Garage and yard sales are a summer tradition for many families. It’s a great way to get rid of a year’s worth of clutter and to make a little pocket change besides. In these tough economic times, anything helps. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sale.
Forecast, clear and sunny
Your best friend in scheduling your sale is the 10-day weather forecast. Summer storms can ruin your yard sale faster than ants at a picnic.
Bringing the traffic
Getting traffic to your sale is the first order of business.
Chris Heiska, of yardsalequeen.com, said:
“The most important thing is getting people to your yard sale. Even if you have the best-organized yard sale, if you don’t have customers, that’s a problem.”
There are the usual newspaper ads, of course, but this is the computer age. There are many sites now where you can post an ad that will likely be seen by far more people than will ever see it on a printed page. Craigslist is probably your best bet, but don’t overlook garage sale-specific sites like yardsalesearch.com and garagesalefinder.com. Ads should run for five or six days before the sale date.
Old-fashioned hand-painted signs in your neighborhood are effective and add that homey touch. Make them big with large, colorful fonts. People traveling past them in cars will have only a second or two take in your message.
Carol Frey of the South Cobb Patch said the goal is to keep it simple:
“Here is all that I need from your sign. The words ‘Garage Sale,’ Add a clear arrow pointing toward your house. If desired, you can add the days of your sale at the bottom of your sign. That’s it and that’s all.”
Gathering the goods
When going through your house to select and gather the items you want to include in the sale, it might be wise to organize them in boxes of similar items. It makes it a lot easier when it comes to setting up your display tables.
Having lots of change is essential. Not having it will likely cost you sales. Have plenty of quarters and $1 bills on hand. Some smaller change is a good idea, too, depending on the items for sale and how you have them priced.
As far as pricing items, it is usually best to keep them pretty low for a neighborhood garage sale. You will move more items a more quickly, and high price tags will annoy customers, who may also be your neighbors.
“If you have a lot of customers and no one is buying anything, that might be a clue your prices are too high.”
If you are looking to move high-end items, they will likely fetch more money with an online ad on Craigslist or eBay than at a garage sale.
The best yard sales are uncluttered, with similar items grouped together on several tables where everything is visible and easy to find.
Always be courteous, of course.
After the sale
When your sale is done and you have counted all the money, don’t be that person who leaves the signs up, forgotten, to the ravages of the weather. Be a good neighbor and pick up after yourself. Your neighbors will be grateful, and likely come to your next sale.