You can find many good articles on the Web that give you tips and ideas for holding a garage or yard sale. A good article on this site, Associated Content, is Tips on Hosting a Successful Yard Sale. All 10 suggestions included in that article are right on target, but I’d like to offer a few tips from my experience.
1. If you know you are going to use something for only a short time, such as a baby toy, be sure to keep the instructions and the box, if possible. You’ll get more money for your items at your yard sale if they appear as new as possible.
2. If you don’t have much to sell at your yard sale, find a friend who lives in an apartment to join your sale. They will be pleased with the opportunity to get rid of some of their old junk, and your expanded yard sale will draw in more potential buyers. If you have a friend with baby items to sell, that is the best. Baby stuff goes like hotcakes, albeit I’ve never tried to sell hotcakes at a yard sale before.
3. Unless what you are trying to sell is just complete garbage, don’t price it any lower than 25 cents. If people are going to pay a nickel or a dime for that “Big and Rich” CD that came free with your Prilosec, they’re going to shell out a quarter. And you’ll be surprised how quickly those shiny quarters add up to yard sale dollars.
4. Add a few dollars to the prices of more expensive items so that you have some wiggle room in case people want to haggle with you. You can always lower your prices if the items aren’t selling or you see that someone is really interested.
5. In addition to placing a classified ad in your local newspaper, promote your yard sale for free with a posting on Craigslist.com if you live near a city that has a craigslist site. There are 23 in the United States. Visit craigslist.com to see the list.
6. Be ready for early birds by doing as much preparation for your yard sale as you can the night before. Lay the items that you’ll be selling out on your tables inside the garage, and then move them out onto the driveway or lawn the next morning when your yard sale begins. Having as many of your displays ready as possible will prevent you from having to rush when those persistent early birds start circling.
7. When you’re displaying your items, think of your yard sale like it’s a department store. If you have a book on sushi and a box of pencils that look like chopsticks, place those items together. If a buyer comes along who likes one of those items, chances are good that she’ll take both. The same goes for electronics, baby items and house wares. Place similar items together so that buyers don’t miss anything they might like.
8. Place hot-selling items such as large baby toys or electronics closest to the street so passers-by can see them. Many people drive by yard sales and stop only when they see something that interests them. Try to pull these people in by placing your best items where people can easily spot them.
9. This sounds terrible, but place toys and stuffed animals on a low table where children can reach them. A kid who won’t stop asking mom or dad for that cute little doll or stuffed dog can be very persuasive. Hey, do you want to get rid of that junk or not?
10. When your tables start looking picked over, consolidate your items onto fewer tables and move them so that it looks like you still have a good amount and variety of items left for sale.
11. Make a few extra bucks by selling snacks or drinks at your yard sale. People usually go to yard sales first thing in the morning to get the best bargains, so they might have skipped breakfast. Cookies are a hot seller, and I’m sure cups of coffee would be, too. I usually make homemade chocolate chip cookies and sell them two for a quarter in little snack baggies, but you do run the risk of someone suing you for making them ill if you make the food yourself. You might want to stick to selling the small, prepackaged bags of cookies or cans of soda.
I hope this tips for a successful yard sale were helpful to you. Have a great yard sale!