Having a yard sale and getting rid of items you no longer use can certainly feel cathartic. The bonus, of course, is knowing that your old items will be given new life, and often will be used by someone who really needs them. At the same time, even preparing for a yard sale can be stressful, to say nothing of the yard sale itself. Here are some tips to help the yard sale go a bit more smoothly (and save your sanity).
1. Make prices visible
There are a couple ways to manage this. Department stores usually have stickers, sometimes even with prices already printed on them in the office supply section. These will be great for marking items. However, if you are planning to sell a lot of clothing, it might be tedious to mark every single piece. Instead, you might want to consider having a table or designated space for those items. Then make them all one price and put a sign up. You could certainly charge the same price for all similar clothing items as well. For example, if you have a lot of baby clothes (onesies $1, bibs, .50, dresses $2, etc…) I like to use a picture frame (or purchase one from a dollar store) and either print the sign to go inside the frame, or put wrapping or scrapbook paper inside and write the price with a whiteboard marker. It looks nice and will come off easily after the sale.
2. Get your neighbors involved!
Some cities, towns and villages already have designated yard sale days that the town will advertise. Try to have your sale on these days if you can. If not, talk to other people on your street, block, or even to your apartment manager if you live in an apartment and want to organize a community sale. If you can advertise a block yard sale, or even a few houses, it will attract more people, and your sale will make more money. Advertise on Craigslist, in the paper, and with brightly colored signs to help people find your sale.
3. Get kids involved
If you have children, especially elementary school age, consider helping them set up a lemonade stand, or sell baked goods for a couple of hours. This is a great opportunity to help them learn about money and how to calculate profit, etc… Older children might be a little more difficult to get excited, but consider offering them a percentage of the money earned from the sale if they help out.
4. Stay hydrated and use sunscreen.
It’s always important to drink plenty of water, but that’s especially true when roasting in the hot afternoon summer sun. Bring a cooler of water out for whoever is out working the yard sale. Make sure to take care of your skin as well by using sunscreen and having a spot to relax in the shade.
5. Have a plan for after the sale.
You will inevitably have items that did not sell. Chances are, you do not want to bring them back inside, so box the items and donate them! Put them in a vehicle right from the yard sale to avoid having the items back in the house.
6. Be prepared
Go to the bank and get change ahead of time. It may also be a good place to re-use grocery store bags if people have a lot to carry. Make sure to plan for rain as well. Have tarps and/or large garbage bags handy to cover items if necessary. Have a trash can handy for wrappers, and other things that might need to be thrown out- this will be much easier than running inside to throw something away, and you certainly don’t want people leaving litter behind!
Have a great yard sale! Following these tips will help you stay sane and hopefully make a bit more money at your yard sale this summer. Enjoy!