It’s true, I LOVE yard sales!!! I wouldn’t call myself a yard sale addict, but I have the urge to stop at almost every yard sale I see along the road! I think it’s the fear that I’m missing out on some GREAT find if I don’t. I love the show American Pickers, only I love to find things other than anitques – board games, childrens’ clothing, artwork, unique furniture, and many other items! However, if you are a “yard saler” you know that not all yard sales are created equal, so we want to show you how to have the BEST YARD SALE EVER! Check out our list of great yard sale tips, and hopefully we can help you make even more money!
Plan ahead. A great yard sale is not just dragging all your stuff onto your front lawn and selling it. You have be organized, and that means planning ahead. Give yourself enough weeks to plan, organize, and implement your sale. This means picking your date, advertising in the local paper, and asking neighbors to join in on your endeavors (which can mean more money as well). I have seen yard sales where the owner waited until the last minute, and they’re scrambling as people are walking up there drive way. That is just too stressful.
*You can print this out as a PDF File! Debt Free Spending Yard Sale Checklist
Debt Free Spending.com -Yard Sale Checklist
____ 1. Pick your date (If you going to involve neighbors and relatives in your sale, make sure to check the dates with them first). *Note: You will almost always draw more people to a neighborhood yard sale, so these are the best, but sometimes it’s just not possible. You will also need to decide how many days you will run the sale and the hours of the sale.
____2. Advertise in your local paper. This will definitely help draw a crowd to your sale, and is still the way most people find local yard sales (This is a good time to buy your price labels, batteries, and even a cash box -if you don’t already have one- as well, since you will need them later)! Also, find out if you are allowed to post posters in your area, or if there are any zoning issues. Our borough has restrictions on yard sales, so always make sure you check first!
____3. Sort and organize the items you want to sell. Also, decide where you are going to store these items until the day of the sale. I usually start a collection of items in my garage, and I even set up the tables first so I can start piling items on those tables.
____4. Mentally go through each room of the house, and come up with a plan of where you will start. Make a list of your sorting rooms (basement, attic, bedrooms, living room, bathrooms,etc.). You probably already have mental list of items you want to sell. It’s fine to start with that list and work your way through, but after that, go room by room so you’re not scattered. Use a large tote or box to collect items.
____5. When planning your yard sale, try to have tables arranged so that you have plenty of space to move around. If you know someone with a portable clothing rack, these are nice to have, but two ladders and a piece of rope work ok too, you just can’t hang as much on these.
____6. Make sure to clean your items as much as possible ahead of time. I’ve been to “unclean” yard sales” and I know I don’t want to buy dirty items that I know my baby or young child might play with. Take the time to clean toys, furniture, and even wash the clothes if they smell musty.
____7. Sort clothing according to size and gender, and arrange items neatly so that buyers don’t have to sort through mounds of clothes. I tend to buy more if I can find the right sizes quickly.
____8. Have extra batteries on hand to show buyers that toys, electronics, and other items work correctly. Also, test all working items, so you can let the buyer know if something is broken. You might even need extension cords for this, to prove that larger items work, such as lamps, radios, etc.
____9. GET APPROPRIATE CHANGE- I’m speaking from experience here. Make sure to go to the bank at LEAST two days before your sale, so that you don’t leave that to the last minute and forget. I always start with:
(2) $10 bills,(4) $5 bills, (30-40) $1 bills, $10 in quarters, $5 in dimes, and $2 in nickels.
____10. Price your items according to normal yard sale prices. Remember, this is a Yard Sale. People will expect to pay at least 50% off normal value on most items, and even more most of the time. I have gone to sales where a child’s shirt is $0.50, and then go to one where it is $2.00-$3.00. The lower you price your items, the faster they will sell, so you will have to be very careful in this area. You don’t want to undercut yourself, but you don’t want to be way out of the normal range either!
____11. Prepare to haggle. There may be times where you will have to haggle. This can easily be done politely and with courtesy. However, there will be that occasional buyer that pushes and pushes, so just make sure to stand your ground, but if it’s an item you’re really not attached to- let it go.
____12. Put your “best foot forward” by placing your most desirable items as close to the road as possible. You want to catch their eye just like a regular retail store!
____13. Have fun. Put on your suntan lotion, have helpers if possible, and don’t plan on cooking that night! I always make plans to go out to eat the night of my yard sales. You’ll be tired from the sun anyways!
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