Yard sales are an easy way to clean house and make a little money at
the same time. When the basement, garage or attic overflows with junk,
you simply put a few signs on trees announcing your upcoming sale,
then set up shop for the day. This requires no special entrepreneurial
skills to boot.
Now granted, most yard sales only pull in an extra $200 or so but you
could bring in as much as $1200 from the same merchandise (or maybe
you have a web site with goods that didn't sell quite so well, just
them down and display them with your other yard sale goods) by applying
a little yard sale know-how.
*Get experience. Volunteer to help out your neighbor or a friend whose
having a yard sale. Spend some time watching the shoppers and take
note of which items and types of displays that attract them.
*When choosing a date for your sale avoid holiday weekends. Saturday
and Sunday usually work well.
*Start your yard sale early in the morning around 7 AM to catch the
*If you have a choice, pick a spot that is heavily trafficked.
block or two off a main street work best.
*Have plenty of merchandise and if you don't ask a few neighbors to
forces with you.
Reader's tip: These garage/yard sale tips came in time to really help me
organize. I've never done this, will be part of a large flea market day and I
have LOTS of useful things and so many books! Thank you...Ann
*Clean and repair items. Clothing should be washed and ironed, jewelry
polished and furniture dusted.
*Price items ahead of time. Many shoppers hate to ask about price so
make it easy for them to buy. Clearly mark all items with easily
tags. Ask for about 25-30% more than you want so that you'll have room
to negotiate for customers who like to bargain.
If you have a shop on the net or do auctions by all means include these
items at special prices.
Promotion: It pays to advertise in the local paper a few days before
event. Yes! Dedicated bargain shoppers do comb the ads for yard sales.
In your ad mention a few of the more interesting items you plan, i.e.,
computer, antiques, equipment.
Make your own posters on standard-size paper and put them up on
bulletin boards and telephone poles. Once again, be sure to mention
some of your special items.
The more attractive and fun you make your signs the more likely you'll
be to attract impulse shoppers. Use clip art, transfer letters and
colors but remember simple is better. Large arrows pointing in the
direction of your yard sale is much more effective than directions. Try
have a sign up at every intersection within a two-mile radius of your
Reader's tip: Make the things slightly over double of what you want but shout that everything is half price. Then you will get slightly more than you want and people will feel special and buy more...Kiara
Day of Sale: Get help with your yard sale. You should have at least two
people to deal with the heavy traffic and also to watch out for theft.
Many cars will slow down and look, then keep going. To reel these
people in put up a sandwich-board sign announcing the sale in front of
your house or car. Make your sale look attractive from the road by
stringing crepe paper runners, colorful ribbons or balloons up front.
your best items up front so that they can be seen easily.
Don't just pile your stuff up any old way. Make it attractive so people
want to stop. Cover your tables with bright colored cloth, group
items together, hang clothing up, display jewelry against a dark
*Be friendly. Make potential customers like you. Offer a handshake, a
coke and a smile. Tell shoppers about special items or point out items
related to their special interest. Make them feel like guest in your
People shop at yard sales not only for bargains but also for
Make your yard sale fun with mystery bags or a free box of stuff you
really don't care about. Have music playing in the background. Give a
few balloons away to the children. You can offer free or low cost
Make people want to stay and they'll spend more money.
Reprinted with permission.