Spring cleaning is here…

The warm weather of Spring reminds me that it is time to clean out my closets and have a yard sale. While they are lots of work, yard sales are an easy way to make some fast cash & clean your house at the same time. Many people tell me that it just isn't worth their time to have a yard sale, but I think what it really boils down to is that they don't feel they will be successful. Part of the key to having a successful yard sale is planning! When planning a yard sale there are some important things to remember. Here is my list of top 10 things you need to do to have a successful yard sale:
  • Date & time. Choose your date carefully. Planning for a yard sale on a holiday weekend can be a bad idea, as many people travel during holidays. As far as day of the week, Saturdays are the best days for yard sales, even though some find success on Fridays & Sundays. The earlier you start your yard sale the better. Many people like to get out early so that they can do other things later in the day. I would recommend starting your yard sale around 6:30am and running it until 1pm.
  • Advertise. If you can afford to put it in the local newspaper, I would advise to run it both Friday & Saturday. Craigslist allows you to run Garage Sale ads for FREE! Be sure to give great directions as well as a list of your larger items (furniture, toys, antiques, etc) in the listing. Use brightly colored poster board for your signs so that they catch the eye of a passerby. Use bold black ink for your lettering, write neatly & add arrows in possible. If you can add balloons to your signs, that is even better. Place them at all major intersections!
  • Use tables & hang clothes when possible. No one wants to get on their knees to go through your items. Don't have enough tables? Ask your neighbors, create makeshift tables out of things like an old door & bar stools, hang a clothesline between trees to hang clothes~ think outside the box.
  • Make sure items are clean & in good working condition. It is fine to have things that don't work, but make sure that you have a sign out that states they don't work (people sometimes buy things for parts). Bring an extension cord so that customers can test out electrical items.
  • Label each & every item with a price tag. Yes, it takes time & effort, but in the end it is worth it. If you are busy with customers, someone may be hesitant to ask you for a price and pass it by. I usually sell all clothes & books for one flat price so I don't have to label each piece. I place a huge sign out in front of the items letting customers know that clothes are $1 each & books are .50 each or 4/$1.
  • Group similar items together. Place CDs & DVDs in boxes where customers can easily see the titles. Keep all children's toys in one area. If you have a ton of housewares, try to keep them on one table. Put jewelry in small clear Ziploc bags with purses, or other accessories. Have electronics, sports equipment, yard tools or things that men might be interested in one central location. Doing this will help you be able to find something when a customer asks if you have a particular type of item.
  • Price items before the day of your yard sale. Price items at a fair value, but high enough that customers will be able to negotiate. Be willing to negotiate or offer deals to customers who are buying a lot of items. You never know what business they may bring you. Last year, I had a young lady buy a bunch of things and return an hour later with about 6 friends!
  • Have a money box filled with ones & coins so that you will be able to make change for your customers. I can't tell you how many times people have handed me a $100 bill at 7 in the morning before I've had any money to change it in my box. You don't want to miss a sale because you didn't prepare! Keep up with your money at all times. I typically wear a money belt (fanny pack~ dorky, I know) if I am alone & let my husband or mother stay with the money box. The money box is always with someone!
  • Have boxes, grocery bags, & newspaper handy for customers. People are more apt to buy when they know they will be able to transport their goods without having to worry about them breaking. Offer to help wrap glasses in newspaper or place clothes in bags for customers. At the end of they day you may even chose to have a Fill a Box or Bag deal to get rid of yard sale leftovers!
  • Plan in advance for what you are going to do with yard sale leftovers. Put a listing on Craigslist for anyone wanting FREE yard sale leftovers. I know we have a local church that will pick up all items once your yard sale is finished.
I hope that you find these tips helpful. If you have anything you think I've missed, feel free to leave me a comment below. I will be having my own yard sale (mostly to sell my stockpile of FREE items) in the next month and I will update you on how it went!
Thanks Yard Sale Queen for the outline!!


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