Planning a Yard Sale

Is your home becoming over run with useless clutter? What a better way to tidy up your home and put a few extra bucks in your pocket then to have a yard sale? Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Yard sales can also be a lot of fun with the proper planning.

The first step in planning a yard sale is planning the dates. You want to give yourself ample time to get organized and set up so you don’t feel rushed. Depending on how big your sale will be you may need to start planning at least a week or more in advance. Many yard sales start on Thursday or Friday and last until Sunday. You can schedule your sale however you want.

Now that you’ve figured out when you’re going to have your sale, you need to figure out what you’re going to sell. Here are some suggestions for things you can have in your yard sale:

-Maternity clothes taking up space in your closet.
-VHS/DVD movies you no longer watch
-Children’s clothes the kids have out grown
-Toys the kids no longer play with
-Kitchen appliances that you no longer use or you’d like to replace.
-Baby furniture
-Things you’ve bought that you’ve never used.
-Video games
-Exercise equipment.
-Any item that shouldn’t end up in a landfill

After you gather together the things you’re going to sell, you need to start pricing things. Two common mistakes people often make is over pricing their items or not pricing them. Not everyone is confident and vocal. Over pricing items will turn away your bargain hunters and not placing a price will discourage many buyers.

The goal with any yard sale is to get rid of all your stuff. You don’t want to spend all that time bringing things outside, to turn around and re-clutter your home. Try to keep your prices reasonable. Used kids clothes generally are priced $1.00 and under, especially for one piece items like a pair of shorts or a shirt. If it’s name brand and was truly expensive, it’s not unheard of to price it slightly higher, as long as it’s in good shape. Movies are generally priced under $5.00. When you’re pricing your items, think about how much you would be willing to pay for the same thing, in the same condition, at someone else’s sale. This is sometimes hard for many people since they know how much they paid for the items in the first place.

If you have things that are pretty worn out, consider having a “free box.” Kiddy meal toys are also great for a free box. Many parents bring their kids with them to sales and a small toy box will help keep the kids entertained and will make them happy to take something with them.

So now you’ve figured out when, what and how much. The next thing to do is advertise. Local shops, Laundromats and grocery stores are great places to put up signs. You don’t have to get fancy or creative. The important information to list: Dates, times, a brief description of your items and where you are located. Many people pay a few dollars and advertise their sales in local newspapers too.

A few days before opening day, you should place signs on your block and main roads near your house. Make the signs simple; “Yard Sale Fri-Sun 123 My Road” People will be driving by and won’t be able to read a bunch of details. Place a sign in front of your place to mark the location.

Setting up for your sale doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re having a yard sale, lay a few blankets down on the ground and place your stuff on top. If you’re having your sale in the garage, you will need to utilize items in your garage to set things on or borrow from friends and family.

It’s not uncommon for entire neighborhoods to have sales on the same weekend. Talk to your neighbors about possibly organizing a community sale. This would be a great way to draw in larger crowds.

Depending on the ages of your children, a yard sale could be a wonderful family activity. You can help your kids prepare cookies, lemonade or juice to sell.

On opening day, have some spare change to break bills and give change. If you don’t feel comfortable with your change making skills, grab a calculator or some pen and paper.

Be prepared for “hagglers.” If you are firm on your prices, practice saying no. If you don’t mind adjusting your prices, then go with it. Many people who visit yard sales are bargain hunters. Even if you price something practically free, someone’s probably going to try and get you to adjust your price.

Taking a few extra steps to plan and prepare for a yard sale takes the stress out of it and helps your sale run smoothly. It can also be a fun activity for you and your family for a weekend.

Rebecca Pillar 2008

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