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5 Yard Sale Tips

May 24th, 2008 at 08:09 pm

Sidestream Income:
$2993.93 old total
$161.00 yard sale

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TOTAL: $3154.93

Today's yard sale was a success!! I surpassed my expectations and made $161.00. That doesn't include the $60 I'll earn when I deliver my dehumidifier to a neighbor. I don't move for another month and I don't want to stop using my dehumidifier until then. I posted a sign at the sale saying "Dehumidifier Available: Inquire for Details"-- the "details" included the fact that I would take your name and number if you were interested and call you in a month. My neighbor expressed great interest, so I feel pretty confident (more so than I would with a stranger) that the deal will go through. In fact, he even offered to pay me now but I said I'd rather wait until delivery.

I'm surprised I sold over $150 worth of stuff because much like my last garage sale, I seemed to be selling a whole lot of nothing. My biggest sale was a set of shelves for $25, followed by my kitchen curtains for $10 and a hand held vacuum for $5, but after that it was all small ticket items. Truly all those $2-$3 sales (often comprised of a bunch of $0.25 and $0.50 items) add up!

Tip #1: Advertise
I placed two free online classifieds and four homemade, easy to read signs pointing car and foot traffic to my location.

Tip #2: Organize and Stage
It takes a little extra time, but items that look gently used sell a lot better than items that look like they fell off a garbage truck! For example, I had two small rugs in my basement that looked so dirty I nearly threw them out. However, after a few minutes of vacuuming with my powerful Hoover, they looked good enough to sell. I marked the rugs at $1 / each and they were promptly scooped up within the first hour. In their former state of filth, I would have been embarrassed to put them in the free pile! Be certain to price all your items. People are shy. It's been my experience that marked items sell better. Set the mood. I have a little wicker table that I positioned in the sunniest part of the yard where I displayed all my glassware and linens for sale. Even through the table itself wasn't for sale, it evoked a garden party image and (I think) created a vision for what people could use the items displayed on it for. I covered all the rest of my tables in inexpensive plastic yellow table cloths (leftover from a baby shower). Nothing fancy, but better looking than the icky folding table underneath. I also mowed the lawn the day before and swept the sidewalk and walk way. A clean yard signifies a home in which the items for sale were cared for.

Tip #3: No Holds Barred!
If you're having a sale because your moving, don't be afraid to sell everything! For example, I had a big package of styrofoam cups left over from when I brought a hot beverage to a charity walkathon. I have no use for them. Had I not been moving, I might have been tempted to stash them away "just in case", but there's no need for me to transport styrofoam cups across three state lines "just in case"!! Sure enough, the cups sold! Another example of an atypical yard sale item was my random assortment of holiday paper napkins and plates. I bundled them together and sure enough, they sold, too! These are just a few examples of things that could have been thrown out, but instead helped me to earn some cash.

Tip #4: List Big items on Craig's List
List your big items on Craig's List. With any luck, the items will sell before the sale. This didn't happen for me, but I had people contact me about 2 of my Craig's List items after 9pm on Friday night so I replied and said that it would be at my yard sale the following day. Both people showed up to purchase the item they wanted from Craig's List and picked up a few extras.

Tip #5: Have Fun! Make small talk, meet the people in your neighborhood, and enjoy the opportunity to make a little cash while parting with stuff you'll never miss!

3 Responses to “5 Yard Sale Tips”

  1. littlemama Says:

    Great tips!

  2. koppur Says:

    We're having a yard sale in June; thanks for the tips!! Smile

  3. Shana Says:

    Also useful:

    Put out your easy-to-read garage sale signs before evening rush-hour the day before your sale starts, for free advance advertising. (Don't forget to collect them all again after the sale is over!)

    Price all items for sale in multiples of 25c, to avoid having to deal with dimes, nickels, and pennies. Items that are worth less than a quarter can be grouped with similar items, or set out in a FREE box.

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