How To Plan and Organize a Successful Yard Sale

Yard sales are an integral part of the American way of life. To organize a stress free yard sale and smile after the sale is over, go over these pointers before you start planning one.

Step 1

Time your sale closer to general payday. Don't plan the sale on a long holiday weekend where people can be away.

Step 2

Let people know. Advertise in the local daily, on school/supermarket boards, in the community newsletter, online on the internet and also put boards carrying arrows around the neighbourhood. Be aware of the local jurisdiction laws as regards notice placement, timings, etc.

Step 3

If a friend wants to participate in the sale, welcome him/her and share the cost and workload. One more pair of hands can help in keeping an eye on unwelcome visitors, on the cash received, on packing and also provide support with animated sales talk.

Step 4

Start collecting things for your sale much ahead of time and keep them separately. Anything that has not been used in the last one year can be the ideal article for the sale; or anything that is not needed, loved or earning money has to go! Clean out all pockets and for all the items, ensure that the owner is agreeable to part with them, as ‘sold by mistake' ads the week following could otherwise be an unhappy outcome.

Step 5

Clean everything as far as possible and display neatly on tables to increase their appeal - dusty dishes and dirty clothes will put the buyers off other items too! Have soft music playing through the sale as it will put buyers at ease and will also keep them there longer - a crowd begets a bigger crowd.

Step 6

Cluster items according to type. Clothes in one area, books in another, will help the buyer zero in on articles of his/her interest. Bundle together small items which may not sell on their own to create a package sale, for example, 3-4 small toys sold together, etc.

Step 7

All items should carry a price, on the top - 1/3rd or 1/4th of the original being a general guideline. Garments move only at very low prices but any items with original packaging and manuals can be priced higher. Try to do some background checks at local stores and other sales before pricing and then display your price - regular stickers for small items and big tags for the bigger items.

Step 8

Keep ready change. It speeds up the process and reduces stress. Have a calculator handy for much the same reason.

Step 9

Important tips.

  • If electrical items are on sale, ensure that a point is available with an extension cord
  • If there are children in the house, keep them busy and useful hosting lemonade/soda stands or even manning a table of their old toys
  • If you have pets, keep them away from the yard sale - there are buyers who are scared or allergic to some animals

At last, when your sale is done, pack all unsold items in boxes to give to charity, remove all the yard sale signs and sit back to enjoy a job well done. With these helpful pointers, you are now well-prepared to host your first yard sale. happy selling!!


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