How to Have a Successful Yard Sale
If you're looking for a way to raise money for a specific cause or make a little extra cash, consider having a yard sale! Last March, my friend and I planned our sorority's yard sale to benefit Relay for Life. It was more successful than we ever imagined, and we made over $800! But we still learned a lot and came up with many ways to improve this year’s yard sale. Here are a few tips so you can have a successful yard sale too!
Choose a Date & Time
Spring is prime yard sale time because of the mild weather, and we host ours in March. Choose a Saturday that is not a holiday because many people are out of town. If there is a big sale or market in your community, set your sale on the same day so that potential customers will already be out and ready to buy! For example, in our city the Junior League hosts a Bargainza each year and we had many customers at our yard sale that were already out shopping at Bargainza. It is also a good idea to set the date after spring break so that sisters can bring sale items from home.
After you’ve set the date you need to settle on times. Many yard sale customers like to get an early start so 7am is a good choice. Continue until early afternoon or until you run out of stuff to sell!
Choose a Location
When looking for a location for your yard sale, the most important criteria is that is is free! Consider using your yard or a church parking lot. It would be ideal to find a place that is easily accessible, can be seen from the street, and has plenty of parking space. If you are planning a large, group yard sale, you also need to find a place to store your sale items until the date of the yard sale. Our sorority has a storage unit that we use for many things throughout the year. But we set aside plenty of space in the unit for sisters to store the items they wish to sell. Try to choose a yard sale location close to your storage unit.
Get the Word Out
Planning a successful yard sale is a big job and it’s hard to do it alone. Get lots of people involved to help throughout the planning process.Tell your family, coworkers, friends, and church about the yard sale. Ask for donations and invite them to come shop! Create a Facebook group with yard sale details and invite all of your friends. The week of the yard sale, make cute fliers and post them in local coffee shops and restaurants. Post an ad on Craigslist and upload photos of featured sale items. Put an ad in the local newspaper that weekend. Make signs directing people to the yard sale. Make the signs on brightly colored poster board with dark, thick letters. Keep the wording short and simple with a large arrow directing people in the correct direction. Use stakes in the ground to hold the posters and attach wire hangers to the back with duct tape to keep the sign stable. Put the signs out the night before, after traffic dies down.
Set-up & Pricing
You need plenty of tables! No shopper wants to stoop down and browse items on the ground. Do your best to have enough table space for all of the small items. Group items by type and place them on the correct tables. Place big and expensive items at the back of the sale so that shoppers must walk through the rest of the items to reach them. Clothing racks are a great way to display nice clothes.You can price things individually or price items by table (everything on this table is $1). You can have a table full of t-shirts priced by the grocery sack full. They sell like hotcakes! Just make sure you provide plenty of plastic bags for shoppers. You should start out the day with about $100 total in small bills and change.
- Play fun music
- Have extension cords and an outlet to plug up electronics for sale
- When you receive lots of large bills, lock them in your car or inside the house
- After a rush, restock, reorganize, and spruce up all the displays to make everything look presentable
- Be prepared to answer people if they ask to use the rest room
- You could sell snacks and/or drinks to shoppers
Sort unsold items for garbage or donations. Take items to a shelter or thrift store. Some organizations will come pick up the donated items for you. Call ahead to ask if they provide the service and give them an estimated time to come. Pick up all trash on the ground; you should always leave a borrowed space cleaner than it was when you got there. Lastly, take down signs on the street. Save them for next year or recycle them.
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