It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yard sales and garage sales are popping up all over the place, and that means this frugal chick of two youngin's is one happy Mom!
Attending yard sales is a piece of cake, but how about preparing for your very own? It's a lot of work, and there is never a guarantee that your items will sell.
So what can you do to make your yard sale successful? Here are a few tried and true tips that have worked for me in the past.....
Organize, Organize, Organize
Don't fall into the trap of simply shoving everything out your door and into your yard with a price. Attempt to organize your goods into categories and place categorized items together.
Display Goes a Long Way
A well displayed yard sale earns you more cash. Display items on tables if you can, or get creative with furniture you are also selling by displaying other items on it. Using tarps to protect items that you plan on placing on the ground is also a good idea.
Don't keep em' Guessing
There is nothing worse then when finding a yard sale becomes a scavenger hunt. Make your initial yard sale sign stand out with bright, bold colors and most importantly
write your address on the sign
Yard sale signs that do not list an address can sometimes lead to people drive around aimlessly looking for your house. Just because you put up a few signs with arrows pointing the way, doesn't mean your signs are going to stay pointing in the right direction
(err hrm.....young mischievous neighborhood kids)
The Internet is your Friend :)
Use Facebook and Craigslist as additional means to advertising your yard sale. Street signage usually does the trick, but there is no harm or foul in a little extra (free) advertising!
If your house is set back off the main road, think about posting a sign at the end of your driveway. Signs, or other "markers" are easier to spot then say.....reading the street number off your mailbox or squinting to see your house number from afar.
Pricing is Everything
First and foremost, I make it a point to use hang tags for item pricing. Not only can you purchase hang tags in a variety of eye appealing colors, hang tags also have plenty of space for writing item description and pricing.
Second, plan on pricing your "in good condition" items at a quarter of their full retail value. For example: If you purchased a brand new fan for $25.oo, and said fan is in good condition-plan on selling it for a quarter of its original price which would be $6.25.
Third, "In excellent condition" or "never used condition" items can be priced a little higher. If you plan on selling "never used" items, try to have the items in their original packaging.
Negotiable versus Non Negotiable
Trust me when I say, you will save yourself quite a bit of time if you are clear about which items are negotiable, and which items are non negotiable. This is also where hang tags come in handy, they allow plenty of room to write this wording.
If you are "firm" on a particular items pricing, write "non negotiable" or "firm" on the price tag. Likewise, if you are not "firm" on a particular items pricing, write "negotiable" on the price tag.
The 100 Rule
Plan on having a minimum of $100.00 in change on-hand for your yard sale. People aren't always going to bring exact change, so make sure you have a sufficient amount of coins, one's, five's and ten's on hand.
Early Birds Catch the Worm
Early birds are fairly prominent when it comes to yard sales, so plan on starting out at about 8am or 9am on a Saturday. Remember that some people make a living off of shopping at yard sales, and these are the people you want at your yard sale-they are typically the "early birds".
Consider a two-day yard sale. For example: Saturday and Sunday. Keep in mind, you may not have as many early birds on a Sunday because people attend church or enjoy Sunday as the more leisurely day of the weekend.
Take Advantage of a Holiday Weekend
Memorial Day has come and gone, but that doesn't mean the 4th of July wouldn't make a great three-day yard sale!
Prepare for Rain
Us New Englanders know all about unpredictable weather, so always be prepared for rain. Keep some plastic covers, tarps, or blankets handy and whatever you do- avoid placing sale items directly on the ground without some protective barrier (again, like a tarp)
Even if you think there is a snowballs chance in Haites, that it might rain during your yard sale-always be prepared.
Be Kind to Thy Neighbor
If your house is in close proximity to other houses, or parking areas are limited where you live-give your neighbors the "heads up" that you will be having a yard sale. This will give them the opportunity to put up "No Parking" Signs or "Do Not Turn" signs in their yards or driveways if they so choose.
Long ago I attended a yard sale, and the people running it forgot to tell their neighbor about it. The neighbor had just re-seeded and loamed his entire yard for new grass. Let's just say it didn't go over so well when his new lawn was parked upon by a yard sale attendee :( Thankfully, it wasn't me :)
Phew! See what I mean when I say a "yard sale is a lot of work"? They truly are but they can net you some much needed fundage on items you no longer use.
Do you have any tips you would like to share for holding a successful yard sale? Please, share them with me on my site The Savings Momma.