Tips for a Great Yard Sale

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This Saturday, I’m joining in on my dad’s homeowners association’s huge neighborhood yard sale.

I love having yard sales. Once a year, I find that it’s time to take a good luck at the clutter and see what can be sold for someone else’s use. Not that I’m a pack rat, but I’m always amazed at the stuff I buy or are given that I have no longer have a need.

Admittedly, I’m working on not making many of those purchases from now on — there’s still stuff lying around the house that I’d like to sell for a few extra dollars.

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years that have really made my sales successful:

  • Price and label everything — a pack of removable Avery garage sale labels are more than worth the $1 I just paid for them at Kroger.
  • Be ready to haggle — haggling is not something many Americans are very good at, except yard salers. I always price my items a couple of dollars higher than I expect to get, knowing I’ll likely come down a bit, if asked.
  • Hang up clothes on a line or clothes hanger — clothes sell much better when people can look through them like a department or clothing store.
  • Make clear and concise signs — Simply put “Yard Sale”, the time, a large arrow for the direction, and the street address. Use flourescent or bright poster board and a very thick black Magic Marker. Make sure it’s securely affixed to a pole. I also like to buy a couple of cheap helium balloons and tie them to a tree or pole in my yard. Here are some great examples of what, and what not, to do.
  • Have plenty of change and small bills ready — because of course your first customer is going to buy a 50 cent item and only have a $20 bill.
  • Have a helper — it hasn’t happened to me often, but there are pro shoppers/scammers out there that work to distract or overwhelm you, clammering with prices, until you say yes to a total lowball offer just to get them to leave you alone.
  • Donate everything after the yard sale to the Goodwill or another thrift store –don’t bring what doesn’t sell back home! Or if you do, Freecycle it that weekend.

The Yard Sale Queen also has some great Yard Sale Customers from Hell stories. I hope this weekend I don’t have a story to add to the list!

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