How to have a perfect yard (garage) sale

Yard sales are the perfect way to not only get rid of your own junk but also a way you can use to flip items you’ve bought.  When hosting a yard sale this year, follow these 9 easy steps in order to have a perfect yard sale.  It’ll increase sales and pave the way for a successful day.

Advertise Your Yard Sale

If you don’t advertise, the only people you will attract are the few that happen to be driving by. Use all the free tools out there to get the word out.

Gsalr is great website dedicated to yard (garage) sales.  You can use it to post your sale anywhere in the country.  It also allows you to search for other yard (garage) sales nearby so that you can time yours appropriately.

Besides Gsalr, there is also Craigslist, your local paper, or popular community bulletin boards you can use to get the word out.  If you like using mobile apps, a great mobile app called NextDoor can also be used to advertise yard sales to people within neighboring neighborhoods.

No matter what you use, clearly state hours of the sale and give readers a flavor of the items you have to offer.

Have Enough Items

Don’t bother wasting your time if you only have a few items for sale. If you do then you’re better off selling online like on eBay or Craigslist.  If you only have a single
table worth of items you might want to see if you can work with your neighbors or wait until you have more items for sale.

Have Great Signs

garage sale sign

Some potential customers will be impulse shoppers, pulled in from the main roads while dropping the kids off at soccer practice or getting an oil change. Appeal to
these folks by having clear, easy-to-spot signs that direct them from main routes.  Opt for white signs with bold black print and opt for big arrows rather than a lot of text.   A bunch of balloons prominently displayed at the final destination is a cheap but effective way of letting drivers know they’ve arrived at the right spot. When the same is done, remove the signs to avoid litter and frustrated late-comers.

Avoid High Prices

Remember, this is a yard sale so don’t be trying to sell one-of-a-kind items or things higher than a few hundred bucks.  You’re better off listing those items separately on eBay or Craigslist.  Price your items to move them and be open to negotiation is another way to welcome interaction with your customers and make
the day a bit more interesting.   If you want to be a pro negotiator, check out my blog post about How to Negotiate like a Boss – Part II.

Mark Prices on Everything

price stickers

Although some people love to negotiate, some don’t.  Those who don’t, if they don’t see something marked most likely they will just skip the item.  So make sure you take some time to mark all the individual items.  If you have a lot of similar things, throw them into a box and mark the box.  If you have a lot of unique pieces that you want to display you can skip the box and opt for a table.  Simply market the table a set price.

Avoid Disorder

Shoppers usually don’t mind digging a bit but don’t throw 30 pairs of shoes into a container and expect customers to go fish for the right sizes.  Separate men’s and women’s clothing, mark sizes if they’re not apparent, and price your items clearly. If you’re hosting a large sale, keep the toys and kids’ clothes in a distinct area. This can help families navigate larger sales and help parents keep track of the kids with less stress.  Same concept with electronics, yard tools, books.  Put each type of item together and separated from one another.

No Change

Your customers will come from all walks of life.  You don’t know what type of bills they may have in their pockets or purses.  Make sure to have enough small bills and change ready to deal with the 10’s, 20’s and 100’s that will inevitably come your way.  Nothing is worse than a customer passing up because you can’t provide change.

Get a Permit

You might think you’ll save a few dollars by not getting a permit from the city, but not if you wind up getting fined when the inspectors stop by.

Make Items Look Presentable

clean glass

Since you’re having a yard sale, you don’t have to bother making everything look new or dry cleaning the clothes you’re selling.  But first impressions are important so spend a few minutes rising, dusting, sorting and disinfecting the items you have for sale.  There you have it, now you know how to have a perfect yard sale.

Good Luck!

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