Whether you are Relocating or Making Space, 10 Signature Yard Sale Tips
Your big relocation is only a few months away. You're looking into moving companies, your friend at the bookstore has begun collecting boxes for you, and you've started to assess the contents of your house. How could you have accumulated so much stuff? There's really only one thing to do -- you're going to have to have a garage sale to pare down your possessions. For those of you in the Birmingham, Huntsville, Nashville, and Baton Rouge areas the following 10 tips should help.
Donate What You Don't Sell
Of course, you're hoping that everything sells and that at the end of the day, you'll be left with only a few empty clothing racks and card tables. While you might luck out and have this happen, it's good to be prepared just in case it doesn't. Before the sale, go online to find drop-off locations for nonprofits that are accepting donations of the types of items you're selling. Some organizations will even come by to pick up items.
Be Ready for Early Birds
The ads and all the signs and flyers you've posted clearly state that the sale starts at 8:00 a.m. You've even included a line that reads, "No early birds." It doesn't matter. As long as there are yard sales, there will be early birds. So you need to be prepared to sell from the moment the first yard sale item is placed on your lawn, even if it is only 6:30 a.m. To avoid any errors or lost sales, make sure everything is priced the night before.
Be Prepared to Make Change
On the day before the sale, go to the bank to get plenty of smaller bills and some coins so that you'll be prepared to make change. Also get some extra price tags, a black marker, some masking tape and a small calculator. You'll also want to have some shopping bags, a few empty boxes, and some newspapers and maybe even some twine on hand for packing up purchases.
Let the Kids Help
If you have kids and they want to help, let them. You can encourage children to get rid of old toys and belongings by letting them keep the money from the sale of their possessions or letting them know that the proceeds from the sale are going toward something for the entire family.
Delineate Your Yard Sale Space
If your house is on the market, you might want to see if you can host your yard sale in the neighbor's yard. Not only will this keep your house available for prime weekend appointments, it will also keep you from having to conduct (or deny) impromptu showings of your house to yard-sale shoppers.
Put a Price Tag on Everything
Garage sales can get busy, fast. Even if you have two or three friends on hand to help you hawk your wares, you won't have time to stop and come up with a price each time someone wants to purchase something. Whether or not you want to allow customers to negotiate the price is up to you, but tagging everything before the sale will save you the hassle of trying to come up with a price on the spot.
If you have a lot of things to sell, consider taking out an ad in the local newspaper. You can also post your yard sale on Craigslist. In your advertisement, be sure to state the location, date and hours. Briefly list what you have for sale so that shoppers will know what to expect. Be sure to post flyers and signs around your neighborhood.
Organize Your Sale in Department Store Style
Take a hint from the big department stores, and organize your stuff as they would. Group everything by room or category. If you have the space, do a little staging. Put the baker's rack by the big freezer, and set up a table filled with kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and countertop appliances nearby.
Do Your Homework
It can be easy to look at a collection of stuff you no longer want and wonder who's going to buy it. But instead of treating your old stuff like a big pile of junk, look at it like undiscovered treasure. Take a little time to give everything a good cleaning. If you still have the original packaging for an item, put it all together. If you still have all your owner's manuals, tape them to the gear they came with. Do whatever you can do to make something look as appealing as it did when you purchased it.
Invite a Few Friends to Help
Sometimes it's difficult to look at our own things with an objective eye. One way to solve this problem is to invite a few close friends to help you. With your friends' help, you'll be able to sort through your stuff with an objective eye. The process will be a lot quicker, too.