Last Saturday my family had a very successful yard sale. We made about 200 dollars and, more importantly, unloaded a lot of junk! Here are some tips I've gleaned, not only from hosting the occasional yard sale, but as an avid yard sale shopper!
1. Use plenty of signs, and keep them simple. When looking for a yard sale, people don't read words, they follow arrows. Keep your signs all the same colour and style too, they will be like a trail of breadcrumbs to your door.
2.Advertise for free. You can list your yard sale for free on Kijiji, local barter/sell groups or community facebook pages dedicated to that sort of thing. In your advertisement, consider listing the colour of your signs in your description. "Follow the pink signs" is more helpful than detailed directions.
3. Think like a store. Put like items together, display popular items at eye level, hang clothing and arrange items so that they are clearly visible. Most people won't rummage through boxes to find a treasure. Put things where people will see them.
4. Price to sell. We've all been to yard sales where it was clear that the person was way too attached to their stuff. If you price things too high people won't even try to haggle you down, they'll walk away. Which brings me to the next point...
5. Say goodbye to your stuff. Not literally. But if you aren't certain you want to sell something, don't put it out at a yard sale. A "I only want to sell this if I can get 50 bucks for it" mentality is better suited to craigslist or Ebay.
6. Plan ahead. Be prepared to make change and have bags or boxes available for people to carry their items away in. Also, plan to have something simple for dinner (we had take-out!) because you'll probably be tired after the yard sale is all packed up!
7. Give Kids a Job. My 4 year old was the official greeter, and my 5 year old retrieved boxes for people who needed them. Having jobs kept the kids entertained (a.k.a not whining) and let them be a part of what mommy and daddy were doing!
8. Keep it outdoors. As a reasonably cautious young woman I never, ever, EVER go to a yard sale that is inside, even if it's just an enclosed porch. I can't be the only one who feels this way, so if you aren't willing to move your stuff out to the front yard (or an open garage that is easily visible from the street) then you WILL lose customers.
9. Get rid of the left over stuff pronto. If you don't have a plan to drop it off at the thrift store right away there is a really good chance the clutter will end up back in your basement or garage, taking up space in your home and mind for another year. Get rid of it before it even has the chance to make it back inside!
Please Please Please don't save it for another yard sale, another year. You are not a big box store, and your garage is not a warehouse, so clear out the inventory!
10. Keep it simple. Don't stress yourself out with hand drawn plan-o-grams of where to put everything or a last minute bake sale. Just put together the best yard sale you can with the time you have and then enjoy visiting with your neighbours and making a few bucks.
Are you planning a yard sale for this year? What tips do you think make for a great yard sale?