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You Are Here: Home - Newsletters - "Get Organized" - Article

     Having A Yard Sale


For many of us, spring-cleaning is an annual ritual. However, donít stop at washing the floors and vacuuming under the bed. Spring is a great time to tackle your organizational projects. Once you have done this, make some money and clean out your home! Below you will find some tips on how to make your YARD SALE as profitable and successful as possible.
ADVERTISING

Set up signs around your neighborhood, in grocery stores, and at the major cross-streets in your neighborhood. Don't forget about free online listings, such as Craigís List and the many "yard sale" websites. And die-hard yard-salers still check the NEWSPAPER for ads, so place an inexpensive one in your local paper.
BE CONSIDERATE

Check with your NEIGHBORS and let them know about the expected increase in traffic. Do everything you can to make sure your sale doesn't inconvenience or irritate your neighbors. And be sure to confirm that you have no neighbored rules regarding yard sales.
BAN TOGETHER

Consider having a GROUP or neighborhood yard sale. More items for sale will draw more customers. And it's guaranteed that your neighbors, church members, fellow moms, or cub scout parents have some junk they need to clean out too. Don't forget to ask family members if they have items they would like you to sell at your yard sale.
MAKE IT OBVIOUS

On the day of the yard sale, post clear SIGNS directing potential customers to your home. Post them in both directions with arrows and the address in bold print. Remember to take them down after your event. Decorate your yard with balloons, banners and streamers to catch the eye of passers by.
SET THE SCENE

You want to make your customers as COMFORTABLE as possible. Make sure the area you are using is bright enough. Use spotlights and lamps from your home if necessary. Have some baked goods and drinks on hand for them to enjoy while they browse. Play soft music (nothing too jarring to your neighbors, especially early in the morning) to invoke a more welcoming, social atmosphere. The longer people hang out, the more likely they are to buy.
MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO BUY

Create a CHILDREN'S section so that kids can play with toys before they purchase them. This also allows the adults to shop quietly. Have extension cords on hand so customers can test appliances and other electronics. If they know it works, they will be more likely to take it home! If you are selling clothes, put a full-length mirror out for customers to use. And have plenty of boxes and BAGS ready for your customerís to take home their new treasures in.
PROTECTING YOURSELF

Make sure you lock your home and garage. You will not be able to pay attention to your home for most of the day, and you don't want strangers wandering inside (and possibly wandering out with things you didn't intend to get rid of). Use a fanny pack instead of a moneybox to store change and customerís payments. Even a locked moneybox can be stolen.
THE BOTTOM LINE

Clearly mark each item with its PRICE -- no one should have to guess or ask a price. Use blue painterís tape so the item will not be damaged. And have bargains! Yard sale customers love bargains so have a table where all items costs $1, have a 50% off bin, and even a buy one get one table! Also, be ready to NEGOTIATE with customers -- haggling is half the fun.
HEDGING YOUR BETS

Think about the weather -- have tarps or tents ready, or an alternative date ready in case of RAIN. Also have a back up plan ready for the items that do not get sold -- either plan to drop LEFTOVERS off at a donation site, or contact a charity that will pick up when your sale is over.
SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN'T YOU?

A yard sale can be a great way to clean out your house and make some MONEY while doing it! Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of your time commitment versus your possible tax deduction before taking on the task. Involve your kids and family and a yard sale can be a lot of fun. Consider using the money you make to take a family adventure!

 


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