Monday, August 29, 2011

21 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

A yard sale is a lot of work but can be a real money maker if you know the "tricks of the trade." Here are my tips for having a fabulous sale that brings in lots of profits.

1. Pick a Date, but don't plan too far in advance. If Tim doesn't set a date for our sales I won't start the actual work of the sale. Picking a date gives me a deadline to work toward, and gets my tookas in gear.

2. Check the Weather. Since you aren't planning too far in advance, pick a day that has a good forecast. People will come out in hot weather, but only the most hardcore will come to a sale in the rain.

3. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise. Put an ad in the local newspaper and in the small papers in close towns. You can place notices for yard sales for free on and Craigslist. Put something on your personal facebook account (keeping in mind that you will have to let people know your address).

4. Make plenty of Signage. Make sure you have signs out directing people to the sale. In addition, there are a lot of people out there that don't get the paper or check the internet for sales. But if they see a sign for your sale and they are close by they will stop and see what you have for sale. Signage is a must.

5. Price Everything. Many people want to get in and out of the sale with minimal interaction and if the item they want isn't priced, they aren't going to ask about it. They'd rather leave without it than have to ask.

6. Price to sell. People these days don't have a lot of money to spend. They expect to get a large bag full of stuff for 5 or 10 dollars. Pricing is a tricky business. Room to barter down has to be built in but if items are priced too high customers will walk away empty handed. I always search the web for "yard sale prices"; there are a number of good guides available.

7. Have your sale in a location that can be seen well from the street so that those that didn't get the word can stop when they see it.

8. The more you have to sell, the better. Hit up your parents, friends, etc., for things they want to get rid of. Passersby are more likely to stop if they see a large variety of lots of stuff.

9. Assure plenty of parking. If they can't park, they can't stop!

10. Make your house look inviting. It may go without saying, but mow the lawn, clean up the flowerbeds and the porch. The friendlier looking your house is, the more customers you'll have.

11. Set up your goods logically. Put all of the toiletries in one place, the books and electronics in another. People don't want to sift through everything. If they have to, they just might leave.

12. Stage your sale. Make nice looking displays of your goods. Concentrate specifically on items geared toward women, as they especially will appreciate a nice looking display.

13. Make sure your items are clean. No one wants to buy a dirty shirt or a dusty table.

14. Make your walkway hazard free, as handicapped accessible as possible, and allow room for 2+ people between tables. You will get quite a few elderly people at your sales. If they don't think they can navigate your aisles, they wont bother getting out of their cars.

15. Start your sale with plenty of change. You don't want to have to turn someone away because they only have a twenty and you don't have enough ones to make change.

16. Have plenty of empty bags of all sorts of sizes. Offer a bag to someone who has gathered up a lot of items. If they can carry things easier they might buy more, not to mention that it's good customer service.

17. Keep you dogs out of view. The dog lovers out there might not agree, but there are a lot of people who do not relish the thought of being jumped on or accosted by your pups. Even is they aren't jumpers, barkers, etc., don't give people the opportunity to skip by your sale because they see a dog.

18. When advertising, use the following keywords if they apply: multifamily, huge, collectibles, tools, household items, items for baby/toddler, and cheap. They will draw people in.

19. Take early birds. Your sale doesn't start until 8, but a few customers show up before then. Let them shop while you set up. You never know if they'll buy and you don't want to lose the money that they'll spend.

20. Smile! Have you ever been to a yard sale where the people holding it are so surly and mean looking that you want to run? Don't be that sales person. Say hello and be nice. Your customers will appreciate it.

21. Don't hover. Let your customers shop without feeling like they have to buy. Lay back and make your sale low pressure. Let your customers relax and they just may stay longer.

Do you have any other tips? Let me know! Let's all have fantastic sales and make fab cash!
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Lois Evensen said...

It sounds as if you're ready for your next sale!!! All the best for a really good one.

Jennifer @ said...

Ok, so I'd go to that sale because of the sign alone. Great marketing. :)

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