How to Have a Yard Sale that Makes Money

by on March 8th, 2015
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Have you ever been to a yard sales where thing were just lying around randomly, or thrown into a messy heap in boxes? Or items weren’t even priced? I’ve been to a few bad ones in my time. And most often I just left rather than pick through piles of someone’s junk or have to ask for prices.

Sales in someone’s garage are just as bad as a crappy yard sale. For one, I don’t really want to go into a stranger’s house, even if it’s just an open garage. And two, people store their stuff in there. It’s usually still there for the sale, and it can be hard to tell at first what’s for sale and what’s not. It’s just uncomfortable.

If you want to make money at your yard sale, do it right. Here are some tips to help make your next sale a profitable one.

If you want to have a lot of people know about your sale, you’ll need to advertise for it at least a couple weeks in advance. This means your going to need to know what you’ll be selling, so you can have these things to list on your flyers and other advertisements. So start taking an inventory of what you want to sell at least a week or two before you start putting fliers up.

If you start planning a month ahead, you should have everything in order when it needs to be. Make a checklist of everything that needs to be done, and when. Do you need to borrow some tables for the sale? Do you need to clean anything or do any repairs on items that might fetch more money? Are you going to buy signs or make them yourself? Are there any major holidays or events in town on the weekend of your yard sale? Being well organized is going to be a major factor in how profitable your sale is going to be.

If no one knows you’re having a yard sale, you’re not going to make much money. You can improve your chances of bringing in customers if you advertise well. Run an ad in your local paper the week before the sale. Two weeks is even better.

Make fliers and place copies on community bulletin boards, as many as you can find. Look for bulletin boards in grocery and convenience stores, at laundromats, the library, schools, community centers.

The morning of your sale, put up signs directing people to it. Use balloons if your city permits it, and people driving by will notice your signs more easily.

A messy yard sale is a turn off. Make sure your yard is clean and free of clutter. Remove anything that’s not for sale. Use tables if you can to place your sale items on, and have everything arranged in a neat manner. Make sure everything for sale is clean and nice looking.

If you have a way to hang up clothing, that’s ideal, it’s easier for people to look through, and they won’t be able to leave things a mess as easily, and you won’t be having to refold things every fifteen minutes.

Make things easy for your customers. Keep like items together, and have an extension cord with an adapter out so people can see how any electric items are working. Label items that aren’t obvious. It’s a good idea to have a friend around who can help with the sale, with one person taking care of the money, and the other to keep things neat and organized. It’s good to help customers if they have a question, but by all means, don’t annoy them by following them around and being too helpful.

Keep things simple. Price items in .25 cent increments (.50 cents, 2.00, 3.50) If you do use a price list, make sure you have a price list near the actual items, plus a main price list at your table where you’re taking money. If you’re pricing things using stickers, make sure you write the price and the item on the sticker, to avoid price-tag switchers.

One great way to make extra money at your yard sale is to sell snacks and drinks. If you planned ahead, you chose a nice warm summer day for your sale, and customers are going to be thirsty, and will buy your bottled water or soft drinks, and maybe a snack for their kids.

Buy discounted bottled water, soft drinks, bottled iced tea, and other drinks, and sell them at a profit during your sale. Set out a large cooler full of ice and drinks, and put up a sign “cold drinks, $1″. You can also put out a basket of small packaged snacks, like chips, nuts, dried fruit, cookies. It’s less confusing to just decide on one price for snacks and drinks.

Items like exercise equipment, furniture, electronics and antiques bring in customers. Make sure big-ticket items are listed in all of your advertisements to draw in more people.

Put larger items, like furniture, as close to the street as possible, in a place that’s the most easily accessible for transferring to a customer’s vehicle. Having a couple strong family members or friends around who can help with lifting heavy items is a good idea.

This is a good time to sell any crafts or artwork, such as prints or paintings. Keep these items separate, and make sure they’re labeled as your own work. You could also attach a business card to each piece of your artwork.


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