Most of the time holding a yard sale is a once a year event. Having a yard sale is a lot of work, and takes a lot of time. But it’s possible to simplify the process by streamlining. Decide that you really want to get rid of stuff–no matter what. Don’t have a sale with the idea of making a ton of money as the focus. Emptying your basement, garage, and closets of unwanted clutter and junk should be your goal. The money is more of a fringe benefit on top of gaining valuable space.
Here’s an idea! Hold a “drive-by” sale. This sale is designed so that people who ‘drive-by’ in their car can see if there’s anything they want before they decide to stop.
Rummage through your garage and basement looking for large big-ticket items that can be seen easily from a car as people “drive-by.” These kinds of things include old lawn mowers, bikes, exercise equipment and unwanted furniture. You might have five large items or you might have ten. A key factor of holding a “drive-by” sale, is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time pricing items, you can even put up one sign that says, “best offer” and see what kind of offers you get.
The advantage of the “drive-by” sale is that people only stop if they see something they definitely want. Hold your “drive-by” sale on a Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. then close it up. You’ll have sold most if not everything of your larger items.
The next kind of sale is the traditional “yard sale”. This takes more time, but doesn’t have to be tedious.
Set up five or six tables. Put a single price on each table, so that all items on a certain table will be the same price. For example, the $1.00 table will only display items that you want to sell for a dollar.
A good system to follow, is: $5 table, $4, $3, $2, $1 and a free box.
As the sale progresses, move items to lower priced tables. Eventually whatever doesn’t sell should go into the free box. Remember, you are trying to get rid of stuff, so eventually giving it away if you have to, gets it out of your house.
A garage sale can be set up basically the same way, however you hold it in your garage. An advantage to holding it in the garage, is if it rains all you have to do is close the doors. It’s easy to reopen next weekend when the weather is more cooperative.
Don’t waste your money placing a garage sale ad in the local newspaper unless you’re holding a moving sale. Usually, there are a lot of sales going on during peak “sale” seasons so take advantage of the fact that people are out and looking for sales. Put signs in front of your home, and helium balloons also attract a lot of attention.
Avoid letting your friends sell things at your sale. You don’t want to end up spending your day schlepping someone else’s stuff and not making anything for your efforts. It’s easier when it comes to dickering and pricing too.
Wear a carpenter’s nail apron and keep your money and change in it. You will always have it with you and you don’t have to worry about someone stealing your cash box if you’re wearing it!
Let your kids have a lemonade stand at the same time. They’ll make a bundle of money too.
Decide early on how long you are going to be open for business then stick to that schedule.
Remember that you are trying to get rid of stuff, so as traffic starts to slow down, lower your prices to accommodate your need to get rid of stuff!
When you are tired of selling stuff, start giving it away. You can even put a ‘free’ sign in front of your home and neatly arrange the leftover items on your curb. In a small suburban town, your curb will be picked clean by sundown.