would go .25 for 1 or 5 for $1.00. This way people feel like they are getting a deal. Pricing things will keep people from asking you "How much for this?" That can get annoying after a while, but if the items aren't priced no one will know the price...they have to ask. Pricing items can be time consuming, but it will help. You can't overprice items. People come to yard sales to get stuff cheap. If you have items that you want to get a decent price for, maybe you could try selling them in a consignment shop. If you are trying to get rid of stuff and do not want to pack it back up, let it go cheap and maybe towards the end of the day, you can even mark the prices down.
   Another must is advertising. If you live in an area where you don't get a lot of traffic, I recommend running an ad in your local paper about your yard sale. You can put up flyers and as always word of mouth works. Let your friends, family and co workers know about your yard sale and ask them to spread the word. You will also want to put up signs near your home directing people to your yard sale. Before doing this make sure your area allows you to put up signs. Most areas do not allow you to post signs to poles or stop signs. You can check. You also want to make sure the signs are pointing people in the right direction. Make sure you take the signs down as soon as your yard sale is over.
   Check your county ordinance and see if you are allowed to have yard sales, how many a year and if there are any stipulations.Some areas only allow you to have a certain number of yard sales a year, which brings me to my next point. It's probanly not good to have a yard sale every weekend anyway. People will get tired of coming to the same yard sales. I would have maybe two a month or maybe even one. It's up to you, but again, check your county ordinance.
   Make sure that you have ample parking. If you don't, maybe you could ask a friend who does if you could have your yard sale there. You want to make sure that parked cars will not onterfere with traffic and that you will not get the law called on you for blocking streets.
   If you have dogs, try to keep them up during your yard sale. Some people are scared of the smallest dog or they may be allergic. You don't want anything to deter customers. This will also be safe for your pet as there will be a lot of cars going and coming and you do not want your pet getting hit.
   If you are having your yard sale on a hot day, offer people water or maybe you could have a cooler of canned drinks on ice to sell. You want everyone to hang around long enough to browse everything and having water or drinks may help there.
   Make sure that you do not put out anything that you really do not want to sell. I have been to yard sales and picked up something and the seller would say "Oh, I have put that out here by accident." That is not good. Also, check pockets and boxes for receipts, cash, etc. before putting out. You may have credit card receipts in an old shoe box or money in a pocket that you didn't know was there. You would end up selling a pair of jeans for $1.00 and the buyer getting home and finding a $20.00 bill in the pocket.
   Make sure you have change. Quarters and singles are a must. You will also want to have some fives and tens. Price your items at an amount that will be easy to make change...$1.00 or .50 for example, not $1.20 or .40. If you need one, have a calculator on hand. Make sure you keep your money with you in a fanny pack or a carpenters apron. Make sure you add up the items that the buyer is buying and when they give you the money, keep their bill visible until you give them their change, that way they and you will know that the transaction is correct.
   If you have children, let them help. If they have toys that you know they need to get rid of and you are having a hard time convincing them, let them know that they can sell these toys, make some money and have room for some new toys.
   If you have neighbors you could see if they want to sell at your yard salew and make it a multi-family yard sale. That way you could slit any advertising costs and get the word out to even more people.
   I find it helpful to keep all of the same or alike items together...all toys together, all kids clothes together, etc. That way people will see eveything that are interested in at one time. I have even been to yard sales where the seller color codes clothes, much like some Goodwills do. This makes it easier for someone looking for a certain color of something.
   As I said, a yard sale will take some work, but to have a successful one you have to be willing to do it right. Don't just throw stuff on the ground and expect people to buy it. Make it look nice. Don't put out dirty stuff and stuff with cobwebs all over it. At least wipe your stuff off a little. Most buyers understand that yard sale items are not going to look perfect, but they will buy something that looks decent before they will buy something that is dirty. You can also have a box marked free if you have broken things that can be used for parts or something that you know you may not get money for. If you have larger items, put them near the road so that passersby that didn't know about the yard sale will see them and maybe stop. If you have toys or anything that requires batteries, have batteries on hand to show people that the items do work before they buy them. Most people want to know that an item will work before they buy it.
   This is in no way everything that you can do to get ready for a yard sale or to have a successful one, but it is a few pointers to get you started. Good luck with those yard sales and HAPPY SELLING!