It’s Yard Sale Season!

by Ron Haynes

yardsaleIf you’re like me, you love the thrill of a yard sale! And no, I’m not talking about buying someone else’s junk at a yard sale, I’m talking about selling your own junk. There’s nothing like the feeling of getting rid of your unused stuff and getting cash in return. Sweeeeet! There are tons of reasons to throw in the towel on your clutter but here are MY top reasons for having a yard sale:

Why have a yard sale?

  • It helps you get rid of clutter
  • It helps you make extra money
  • It can be a social event
  • It helps your kids learn to be entrepreneurial

Here are some of my personal tips for having a great yard sale.

Clean and de-clutter

Put some elbow grease into cleaning out your garage, your basement, your closets, and your attic in preparation for your yard sale. Get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last two years and don’t hold back! Just because you can’t imagine anyone wanting your junk doesn’t mean there isn’t someone who does. What have you got to lose by putting it up for sale? Budget plenty of time for the de-clutter step.

cuStudentLoans

Make your yard sale an event

Involve the neighbors by asking them to have a yard sale the same day. Multi family yard sales attract a lot of people and the more “customers” you have viewing your wares, the better your chances of making some serious cash.

yardsale2 Advertise your yard sale

Remember the biggest principle of advertising – simplicity. Keep your signs simple and brightly colored. Post signs at busy intersections and on your front lawn. Big arrows pointing the way toward the sale make it easy for motorists to navigate their way to your wares.

And don’t forget to advertise on Garage Sale Tracker, in the newspaper (yes, there are still some around), on Craigslist, at your church, and any other place where people gather.

Organize your yard sale the night before

Make sure you have some tables and a few chairs as well as plenty of change. Organize your products by what makes sense, baby items with other baby items, tools with tools, and toys with other toys. Hang any clothes and make sure you have an extension cord or a power strip ready for customers who want to test electronic items. Have a trash can nearby so people don’t drop trash in your yard.

Price your goods to sell … but not too low

As much as it pains you, others probably don’t value your goods as highly as you do, but don’t sell yourself short. I’ve been to yard sales where things were priced 10 percent under retail and others where things were all 10 cents. Neither approach makes sense but selling most items at 10 to 20 percent of their retail value is a good rule of thumb.

You can also make group offers — “everything in this box for $10” for example.

What day should you have a yard sale?

Saturdays are by far the most popular day, but I’ve seen very successful yard sales start on Thursdays or Fridays. If you decide to have your yard sale only on a Saturday, be prepared to start early. I’ve had people show up at 6am, knocking on my door in an attempt to get the best deals on the freshest merchandise. Don’t be afraid to tell them what time your sale starts but remember that you don’t want this stuff! Sell it as soon as possible!

Other yard sale tips

  • Don’t hover over your customers
  • Be prepared to haggle
  • Don’t stick to your prices so firmly you miss every sale
  • Set up limits of where you want customers to wander
  • Let your kids sell cookies and lemonade
  • Watch your cash box and keep most of your money inside your home
  • HAVE FUN!

A yard sale can be a great source of quick cash. Use these tips to convert your stash of stuff to cash to pay off debt, pay for a vacation, or whatever you want.

Yard sale photo by by ‘SeraphimC
Yard sale sign photo by by AndreJenny.com

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.