5 Secrets to Having a Successful Yard Sale

Spring is yard sale season. I love shopping yard sales, and I have held many yard sales to get rid of items our family no longer needs or uses. Perhaps you have been spring cleaning, realized there is a lot of stuff your family owns that you don’t use anymore, and are considering having a yard sale. Here are 5 secrets to consider when planning your yard sale:

1.Be positive that you have the time and effort to put having a successful yard sale. Yard sales SOUND easy, but they are actually a whole lot of work. You have to make signs, set up tables, put everything out on tables, label items, etc. Clean-up and set-up take quite awhile. If you think it through and decide the work of a yard sale isn’t for you, you can always look for local donation bins or charities instead.

 2. Plan the right dates.Never, ever have your yard sale on a holiday weekend — not Memorial Day, 4th of July, Easter weekend, or Labor Day. You will not do as well on a holiday weekend because people are busy and not going yard-sale shopping. Also, plan on having your yard sale for at least 2 days (Friday-Saturday), to encourage more people to stop by.  If you plan your yard sale, and then see that the weather looks “iffy”, always switch to a different weekend. Most people do not enjoy going to yard sales in the rain or in cold weather.  Spring and fall are best–summer heat also discourages potential shoppers

3. Advertise properly!  The best form of free advertising is online. Make sure you post your yard sale on Craigslist. Also, check into local Facebook groups, or Facebook online yard sale sites to advertise your yard sale. Newspaper advertising is another option, depending on the price. I would not personally pay more than $20 for a newspaper yard sale ad.  For signs, bright poster board and big, plain letters are a must. Post signs everywhere, up and down the street. Consider attaching balloons to your signs. Once you have all your signs out, drive by them to make sure they are placed where passers-by can see them well.

4. Be organized. Have your items sorted and labeled before the day of the yard sale. Label everything — buyers typically dislike having to ask for a price. Have items sorted by “type”, and clothes sorted by size. Items neatly folded and hung will sell better than items scattered all over the place. Borrow tables from friends; buyers don’t like having to kneel over and look at things that are laying on the ground.

5. Be ready for early-birds. If you advertised your yard sale to start at 8:00 a.m., be set up and ready at least an hour before that. Have plenty of change ready also (this should include dollar bills as well as quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies!). Be ready when the first “early-bird” shoppers arrive at your yard sale. Many times, you can sell a lot of items before your yard sale even officially begins.

Have fun, and enjoy your sale! It’s also a great idea to plan a specific use for any money you earn (such as putting it towards a family vacation or activity or charity).   Do you have any other suggestions for yard sale success?  Please share in the comments.

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