As you may know, our family is in the middle of a move. Living in the same house for 19 years, we had accumulated quite a bit of “junK” – stuff we hadn’t used in years or that the kids had outgrown. Time to have a yard sale.
The first order of business was gathering and pricing all the “treasures”. In the past, I used to gather everything and then spend a day or two just pricing, but that is so tedious. I much prefer pricing as I gather. I took my time and spent 15-30 minutes a day while we were packing, just sorting out the items we really didn’t need anymore and pricing them.
So, how to determine a price? Please don’t ever have a yard sale without having attended a few first. Walk around someone else’s yard sale, see what the “going rates” are for various items and listen in on some conversations between buyers and sellers. Think about what you would be willing to pay for the same item. Now when you go back to price your own items, the last thing to take into consideration is how badly do you want to get rid of it? Of course, most items can be donated if they don’t sell, but if you really want to get rid of an item, always price low and be prepared to haggle lower.
For large, car-stopper items, like furniture, I use cardstock or heavy 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper to write the name of the item and the price on in large black marker, then I tape it in a conspicuous place, so that traffic driving by our house can easily see it. For smaller items, I either put them all in a labelled box (coffee mugs – 25 cents each) or individually price unique items by placing bright orange circular stickers on them. We have never had a problem with people swapping stickers and honestly, you’re not a retail establishment, so you don’t worry about it. Just say no if the other person is being unreasonable.
Once you have all your items gathered and priced you can set the date for your sale. Preferably your next free weekend. The longer you procrastinate, the more dust will gather on your “treasures” and people are less likely to buy dusty items.
A week or two before the sale, advertise on Craigslist and make some posters. If you have some sawhorses, you can tape your posters to them with arrows pointing toward your location.
A day or two before the sale, make sure to get money for making change. I usually go to the bank and get three $10 dollar bills, three $5 dollar bills, 20 $1 bills, two rolls of quarters, one roll of dimes and two rolls of quarters (don’t bother with pennies). I use an old metal tackle box for my change box.
The day of the sale, plan on getting up at least an hour before the scheduled start. Have all your items already organized by category, so you can set them up by category. We use tables, but if you don’t have easy access to folding tables, I know people who spread blankets on the lawn and lay their “treasures” out for sale that way.
Set yourself up in a conspicuous spot so you can keep an eye on the change box as well as the customers. If you get anything bigger than a $20, put it in the house, away from customer’s temptation. Make sure you have at least one helper who can roam around helping people and spell you at the change box if you need a break.
Plan on wrapping up your yard sale by 2 p.m. In my experience, there is usually a big rush before and after you first open, then steady traffic until about noon. Sometimes we have a small rush again about 1 p.m. but after that it is usually dead. Plan on about an hour to pack everything up and put it away. Sometimes we hold over items that didn’t sell for the next yard sale, but since we are moving, we hauled everything off to the thrift store. Or you can call Salvation Army or Goodwill to come pick everything up for you.
I hope these tips will help you have a successful yard sale!!
If you have any yard sale tips you would like to add, please write them in the comment section below.