If one of your spring/summer goals is to get organized, cut the clutter and do some serious downsizing, you might want to consider having a yard sale. Planning a yard sale is like planning a wedding. They are a lot of work leading up to the event, but once the day comes they are fun and rewarding and unlike weddings, will actually put money in to your wallet. But don’t be fooled. There are well organized yard sales and then not-so organized yard sales. Setting up your sale in an organized fashion can often times be the difference from a shopper buying or not buying your goodies. Below are 15 things you must know before opening your doors to the public.
1. Great Signage.
The best way to get people to your sale is with signs and arrows. They take time to prepare, place and pick up - but trust me this is time well spent. If you do no other advertising create good signage and you won’t be disappointed.
2. Safety First.
Post a “No Public Restrooms” sign, lock your doors and windows and pull all shades/curtains. Know where the nearest public restroom is so you can give directions.
3. Create Departments.
Group your like items together, similar to how retail stores layout their space. Some of your departments might include: collectables, tools, infant, furniture, sporting goods, decor, linens, kitchen, electronics, books, toys and framed photos.
4. Save Space.
Make sure you give your shoppers enough space to shop! Create wide isles and easy enter and exit walkways.
5. Tables. Tables. Tables
Shoppers like things at eye-level. So make sure most of your stuff is up and off the ground. Your shoppers will appreciate not having to bend up and down. Make tables with saw horses and wood or borrow tables from friends or church.
6. Tarp It.
If you do have to put some items on the ground be sure to put a tarp down first. This is more pleasing to the eye. If you don’t have a tarp consider plastic sheets (like painters use) or blankets or bed sheets. Anything is better than the ground.
7. One Exception to Rule #3.
Accommodate children by placing toys at their eye and hand level.
8. Hang Clothes.
Adult clothes are usually a hard sell at a sale, unless you price and display them right. Hang clothes using a clothing rack or horizontal ladder.
9. Curb Appeal for Men.
Let’s face it. Women want to stop and shop, but the hard part is convincing men to pull over. So sellers, listen up! Put the “Men’s Department” close to the curb so they can see the goodies from the street. Great eye catchers for men are: tools, furniture, lawn equipment, boots, sporting goods and electronics.
10. Does it work?
Avoid this question by making sure all your electrical items are plugged in to an outlet so the shoppers can test it out.
11. FREE BOX.
Fill a box with items you are willing to give away (like magazines or fabric scraps). Make a sign that say’s “Free.” Now place this box where people driving-by can see it.
12. Not For Sale.
Avoid any confusion, buy placing “Not For Sale” Signs on those items that shoppers can see, but can not purchase.
13. Price it Right.
You are better off, selling a lot of stuff at very low prices, than a few things for a lot of money. This isn’t an art gallery and remember the point here is to declutter. A good rule of thumb is to price each item for about 20% of what you paid for it. For example, if you paid $5 for it, you could probably sell it for $1.00 or less.
14. Create Comfort.
Let shoppers shop in comfort. They will stay longer. Have easy listening music on in the background (songs people can sing a long to) and if it’s a hot day have fans going and sell bottled water. Also, have some on hand to do while people shop and you man the money (like your phone or a magazine). Greet people and be friendly, but don’t watch people shop. It makes them nervous.
15. Goodbye Stuff.
And last but not least, when the sale ends. Box up the leftovers and take it to a charity or schedule a donation pickup. Do not, I repeat, do not bring it back in to your home. Have a farewell ceremony and let it go and then sit back, relax and count your money. You deserve it.
Tiffany Engler is owner of Your Life Organized, LLC - a Professional Organizing Company based in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. Your Life Organized specializes in basements, garages, downsizing, entire home transformations, team organizing and yard sales. Tiffany is one of few organizers in Missouri Certified and President of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) - St. Louis Chapter. She is also a Certified FreedomFiler® Consultant, a member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and International Coach Federation. Tiffany is also a graduate of the Coach Approach for Organizers Foundation Courses and trained to coach her clients through organizing challenges. For more organizing tips be sure to visit her website at www.yourlifeorganizedstl.com.
Would you like to reprint this article in your publication -- or distribute it to a wider audience? Click here for reprinting instructions.
Want to receive these kind of articles via e-mail each month? Sign up for a free newsletter subscription.
Click here to return to "Organized For A Living" -- September 2011...
www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.