Last week we talked about How to Keep a Yard Sale in Mind when Spring Cleaning. Now that we got that covered I thought it would be great to do a post on How to Host a Successful Yard Sale.
While it is true that every Yard Sale makes money, there is a big difference in the amount of money you can actually make and the amount of items you are left to put away (or donate). Below I have some tips for you that I have incorporated into my own Yard Sales that have made them quite successful and in the end, left me with some extra cash!
How to Host a Successful Yard Sale:
- Location is Everything – When hosting a Yard Sale you need to choose a location where you will receive good traffic. If your home is located in the middle of nowhere or is hard to access, opt for hosting your Yard Sale at a family or friends home to optimize the amount of buyers that will pass by.
- Advertise Like Crazy- Creating vibrant signs that stand out will make the difference between people stopping by and people not. Choose bright colored poster boards with information in bold black writing. Be sure to make all your signs one color so people know it’s you and not just 5 other Yard Sales. Place these up the night before to avoid other people removing your signs. Creating arrows out of the same paper as people near your Yard Sale tells customers they are getting close. A good rule of thumb is to advertise within a 1-mile radius in each direction of the place of your Yard Sale.
- Pre-Price Everything– A big turn off for many buyers is when they have to ask what the price is on an item. Some customers are just so shy they’d rather leave than ask. Other times, you are so busy running the Yard Sale you can’t be hounded with pricing questions the whole day so price everything ahead of time. Dollar Tree has great pricing stickers and they are on the cheap.
- Presentation is Key– You may think that items you are selling do not need to look their best but they do. Organize items by categories. For example, place shoes by clothing and accessories, books by movies, etc. Make sure each item is clean and presentable. Tables are great for smaller items. Larger items can be placed on the ground against a garage door and clothing should be hung on hangers for easy access. Pro Tip: Keep the Yard Sale in a U shape so buyers will be tempted to walk around the entire sale.
- Free to entice– Do not throw away items you think are not able to be sold. Instead, place a large box near the road or where buyers will see it passing by with a sign on it that says FREE. This will entice buyers to stop by. I promise this works and most of the time, I’ve noticed buyers take Free items but still end up purchasing items. Pro Tip: Mark all items with a special colored sticker or marker that way buyers cannot tell you an item was Free if it really wasn’t.
- Carry Change– The worst thing is making a sale and not having enough change to give that either causes you to lose money or causes the buyer to change their mind. Keep at least $100 in $1 bills and about $10 in quarters.
- Offer Complimentary Bagging Supplies– Last year I asked my local grocery store if I could have some plastic bags and they gave me about 50 of them for free and they were brand new. I also stored newspaper from my Sunday newspaper subscription and place the bags and newspaper on a chair with a sign saying “For your convenience”. It was a huge hit! This will have buyers purchase more and remember you for carrying how they get their items home.
- Get the Family Involved– Depending on where you live and when you are hosting your Yard Sale it may be pretty hot by the afternoon. Get the kids involved and have them open a Lemonade Stand. They can serve your customers with some ice cold lemonade and make some extra Summer cash. Last year we also offered ice cold bottled water in a cooler for customers and it was greatly appreciated.
- Slow Times Make a Better Deal– The last tip I have is that if you are finding you are not selling items as much as you’d like and it’s nearing the time when your Yard Sale ends, opt for marking down items. I suggest marking your items a little more than you want in the beginning (but not so much you turn buyers away). The reason being is because you can create a sign in front saying all items are 50% off the marked price. I suggest making an exclusion such as except for larger items and any collectibles you have. This really gets the buyers rolling in until it’s time to call it a day.