Despite the very short amount of time we spent preparing for our yard sale yesterday, it was actually pretty successful. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of traffic. Our main objective was to help our son raise money for his trip to London but in the meantime we were also able to offload some things that were cluttering our house.
Our son was also blessed with items to sell donated by family and friends. That also contributed to some of the money he raised. He is getting closer every day towards fully funding his trip.
Here are some tips I can offer anyone wanting to hold a garage sale in the near future.
1 – Advertise in your local newspaper, Craigslist, and local Facebook groups – In this digital age we often assume that not very many of us subscribe or read newspapers. Majority of the shoppers we had yesterday said they found our garage sale through our advertisement in the newspaper.
2 – Put up signs. – Aside from customers that live by the newspaper for yard/garage sale ads, we did have some customers that said they stumbled across our yard sale signs.
3 – Display some items so that they are visible from the street. We live up on a hill and we had our yard sale up on the top in our yard. We displayed a few bigger items in our driveway so that people could see that we were having a yard sale. It may have helped if we also placed some smaller more attractive items on our driveway.
4 – Have small bills on hand for change in a cash box (with someone watching it at all times) or wear an apron with pockets for your change.
5 – Have plastic bags and extra boxes to package up customer purchases.
6 – Price each item or place a price point for groups of items (for example: We had a box full of hot wheels and small toys that we sold for $.25 each.) Having prices on items will deter customers who are looking for a great bargain from giving you a really low-ball price.
7 – Put away your phones when customers are around. I walked out of the house to find my husband and son on their phones when there were customers walking around in our yard. Strike up a conversation with the customers. Some customers may find it a turn off to see you on your phone while they are shopping and just leave. You should be ready to assist anyone with questions, just like an employee in a store should be.
8 – Start preparing for your yard sale months in advance. Go through your garage, storage, shed, closets and shelves to find items that have not been any use to you or your family in the last year. We spent 2 weeks going through things and we definitely have more to go through and declutter.
9 – Have a plan on what you will be doing with the items that aren’t sold after your yard sale. Will they go to the thrift store or maybe consignment shop? Do you want to hang on to the leftover items for a future yard sale? Could you possibly sell some of the items through Craigslist or local yard/garage sale forums online?
If you are hanging on to items for a future sale, plan where you will be storing your items so that they can easily be retrieved when needed. Otherwise, plan to close up your yard sale early enough to take to your leftover items to a local thrift shop.
10 – Do not plan any strenuous activities after a yard sale. After the very long day, you will be tired. Shower, make some popcorn, pop in a movie and relax.
We had a dinner to go to yesterday and it took all of our energy to get ready and out the door. My husband and I tried to take a 30 minute nap. Our little one said, “No way” to nap time. We each even had a cup of coffee before heading out the door but it was of no avail. We lasted a short time at the dinner and said our goodbyes regretfully earlier than we really wanted to.
Teenagers are little more resilient. They were out the door as soon as things were put away and went gallivanting around town for 6 hours looking for Pokemon stops. Sigh. Oh, to be young again.