In order for businesses to be successful, they have to constantly reinvent themselves and create ideas that will appeal to their audiences. The key to a successful yard sale is to look at it as a business. Just like any event or product, you want to try to draw attention through advertisement and uniqueness. Although it is not a day-to-day job, you can prepare for this event in advance to ensure success. If you are planning to make a profit at your yard sale, you are actually at a disadvantage in comparison to a day-to-day operated business. You only have one shot to make the most amount of money and do not have the luxurys of making up for previous day losses. So, ask yourself, what can you do to make this event work? How can you throw a successful Yard Sale?
When throwing a yard sale, many people depend on their neighbors to be the kind customers. The problem is, you may only have a limited number of neighbors in comparison to the amount of articles you have at your sale. Just like a business, you want to expand your customer base by advertising. There are several ways you can advertise your sale to the public. A favorite and inexpensive way is to put an add in your local pennysaver newspaper. Instead of just stating the date and time of the sale, draw people in by naming a few of your valuable articles. Run the ad a couple days before the actual event so that it will be fresh in people’s mind. You can also add that you will be serving free refreshments. Let’s face it, the word ‘”free” often raises people’s interests.
Without spending money, you can hang up neon signs around your neighborhood and pass out flyers. Be creative and advertise in your church, bulletins as well. If your church sessions are held on Sundays, arrange to hold your yard sale on that same day. Many people will already be out of the house and may scurry directly to your event. Along with paper advertisements, use word of mouth tactics to attract co-workers, friends, and families.
Many people throw a yard sale and assume that they will be happy with any profit made. If businesses had this same attitude, they would be out of service within a month’s time. As the owner and operator of your event, estimate a profit that you would like to make. Deduct the costs involved in advertising and price your items according to your needs. You may want to price some articles higher, because in some cases people will want to negotiate the costs. Always pre-price your articles or you may find yourself negotiating too much, leaving you with minimal profits.
PLANNING A YEAR IN ADVANCE
Many people do not give much thought to their sales event. Instead, they do their spring cleaning and immediately throw items on the front lawn with the hopes of making $30. If you take enough time to clean out your clutter, then find a way to be rewarded for your hard work. Pre-plan your event for a year. Every season, de-clutter your house and collect items from friends and family. You can also go as far as shopping at discounted stores such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army when they have tremendous tag sales. You may be able to get a Ralph Lauren/Polo shirt for a buck and sell it at your yard sale for five times the cost. There is the chance that it won’t sell at all. However, to be successful you must take risks. While planning in a year’s time, you can also collect samples from various companies and give them away as free gifts at your yard sale. You want to advertise to the public that they will, in fact, recieve a free item just for browsing. Daily, I receive 2-5 samples in the mail, which is more than enough to hand out to the customers.
GET OTHERS INVOLVED
By getting others involved, you can create a massive sale and huge attraction. Get your neighbors involoved in the action and create a block party/yard sale. This will only increase the number of attendents and customers. With more people involved, advertising expands and more connections are made. This will also help to build up a reputation for years to come.
SOME ADDED EXTRAS
If you are truly looking to make a nice profit, you can differentiate your yard sale by selling inexpensive foods such as cookie packs, nachos, or other home-made items. From my own experiences, I have made over $100 in profits by just making a crockpot of cheese and serving them with discounted nacho chips. Let’s face it, people are attracted to food and often love the thought of purchasing baked goods. This is your day, so make the most of it!
By getting other organizations involved, you can draw a different crowd to your event while increasing your sales and customer base. One way to get another organization involved in by throwing a charity raffle, specifically a 50/50 raffle to the public. Many people support their churches and will jump at the chance to spend $2 on a raffle ticket. You are using this organization to help yourself make profits, however, consider that you are also giving back to the community. If you decline an opportunity to involve another organization, simply make up your own goodie basket and raffle off tickets for $1. In most cases, people will take to the idea because, after all, it’s only a $1.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFT OVER ITEMS
Chances are, you will end up with some of the items you intended to de-clutter from your household. You can do a few things with these items. Many people throw them directly in the trash, however, you can look at donating them to non-profit organizations. You can do this out of the kindness of your heart, or for the tax write-off option. You can also pack the items away for next year’s event. Personally, I have been successful at selling the same items in following years. If you are in need of more cash you can place your remaining items on sites like Ebay and Amazon.