When the weather starts getting nice, yard sale season begins. Over the years, I have had my fair share of yard sales. In fact, my mom and I even had three yard sales in one summer. Needless to say, that was exhausting!
However, I love yard sales for a couple of reasons. First, you get rid of some junk that you need to get rid of (in my case, a lot of junk). Second, you earn some extra money. I would call that a win-win situation.
In order to have a successful yard sale, there is some planning that must be done. Please consider the following when you are planning your next yard sale.
Timing is Important
When planning the date for your yard sale, take into consideration the day of the month that you are considering. This is important because you want to think about when your potential shoppers will have the money to spend at your yard sale.
Yard sales scheduled for the end of the month don’t usually do that well. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of extra spending money at the end of the month.
In my experience, I have found that the best time to have a yard sale is within the first two weeks of the month. People seem to have more money during this time of the month and are ready to spend it.
I also wouldn’t have your yard sale for more than two days. If you are planning to do this, the first day will usually be your best day. Saturday yard sales seem to work the best for me, and then it’s all over in one day.
Another thing to think about is the actual time of day your yard sale will take place. What time will the yard sale start and when will it end?
In the area that I live in, people like to start shopping yard sales early in the morning. The saying, “The early bird gets the worm”, always comes to mind when I think about these shoppers.
I usually begin my yard sale at 8 AM. However, I usually am set-up and ready by 7:30 AM because people always show up before 8 AM. You definitely don’t want to start your yard sale mid-morning because you will miss out on the early shoppers.
As far as the ending time goes, you can be the judge of that. Some people will have their yard sale all day long, and that’s perfectly fine.
In my experience, business seems to slow down after 1:30 PM. I usually pack up between 2:30-3:00 PM unless I have a surge of customers in the early afternoon. In most cases, people start shopping at yard sales early and are done around lunchtime.
Set-up is another important factor to consider when having a yard sale. Items that you have for sale should be set out in a somewhat organized manner.
I recommend using tables, boxes, or laundry baskets to display the items that you have for sale. You don’t want people to have to hunt for the items you’re selling. If that’s the case, your items will not sell. You also don’t want people to trip over anything while they’re shopping.
Another recommendation is to have the more valuable items, such as furniture or appliances, easily visible from the road. Often yard sale shoppers will do a drive-by to see if there’s anything worth stopping for. The more valuable items will intrigue their interest to stop and take a look.
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Every item at your yard sale should be priced. If people don’t see a price, they are less likely to buy that item. Don’t leave your shoppers guessing. Be clear on your prices.
In my yard sales, I have used a few different options when it comes to pricing.
For appliances, tools, furniture, or other medium to large sized items, pricing labels work the best. I really love using the preprinted pricing labels. These make pricing items SO EASY.
For clothes, bedding, or towels, I have a sign on a table that displays the price for each item. For example, I have a sign that reads “Clothes $0.50” taped on the table. I often have a table with miscellaneous items that will have a sign too.
Another pricing option is to use empty boxes or laundry baskets. Again you can hang a sign displaying the price of the items in the boxes or laundry baskets. This option works well for picture frames, small toys, books, shoes, or purses.
One final note with pricing, make sure that you have change for the purchases at your yard sale. I would get around $80-$100 worth of change to make sure you have the correct change for your shoppers. Believe it or not, I have had yard sale shoppers give me $20 for a $0.25 sale. So make sure you have a variety of bills and coins in your change box.
For the best results, you will need to advertise your yard sale. You want to let people know the date, time, and place. Also, you want to let people know what type of items you are selling.
Free ways that I have used to advertise my yard sales are Craigslist and Facebook. Both of these options are great ways to provide a description of what you’re selling. You can even post pictures of larger items for sale.
And don’t forget about posting signs along the streets directing shoppers to your yard sale. Remember, the more people that find your sale, the better.
Be Willing to Negotiate
The final tip that I have for you is please be willing to negotiate. Try not to forget that people go to yard sales to find fantastic deals. Shoppers will not pay full price or even close to full price for items. Remember, you are trying to get rid of your junk. If you price your items too high, you will be bringing that junk back home.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should give your items away for free, but you should negotiate. If a shopper offers me a lower price than what is marked on an item, I will often come back with a price that is between the two. Shoppers will usually accept that price.
Yard sales are great ways to make extra money and get rid of some of our junk. By using these tips, you are on your way to having a successful yard sale. Good luck!