by Dottie Komara
It doesn’t matter who you are, or whether you live in an apartment, traditional house, a huge mansion or at The White House, everyone including myself has a tendency at some point in their life to hold onto things that they have absolutely no intentions of ever using, as well as the things that they no longer have a purpose for, unless collecting dust bunnies count. Why does this continue to happen?
Let’s face it, human beings are “creatures of habit” we love stuff, can’t get enough stuff and for that reason we continue to purchase more things that we don’t need, don’t truly like or really want. “It’s called clutter!”
Manufacturers are constantly producing brand new “got-to-have” products, more styles & colors to choose from, newly improved products and upgrades, especially when it comes to technology, so we’re influenced to buy more stuff!
Some people simply buy more things as a way of pacifying themselves to fill up a some sort of void that they have chosen not to deal with realistically.
As a rule of thumb – if you haven’t used something within 6 months to one (1)year or within a season, it’s probably time to let it go!
Hosting a yard or garage sale is an innovative way to get rid of the accumulation of excess stuff that has been building up throughout your living space all year-long, as well as recouping some of your money. Yes, the entire process can be a lot of work from start to finish, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
12 Yard/Garage Sale Secrets
1. Do Not Set Up a Yard Sale on the Spur of the Moment – If you decide to move forward without sufficient planning, you will only create more work for yourself , become frustrated and jeopardize your chances of maximizing your yard sale’s potential.
2. Create an Organized Game Plan – At least 1-2 weeks prior to the sale, go through every room of your home from top to bottom. This process includes every room including the basement, attic, shed, garage, closet space, drawers, cabinets and other nooks and crannies to gather all o household including the kids, it’s only fair to get them involved. Plan to spend a minimum of 15 minutes to one (1) hour at a time on this mission until it’s completed. As you discover the things that you no longer want or need, temporarily store them inside of storage totes, plastic bags, boxes or baskets together in a central location out of the way, until it’s time for pricing.
- As a rule of thumb – If you haven’t used something within 6 months to one (1)year or within a season, it’s probably time to let it go!
3. “Location is Key” – If you live in a high traffic area with a sufficient amount of parking available, you have nothing to worry about as far as attracting people to your event. But, if this isn’t the case, then it would probably be a good idea to ask a friend or family member if it’s okay to host your event at their property. Either way, contact the local municipalities for their permission to set up a yard sale in the community to make sure that you’re not breaking the law.
4. “Timing is Everything” – Check the weather forecast & the calendar in advance to decide on the best day and time to begin and end your yard sale.
- Make sure that the temperature is going to be as comfortable as possible for having an outdoor function. If the weather conditions are too hot, too cold, too windy, extremely cloudy or raining, it could have an impact as to how many people will show up.
- Always allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to set up and break down your event.
- In most cases, it’s best not to schedule a yard sale on Sunday, week day, holiday or holiday weekend, simply because people are usually pre-occupied with other plans and attending a Yard Sale is probably the last thing from their mind.
5. Consider How Sale Items Will be Displayed –If you don’t already have folding tables to display goods on, it may be necessary to improvise, make a purchase or borrow them from friends and family.
- If you don’t already have a clothing rack to hang garments on and a shoe rack to display shoes, it may be possible to borrow them from family or friends to avoid making a purchase. Jewelry can be displayed on a store bought or homemade display stand or on a flat tray that you may already have.
- Plastic milk crates, small storage totes and baskets are great for displaying, toys, books, video games, DVD’s & CD’s.
- Arrange larger and taller items (eye candy) such as pictures, furniture and decor in the front of the yard or closer to the sidewalk to attract attention from a street view, but make sure that it’s not a safety hazard just waiting to happen. This will give potential customers a reason to slow down and a reason to approach your property.
- As far as the overall set up, keep the staging neat & clean by arranging items by category similar to that of an actual store or a boutique. Adding a few helium filled balloons and table cloths from the Dollar Store in any color or design or actual theme of your choice, can help to add a little spice to your table display.
- A small basket or jar on the table filled with lollipops for the kids is a nice gesture
- Offer your customer a plastic grocery store bag, gift bag or box as a courtesy to carry their goods in.
