The recipe for how to have a successful yard sale depends on a lot of things—some inside your control and some totally out of your hands. The weather can certainly throw a big wrench in your plans, but with all other things considered, you can host a fairly successful sale with a little planning and practicality. Here are eight key yard sale ideas to improve the outcome of your sale.
1. Do Your Homework
First and foremost, before you host your sale, find out if you need a yard sale permit in your city. Without a proper permit where required, you may face fines and be forced to shut down your yard sale. Next, do a little recon around the neighborhood and by searching online to discover when nearby neighborhoods and homes may be planning a yard sale. Coordinate your dates with local yard sales if possible to capitalize on your efforts. In almost all cases, people who love going to yard sales will be thrilled to find more sales in the area on a day they’re already out shopping. Moreover, your sale will also benefit from the signage the other sellers are using. Post a few signs of your own in strategic places, and simply add a sign with an arrow or with your address to help funnel the traffic to your sale as well.
2. Advertise Early
Post your yard sale signs far enough in advance of your sale so that commuters can see the location and the date, making a mental note for their weekend plans. You might also want to advertise your sale in the local paper and on online groups and forums for yard sales to maximize your exposure.
3. Ensure You Have Change
In yard sales, few things are worse than losing a sale to an interested customer by not being able to break their $20. Be sure you have a selection of smaller bills and coins to assure proper change for your yard sale shoppers.
4. Organize Your Items
Group like items together so that your yard sale presents like a regular store. This makes it easy for people to find what interests them and may increase the number of things that they decide to buy. Also organize clothing on a rack according to size so customers can easily browse what you have. Put all of the kids’ stuff together so little ones can immediately find what interests them and parents can take a sweeping glance for what may delight their children at a bargain. Place the high impact items where they can be clearly seen from the road, helping to convert curious drive-by onlookers into serious shoppers.
5. Price Items Effectively
Before you start your yard sale, decide if your goal is to make money, to clear out your clutter, or a bit of both. Price your items accordingly and know which pricing is firm and what’s negotiable. Consider using yard sale stickers—little dots or rectangular tags—to color code your pricing flexibility and clearly mark the price for everything you’re selling. You can also make a 25 cents box, a FREE box, and so forth to help you unload items efficiently. This also makes for easy cleanup. When possible, display the original price of the item so customers can see the value and the bargain you are offering.
6. Keep Checkout Convenient
Remember that bag of bags you keep filling up even more every time you get home from the store? Bring that and some old newspapers for wrapping delicate items so your customers can safely and conveniently transport their newfound items home.
7. Cross-Promote Your Items Online
At the end of the day, if you haven’t sold as much as you’d like, you can take your remaining big ticket items to the Web. Many communities have an online yard sale Facebook group, and you can also post yard sale pictures on your own social media pages in case any of your friends or connections may be interested in what you’re unloading.
8. Save and Store for Next Time
If hosting yard sales is an enjoyable activity for you, you may wish to keep your items organized and available for next time rather than donating them or giving them away. Pack everything back up into their clearly labeled boxes and drive them over to your personal storage unit until your next yard sale date arrives. This keeps all of your stuff conveniently together and keeps the clutter out of your garage or home.