Throwing a good yard sale is a lot like throwing a party–you want lots of people to come, have a good time, and not leave empty-handed. So when you’re planning a yard sale, think of it as a party you’re having–and follow these five tips to have the best yard sale on your block. Enlist the grown-ups to run the sales, and let the kids set up lemonade stands for thirsty shoppers.
Invite the Neighbors
The first thing you do when you have a party is to invite the neighbors, and a yard sale is no exception. Get as many families as you can to join you in the yard sale; the bigger the sale, the more traffic you’ll get. Also, when you expand your sale you get the benefit of your neighbor’s expertise–if you’re not good with social media, chances are good you have a neighbor who’s a Facebook whiz. And social media is a must for a successful yard sale.
Post On Social Media
Post your sale on social media. Facebook is the best place to start–it’s free, and your neighborhood probably has a local “For Sale” page. The website Estatesales.com is a great resource for getting the word out online–for a small fee you can post your sale, add pictures, and describe your sale. They won’t disclose your address until the day before the sale.
You can also post on these websites and apps.
Take pictures of everything you have for sale, especially the bigger or more unusual things, and write up a short description.
Don’t forget to advertise your sale the old-fashioned way–a classified ad in the paper, flyers on bulletin boards in coffee shops, the library, grocery store, or anywhere advertising is allowed in your community. The day before your sale, place colorful directional signs around the neighborhood and a couple of main roads so buyers can find you without referring to their GPS.
Merchandise and Stage Your Stuff
Stage your stuff with a couple of big things out front, and the best stuff towards the back, so people see everything. Rent or borrow tables for the small things, so your customers don’t have to bend over to get to the small stuff. These tips will help you get the most from your sale day.
- Make sure you’ve dusted and cleaned everything that’s for sale.
- Organize things on tables–kitchen together, linens together, and clothes and shoes sorted by size.
- Simplify your pricing with color-coded labels, and make a sign that lets customers know what every color means in dollars.
Closing The Sales
Make sure you have LOTS of change–shoppers will come with rolls of tens and twenties. Get at least $100 in smaller bills, you’ll be amazed how much change you need to make.
Cash is still king, but some buyers will want to send you the money via mobile app. Zelle, Venmo, and Paypal are the best apps for peer-to-peer cash transfers. Fees are between 0 and 2%, depending on the app and the transfer terms.
Save your shopping bags and newspapers–many shoppers bring their own bags, but it’s nice to have some handy. The paper lets you wrap breakables before you bag them.