Never Fail at Another Yard Sale

By Kaitlyn Crocker on May 14, 2014 at 6:00 am EST
Make sure your yard sale doesn't fail by following seven simple tips.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Kelsi Farrington

If you’ve ever put on a yard sale before, more than likely you dread ever doing it again. But spring and summer are the seasons for selling, and there’s no better way to sell off unused items for some extra cash. Start planning your next “yard party” today!

1. Change the aura of your yard.

Looking at your yard sale as a job can make it seem more burdensome than fun, a key element in a successful selling weekend. Instead, see your event as a chance to shed some of your winter skin (and clothes), meet new people, exchange ideas and offer up creative solutions on how others can make treasures of your “junk.” Lay out your yard festively, strew blankets in the yard, old Christmas lights in the trees, and make it a place where people would want to stop and look around.

2. Showcase your goods.

Pull out your DIY tools and get creative – embellish your goods in appealing ways. Create for your guests the vision of what each thing could be and how each piece has a unique style. Use card tables, wine crates, old luggage and other mediums to give your items an extra kick. Take a stroll through Pinterest for cute ideas on displays and price tags.

3. Advertise in advance.

Even the most magnificently displayed yard sales would fail without advertisement, and this doesn’t have to be expensive. Start spreading the word one to two weeks before your sale. Use Craigslist to post local ads, create a Facebook event, and set out traditional signs within and outside of your neighborhood.

4. A new sales concept.

Theme your sale. Are you selling a lot of kitchen goods? Dub it your “tea party.” Are you a gardener? Invite people to your garden party where you can also sell sweet flower arrangements in mason jars. Another draw for locals on a warm day is to invite neighbor kids to set up a lemonade stand and make some change themselves. 

5. Be ready for any transaction.

Have plenty of cash change on hand as well as a credit card reader. Some good options for smartphones are Intuit and Square. Also, keep an inventory of everything sold. If multiple people are selling with you, keep track of which items and money belong to them as they are sold.

6.  Last-minute liquidation.

During the final afternoon of your yard sale, begin advertising a “liquidation” sale for the last several hours. Most big buyers will come in the morning, so unless you want to haul everything back to your shed, it’s best to get rid of your items, even at a discounted price.

*Have signs ready to display for the final discount sale, and be sure to update your Facebook event and/or tweet about the final countdown deals!

7. A neighborhood affair.

Invite friends and neighbors to bring some of their own goodies they’d like to sell. By increasing the size, scope and variety of your yard sale, more people will be likely to stop by and also hear about it through additional sellers. 

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