Are you planning a yard sale soon? They are a great way to not only clear your home of clutter but to make a few extra dollars as well. Yard sales can be hit or miss. If even one tiny thing is off, you could be risking not making any money at all. There are however, certain things you can do to make your yard sale more profitable. These 10 steps to a successful yard sale are sure to help you get rid of items you no longer need and make some extra cash while you’re at it.
1. Clean sale items
One of the biggest things that will turn a potential yard sale buyer away is dirty items. If you’ve got clothing, it should be washed and dried. Knickknacks and other items that will sit on tables should all be cleaned and wiped down so that they are dust and dirt free.
2. Organize similar items together
Yard sale buyers want to see what you have to offer them. If your sale is messy and items are strewn about everywhere, they won’t buy as much. In fact, some of them won’t even stop for your sale, if they can’t get a clear picture of what you’re selling from the street. Try to keep electronics together, hang clothes on a portable clothing rack, and so on. The more your buyers can see your items, the more they will buy.
3. Clean and organize your sale space
This one can get tricky if you are holding your yard sale in a small area, but making sure that you have an organized layout is another key to having a profitable yard sale. Try not to cram tables together so that your buyers have plenty of room to move around. Don’t put small items on the ground because people won’t bend over and look at them. Try to keep most items at waist height. Don’t bundle items together in trash bags. Instead, put them together in a box or tote and put a sign on it. The neater your sale appears, the more money you will make.
4. Get friendly
Speaking of your sale layout, you should walk around it. Sitting in a chair on your porch while your buyers search your sale can often come across as flippant. Instead, walk around your sale making sure to greet every single guest with a smile. Ask them if there is anything specific they are searching for. You would be surprised at how many yard sale shoppers are in need of something and you may just have their item.
5. Tease with eye candy
If you have big ticket items such as furniture or electronics, place those at the front of your sale. Doing so makes them extremely visible from the street and will draw in buyers who are looking for “new” furniture or project pieces. Just be sure that you don’t block the view of the rest of your sale items.
6. Clearly mark your prices
If your yard sale shoppers can’t find how much you want for an item, a good majority of them will walk away. To keep that from happening, use brightly colored yard sale price stickers to price each item. Yes, you need to have a price on every single item unless you are grouping them. In that case, store them together in a box or tote and print a price sheet on your computer.
7. Keep your prices reasonable
I understand that you may have paid $50 for an item when it was new, however, yard sale shoppers won’t. If your prices are too high, you won’t sell anything. Make sure to keep your prices relative to what the item is and its condition. If you find that you have an item that you want to charge higher for, make sure that you’re really ready to get rid of it, and if so, try Craigslist or Ebay.
8. Become a haggling queen (or king)
Speaking of prices, you should be willing to negotiate. The majority of people will not offer you a low price, however, some will. If you get one of those shoppers, simply say no thank you and stick to your guns. If, however, you get a reasonable offer, don’t be afraid to take it. Keep negotiation in mind when you’re pricing your items but don’t bump up the price on something expecting it. Some people don’t negotiate, and if your item is priced too high, they won’t even bother.
9. Make proper change
Before your sale starts, make sure that you’ve gone and picked up enough change to break larger bills that your yard sale shoppers might have on them. A good place to start is $20 each in ones, tens, and fives. You’ll also want to pick up several dollars in quarters and dimes, plus a dollar or two in nickels and pennies. If you don’t have the ability to make change, you could easily lose out on a sale from someone who only has bigger bills.
10. Advertise properly
Finally, the last key to a successful yard sale is making sure that your sale is advertised properly. Gone are the days of simply putting an ad in the newspaper and small signs stapled to telephone poles. These days, you’ll want to list your sale on any Facebook groups that it is allowed on and on Craigslist as well. You should also consider picking up a yard sale kit that contains signs before your sale. Place the signs on the wooden stakes that come with it then print out arrows to attach to both the front and back of each sign pointing toward your sale. Place a sign at each corner of your street and along any other streets that are nearby.
Just make sure that you direct potential yard sale goers to your sale with each sign. A sign on a corner three blocks over won’t help much if they don’t see a second or third sign to guide them. One final sign idea is to put up a sign at your driveway directing them to your yard. This one is especially important if your sale happens to be in the back yard or garage and can easily be missed from the street.
Having a yard sale can be a great way to make cash. Using the tips above, you could easily earn several hundreds of dollars from your sale. Do you have any other tips for having a profitable yard sale?
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