- Newspaper, plastic bags and paper may come in handy to wrap up fragile items.
7. Yard Sale Signs/Advertising – ” Keep it simple” by creating a minimum of 10 signs made out of paper, poster board, or card board to attract potential customers. Be sure to include ——> ——–> arrows to direct traffic to your location.
Post the signs 1-3 days of the sale on poles or tree trunks in a high traffic area that can be noticed from various directions that lead to your home. However, check with your local municipality in advance to make sure that you are not breaking the law. If so stand up road signs could be another option. Just remember that it’s your responsibility to remove all signs, once the sale is over.
Another method of getting the word out about a “Yard Sale” is to post an announcement on the message board of local banks, grocery stores, church bulletin boards and other organizations, or you can always place an ad in your local newspaper for a small cost.
As a last resort, if you feel comfortable with exposing your personal information on social media websites, then by all means knock yourself out.
8. Cash to Make Change – It’s best to make a trip to the bank at least 1 day prior to the sale. How many one (1) dollar bills and how much change that you will need is based on the amount that you are charging for your goods. Ex: $2.00, 50 cents or 25 cent. Fifty (50) one (1) dollar bills, and $5.00 is quarters should be sufficient
- Request that customers pay by using the exact amount that is due
- Ask them if they have any $1.00 bills on hand. This will help you to stretch your cash and change much further.
- Also, consider where you’re going to keep your cash/change during the sale. “A fanny pack” may seem a little bit old fashion and out dated but, it’s a great way to keep your money secured, your keys and your cell phone while in the midst of strangers. 9. Team up With Neighbors, Family & Friends to Host a Multi-Yard Sale – If you’re hosting an individual “Yard Sale” make sure that you have enough people on hand to help out with the entire process.
10. Apply Price Stickers in Advance – At least 1-2 days prior to the sale or sooner if possible, consider how much you’re going to charge for each item, as well applying pre-printed or blank price stickers (available at the Dollar Store) to each item and filling in the amount that you’ve decide on. This way, if a potential customer is interested in buying something, the price is clearly marked. However, a lot of people that attend yard sales expect to get something for next to nothing and they will probably ask you to lower the price, so be prepared.
Click on the Link Below for a Full Yard Sale Pricing Guide. https://www.bekins.com/2016/04/…/a-guide-for-perfectly-pricing-your-yard-sale-goo…
11. Potential Customer Interaction – I’ve hosted quite a few successful yard/garage sales over a course of time and I can assure you that no two are the same when it comes to your audience. Choosing to interact with a potential customer will cause them to feel more comfortable and motivated to purchase your goods.
- If you want to make a lot of money and get rid of your stuff, take the initiative to acknowledge your potential customer as they’re approaching your property by greeting them with a warm hello.
- Unless they initiate conversation, back off and give them enough space to breathe and time to warm up or you’ll run them away.
- After a while, ask them if they’re looking for anything in particular? If you should have what they’re looking for, show them where it’s located. On the other hand, if you can’t grant their wish, then it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce them to other items that you have for sell.
12. Closing Tips!
- When it’s late in the day, or on the last day of your sale, it may be within your best interest to lower prices for the purpose of getting rid of things.
- Do a good deed by giving things away to avoid having to use your time and energy to pack things up, as well as to carry them back into the house, because this defeats your overall plan to let things go!.
- Since donations are tax-deductible, consider donating everything that doesn’t sell to Goodwill or to any charity of your choice.
“Post Yard/Garage Sale Food for Thought”
Prior to making future purchases, accepting a gift or something just because it’s free, consider the following:
- What am I going to use this for and how often?
- Where am I going to display it and be honest with yourself?
- How will I store it when it’s not being used? If you don’t have adequate storage space available, or if your answer isn’t clear, do not take it home.
- Practice the “one in one out” rule. “Every time that you buy a new pair of shoes, you have to get rid of a pair that you already have.”
- Can I really afford it?
- Am I going to put in the work to maintain it? If your answer isn’t clear, don’t buy it.