The end of the summer is the perfect time to organize a yard sale. While some of you might agree, others might question where to begin. Below are some basic tips on how to plan a successful (and fun!) yard sale.
The Set Up – Try using 6’ rectangular tables set up into a ‘U-shape’ for customers to walk along and browse on both sides. Avoid setting up separate tables thereby creating a ‘maze’ for your customers. Keeping the tables together makes it easier for customers to view the items on display and an easier path (aisles) to follow.
Display – Avoid keeping items hidden in boxes or baskets. Instead, line items up on tables, chairs, hooks, or hanging rods. While some people might dig through boxes, most won’t. If boxes or baskets are absolutely needed, try using clear bins so items can easily be identified to customers.
Dinnerware – If you are selling sets of dinnerware, try displaying each piece on an actual dinner table. Setting up a realistic display (and don’t forget the tablecloth, place mats, and napkins) can help prospective customers envision each piece on their dinner table at home.
Clothing –When selling clothing at a yard sale, all items (with the exception of sweaters) should be hung on a portable clothes rack sorted by category, age or size. If a clothes rack is not available, try creating your own laundry line with hooks and durable string or rope. If neither of these options are available, fold clothes neatly and organize on a 6’ rectangular table. If you really want to make an impression, try hanging clothes on a wardrobe mannequin.
Pricing & Labels - Label each item individually. A sign designating one price for everything on the table can get confusing when people pick things up and put them back in a different place. Try using colored labels to color-code by price. For example, all items selling for $1 are pink. All items selling for $5 are green. Colored labels can be purchased at most office supply stores.
Keeping it Clean- People are thrilled to find cheap and useful things, but no one wants to buy anything that looks excessively used or dirty. Ensure all items you are selling are clean and dust-free. It’s worthwhile to throw clothes and linens in the washer before the yard sale. Things that look fresh will sell much faster and give people a good impression on how you take care of your items, which essentially may lead them to purchase more.
Signs – The most important part about a yard sale is attracting the customers. Nothing screams ‘Yard Sale Today’ like a neon colored sign mounted to a street post. When advertising your yard sale to the public, always use bright colored signs with legible handwriting. Signs should include the date, time, location, and contact number. If room permits, add arrows to each sign pointing customers toward your home. Hang multiple signs in the neighborhood, around the local grocery store, or even at the nearest elementary school. Try advertising the yard sale on Craigslist or combine marketing efforts and organize a yard sale with your neighbors.
Money, Money, Money! – The ultimate goal of a yard sale is to make money. If you’re going to make money, you have to manage your money. Setup a table in the back of the yard sale to collect incoming cash. Make sure you carry a stack of single bills and extra coins for customers paying with large bills. If you have kids, ask them to bake treats and offer them to customers after they’ve purchased items.
Kudos to you for letting go of your old stuff. Now that you have the basic tips for getting started, get going and begin organizing your blow-out yard sale because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!