Planning a Yard Sale?
Read on for some tips to make it a success. And don't forget to download the free checklist!
Considering a yard sale? They can be a great way to get rid of some of the excess from your house and make a few bucks, too. They can also be a lot of work without a big return on your investment of time and energy.
If a yard sale is on your agenda, here are some tips to help make it successful.
Start planning early.
The sooner you start planning, the more time you will have to advertise your sale, and that is important. After all, the goal is to get people to your sale so they can check out your treasures. Preparing for a yard sale can wreak havoc on your home. Designate a space for sorting and pricing, and if possible, try to keep similar items together as you go through the process. This will make set-up on sale day much more efficient.
Keep your pricing simple.
Price items for no less than .50 and price in .50 increments. That way, you eliminate the need for nickels and dimes. It also makes it easier to calculate a shopper's total and how much change to give. If you are not sure how much to charge for your items, a quick Google search can help.
Choose an easy pricing method.
Whether it's masking tape and a Sharpie, colorful dot stickers, or paper tags with string, make sure you have plenty of pricing supplies, and that the method you choose will stay attached to your items.
Shoppers don't want to have to ask for prices, and if you have a crowd. you may not have time to answer each pricing question. Likewise, I don't recommend using a color coded system instead of putting prices directly on items. You don't want people to have to constantly refer to a chart to know the cost. One solution would be to price by category, while still keeping it simple. For example, if you have a lot of books, consider pricing all hardbacks at a specific price and all paperbacks at another. Make a sign for the book table that shows the prices. You can always add the disclaimer "unless otherwise marked" in the event you want to price a few higher or lower.
Be prepared to negotiate.
Mark any items you are unwilling to negotiate on as "firm". An hour or two before your sale ends, consider slashing prices. The easiest way to do this is to simply let shoppers know as you welcome them to your sale that all remaining items are 1/2 price. You can also make a sign for your checkout table informing people of the lower prices.
Be prepared for early birds.
The early bird gets the worm, as the saying goes, and you will often have folks stop by before your advertised starting time. Politely let them know that your sale hasn't officially started and not everything is out, but let them go ahead and browse. After all, the goal is to sell your items.
Research items you suspect could be of value.
If you have some items you suspect could be worth some money, do your homework to determine how much to ask. You might decide that a yard sale isn't the right venue to sell certain things.
Spread the word.
Make and post signs advertising your sale a day or two before the sale. Keep it brief, but make sure it includes the date and time of the sale and your address. Don't forget to take your signs down after the sale. Facebook is another great place to announce your sale, and as a bonus, you can include pictures and descriptions of what you are selling. The classifieds section of print and online news sources can also be a great place to advertise.
Make it shopper-friendly.
As you set-up, be sure to leave plenty of room for people to move among the tables. If possible, hang clothes. It saves space, makes browsing easier, and eliminates the need for constant folding. If you are selling electronics, have an extension cord handy so your customers can try them out.
Clean up quickly.
Place cardboard boxes under table to make clean up fast. Once the remaining items are boxed up, take them to a donation center.
Make the most of summer with these quick organizing tips and save time, money, and your sanity.
- Get your vehicle summer-ready so you’re prepared for spontaneous adventures. Fill a tote with sunscreen, bug spray, first aid kit, wet wipes, and a blanket or a couple of beach towels. To keep the sunscreen and repellent from causing a mess, put them in a Ziploc bag. A case of bottled water and heat-friendly snacks, such as crackers and nuts, are also good for spur-of-the-moment activities.
- Make it easy to get what you need. Designate a basket or bin for items you will use frequently throughout the summer - hats, gardening gloves, sunscreen and bug spray, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, etc. Whatever you use regularly should be within easy reach. Clear, over-the-door shoe organizers work well for keeping these types of items corralled.
- Check your summer supplies. Whether you will be spending time at the pool, the ball field, or shuffling kids back and forth to summer camp, making sure you have the supplies necessary for each activity will keep you from buying things you already have.
- Make lists. Create a list of items to take to the pool; a list of items and equipment for sporting practice and games; and another for what needs packed for day trips, summer camps, and school/community activities. Get the kids involved in the list making and checking. This is a great way to teach them to be responsible for supplies they need for their own activities. Keep each list where the items are stored.
- Plan your outings in advance. While more places are welcoming visitors again, many are requiring advance reservations. Research potential activities and outings so you don’t get turned away at the gate. Keep a list of places you might like to visit and include information regarding reservations and any special protocols that need to be followed.
- Put everything on the calendar. It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean things are slowing down. Add all of your activities, outings, commitments and travel to the calendar so you don’t miss out.
- Spend some time decluttering your garage and yard. Toss last year’s chair cushions that are faded, ripped, or no longer needed. Replace citronella candles, if necessary. Gather up old empty pots and discard those that are broken or unusable. As you declutter the garage, create zones for similar items; make one for summer gardening tools like rakes and shovels, another for winter items, and one for sporting and camping equipment, etc. The goal is to keep seasonal and activity-specific items together.
- Create zones indoors, too. Having one place for all swimwear can be more convenient than putting each person in charge of their own. Do the same with beach towels, pool toys and goggles. Plastic laundry baskets make great containers for storing beach towels and pool accessories. When you are ready to head to the pool, just grab the basket and go! As a bonus, the laundry basket can be used for wet items on your return.
- Organize your planting this year to make next year’s a breeze. Keep the plant tags together in an envelope (don’t forget to label it) as a quick reminder for future years. Alternatively, you can take pictures of the plants and flowers with their tags and create an album, either print or digital, so you can easily access the photos.
- Get out and enjoy the summer before it flies by!