We’ve reached high season for vacations, moving…and yard sales! If you’re taking the opportunity to clean house, lighten your load, and gain a bit of extra space this summer, here are five tips for hosting a successful yard sale.
1. Create some buzz.
How will friends and neighbors know about the great bargains you’re offering if you don’t tell them? Consider placing ads in local newspapers, online, or bulletin boards in public spaces. The day before, post signs with the date, time, and arrows to your home. Make sure that these signs are readable from a distance (use thick, black letters on large, colorful posterboard) and attach balloons to really catch the eyes of passersby.
2. Price wisely.
Avoid turning shoppers away by making sure they don’t have to ask how much an item costs. Price items with easy-to-read signs (for larger items) and stickers (for smaller items). Remember to price appropriately; as nice as it is to make a profit, remember that the real goal is to get rid of clutter. Use prices that will make giving change and calculating totals easier (i.e. $2.00 rather than $1.80). Try to sell items for about one half to one third of their original price…and as the sale winds down, don’t hesitate from slashing prices in half.
3. Organize your layout.
Make your yard sale appealing and easy to navigate by grouping like objects together (i.e. toys and children’s book in one location, tools and lawn equipment in another). Hang clothes for visibility so shoppers can easily flip through the racks as they would in a store. Make sure to leave plenty of room between tables so that shoppers don’t run into each other or knock over breakables. Place big, “flashy” items (i.e. furniture, workout equipment, golf clubs) toward the front to draw in customers. Once you’ve finished setting up, walk across the street to get a look at what your yard sale will look like to passersby.
4. Prepare for check-out.
Stock up on rolls of quarters, stacks of $1 bills, and a handful of $5 and $10 bills. Consider scrapping the money tin and wearing an apron with pockets so that you have cash on you at all times. Keep track of transactions by tallying items on a ledger of what you sold and for how much.
5. Add a special touch.
Put your own spin on the standard yard sale by adding a unique atmosphere. Some ideas: Set up a table with coffee and muffins, keep shoppers hydrated and cool with a lemonade stand, or set up speakers to play background music.