Have you had successful yard sales, or yards sales that were totally not worth it? I’m here to tell you I have had both.
What prompts me to have one in the first place? When my garage gets too full and messy. Our house is on the small side, so the garage is our Catch All. It’s a double garage, but we only can fit 1 car inside. When that becomes a problem it’s YARD SALE TIME! I usually get the itch when we have a big item to get rid of. Who wants to hall it to the dump, oh excuse me “transfer station”, and have to pay to get rid of it? For instance, my son turned 16 and has grown so fast in the last 2 years it was time to stop putting off getting him a new bed. He towers over my husband and was still in a single captains style bed, you know with the drawers underneath? Sorry Jeremy, we waited much too long. We of course buy him all the new stuff first before getting rid of the old stuff, that is just our way. So the old bed parts and mattress sat in the garage for 2 months. sigh. If I trip over a skateboard or empty water bottle one more time in that garage I’m gonna….
I usually start gathering stuff from every room in the house and pile it up out there until I can’t stand it anymore, then finally plan WHEN this yard sale is going to happen.
FIRST: how will people know about this fabulous sale?
I am lucky because our street is not too far from a very busy street and signs usually do the trick all by themselves. I make sure I place them at both ends of the street to get people from all directions, and put up an occasional arrow to help them get there.
Your signs gotta look good people.
You got to be able to read them at the very least!! A hand written sign in regular pen is a joke. You have wasted your time. You gotta write in very BOLD lettering to get attention! Bright colors are very helpful too. If you have a very specific style, its a good idea to keep all the signs the same so the boneheads (I’m sorry, customers) will figure it out when they find Your sale. I’ve had people make comments that they were confused because there were so many yard sales in the neighborhood they couldn’t figure out whose was whose. (Does it mater? you found one didn’t ya)
I don’t usually put ads in the newspaper (you know, that black and white paper thingy that piles up everywhere and you hardly even read it?) It would have cost me over $13 dollars to place a simple small add. This last time my daughter encouraged me to get out of the stone age and put it on Craigslist. If you have never used Craigslist, it was extremely simple, and FREE! One time I called SWAP and SELL on the radio at KQMS the show on Saturday mornings. That is also FREE! FREE is good.
OK, Big Pet Peeve: Early birds! Those people who come before 7:00 am and look thru your stuff before you are ready, even though your signs clearly state starts at 7:00! I have found the only way to beat them, is to be ready the night before with as much as you can so when you lift that garage door all you’ve got to do is drag the tables and stuff out. Walla, instant yard sale. Almost every sale I have done I did all by myself, the hubby is sooo not interested. So being ready is crucial. This includes pricing your items. You don’t have to price everything, but it sure cuts down on the questions. “How much do you want for this beautiful talking Star Wars book?” Even if you do price it all, they will still ask. That is just the way it is.
Have change ready ahead of time (don’t forget the quarters!). And keep it on your person at all times. I use my sexy fanny pack (hey, they are making a come back!)
Put all the good stuff and big items out front. I use the sidewalk. That way the “drive by’s” will be more likely to park, get out of their car and check it out.
Shade is good. If you have a canopy, put it up! If your stuff is under shade, people will not miss the priceless box in the back full of motivational cassette tapes you bought in the 80′s. (just dust them off a little, they’ll be great!)
This one is important; block off anything and everything that is not for sale. The rest of the garage, your house, your backyard, your pets, your kids. People see stuff, pick it up and think it is for sale. Be careful!
Have plastic or paper bags available. People expect them, like you are a store. They just do. You do not want to have to go inside your house for things too often, (i’m not very trusting, I’m just saying).
If you have cothes hanging up, use only wire hangers you don’t want anymore. People SWIPE them! Has happened to me many times.
BIGGER PET PEEVE: People who do not take down their signs after they are finished! Come on people, after 2 months they are just an eyesore! This town has a lot of yard sales every weekend. That is a lot of signs all over the place. REMOVE THEM!
So was my yard sale Worth It?
To me, worth it is when most of the junk in my yard is gone. If I have a little cash in my pocket, and I do not have to make a trip to the dump (it will always be “the dump” to me) then it was a smashing success! I am also happy when I can do it all in one day, I rarely have a two day yard sale because I cannot stand to sit out there all day!
HAPPY YARD SALING!