Now that warmer months are approaching, I look forward to scoping out neighborhood yard sales (aka “garage sales” or “tag sales”). In the past few years, I have found some great deals for home and for my classroom that have saved me a ton of money versus buying something new. To pay for my garage sale addiction, my husband and I held a yard sale where we sold everything.
1. Quantity Matters. If you want people to buy, you need to have plenty to sell. Four dishes and some of grandmom’s old tablecloths does not a yard sale make. If you have to build a pile of items over the course of a year or two, do it. Save a corner in your basement, garage, or spare bedroom closet. This way, as soon as you realize you don’t want or need something anymore, you know exactly where to put it. At my last yard sale, we had close to 200 CDs, 20 DVDs, bed linens, football cards from my husband’s early years, as well as many household and kitchen items.
2. Advertise. Get the word out. Social networking websites or online classifieds like Craigslist are great places to advertise. If you have a lot of goods, take some pictures to post to your advertisement. Make sure you post hours and directions from major intersections.
3. Organize your display. While it isn’t a retail store, organized merchandise is most likely to get seen. Try organizing your like items together. If you have a lot of clothing to sell, I recommend putting like sizes together in large storage bins clearly labeled with size and price. Think about the layout of your goods and how easy it will be for any buyer to look through items. We raised everything by displaying them on empty boxes. We no longer had jewel cases to our 200+ CDs so we put them in sandwich baggies with the booklets, then organized everything by genre. Using upside down lids from paper case boxes, we placed the organized CDs on a folding table with labels and price signs.
My last sentence brings me to my most important tip:
4. Price. People who shop yard sales are looking for deals. Be realistic with your prices. If you are selling used DVDs from the last 5-10 years, understand that most of these titles are available (new) at your local discount retailer in their $5 or less bin. While it is true you may sell one or two for $4 each, you may sell all of them if you price them at $2 each. Finally, you should recognize your buyers. A woman frantically sorting through all of your children’s books may be a new teacher trying to build her classroom library. She is much willing to buy more if you offer to change the price from 2/$1 to 3/$1, and you know the books will be in good hands.
Planning wisely for a yard sale will increase your chances of a successful day!
Author’s personal experience