Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guest Post: Planning a Great Yard Sale & Extra Money-Making Tips

In the guest post, Kathryn Vercillo, of the Money Saving Blog, has a sweet list of tips for running an efficient garage sale:

Tips for Running an Efficient Yard Sale

Yard sales aren’t just an easy breezy way to make quick cash. They require a lot of planning and a little bit of work. Nevertheless, if you put in that effort then you should be rewarded with some cash in hand at the end of the day. Plus you’ll have less stuff cluttering up your home. Following you’ll find some top tips for running an efficient yard sale so that the process goes along easily and you maximize your profits.

Preparing for a Yard Sale

The bulk of your work will go into preparing for the yard sale. Here are some tips to make that go smoothly:

• Set aside enough time to prepare. You’ll need time to gather the stuff for sale, sort it, label it with prices and announce the event. Set aside that time on your calendar.

Gather sale merchandise. Make a pile and put it in one room in your home so you can see what you’ve got.

Sort through everything by creating piles by price. You should have a $1 pile, a $5 pile, etc. Small items can be organized in bins, boxes and bags so that they stay within their price-based pile.

Label each pile with its price. Signage works best but price stickers are another option.

Make every item look nice. This may be junk to you but it could be treasure to someone else and you want them to think so. Wipe the dust off of your things and iron the clothes that are for sale. You don’t need to do major repairs but make an effort to make things look as valuable as possible.

Announce the yard sale. List the sale in local classifieds (such as Craigslist). Send an e-mail out to everyone you know. Post an announcement on your Facebook. All of these announcements should clearly state when and where the sale is and should list some of the best items that you have available. Photos of top items are a good idea.

Post signs around the neighborhood. On the night before the sale (or early the morning of) put up signs to point people in your direction.

Get cash. Make sure you have change for making sales.

Running the Yard Sale

The day of your yard sale may feel hectic but these tips should make it efficient:

Get started early. People start showing up for yard sales as early as 6am so you want to make sure that you’re up and out in your yard even before that.

Check signs. Make sure your signs are up. Double-check them if you put them up the night before.

Set up. Lay out your items based on the prices you designated earlier. Use blankets and tables to separate the piles so people can clearly see what things cost.

Get some help. People show up in clusters at yard sales. Having a friend or two to help run the sale makes it go a lot more smoothly.

Be friendly but not aggressive. People want to see a friendly face at a yard sale but they don’t want to be approached by a salesman!

Cut prices. Slash your prices in half in the afternoon. Very few people come to yard sales late in the day and those who do are looking for bargains. Pick a time to end the sale and cut prices a couple of hours before that.

When the Sale Is Over

You’re going to have some stuff left over when the sale has come to an end. You should deal with it efficiently to finish out your sale. First you should identify if there are any items that you would like to try to sell elsewhere. If you have high-end furniture, vintage clothing or other good items then you may try to sell them on eBay, Craigslist or to local stores. Make a commitment to list these items for sale within one week so you’re not just hanging on to this junk. Everything else should be bagged up and dropped in a donation bin within the same week.

--Kathryn Vercillo of the Money Saving Blog, which was named one of the Top 20 British personal finance blogs earlier this year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It would also be helpful to those driving around to check out such sales the next weekend, to go around and take your signs down.
We have signs around town that those sales have been over and they are all still up. Thanks.