Garage Sale

Summer’s here. And that means it’s time to break out the swimsuits, the flip flops, the shorts, the tank top and….. the yard sale signs! Yard sale signs?

Yes, that’s right. It’s yard sale season, which is good news for anyone selling their home. Anyone who has ever had to pack up and move to a new home understands that you don’t know how much stuff you actually own until you have to compile it into boxes.

Call them what you will–yard sale, garage sale, rummage sale—but know that these events can help with the frustration of packing up and moving because you can sell everything (or almost) everything you don’t want to take with you and make a little extra cash while you’re at it!

By following these tips, you can have a successful yard sale–and a lighter moving day!

  1. Find out your community’s restrictions and laws for yard sales. Before you start planning, do a little research to find out if there are restrictions on sign postings, times, size of sale and things of that nature. You don’t want to have to shut down because some rule was overlooked.
  2. Go through your entire house and collect sale items. Look at everything you have and decide if you really need it in the next house. This can be tougher than it sounds. Don’t let sentimentality get in the way. It may have meant something to you at one point, but if the item has been sitting in the back of your closet since 2005 it’s time to let go. Also, you’ll regret not getting rid of something once you go to pack, and you realize you don’t actually care as much about the item as you thought you did.
  3. Once you’ve got all of your yard sale items collected, it’s time to set a date. Weekends are usually the best time of the week with Saturday being the most popular. Try not to schedule your yard sale around a holiday weekend or an important community event. Check the weather forecast too. Then, based on your community’s rules, decide on the times of your yard sale and how long it will run for. Will it be an all-weekend event or just one day?
  4. You’ll want to start your sale early. People expect yard sales to begin early-to-mid morning so make sure you’re on par with others. Seasoned shoppers sometimes even like to show up early to scope out the goods. If you don’t mind this, then don’t worry, but if you don’t want anyone around until the time you open, you can mention no early birds in your advertising.
  5. Once all the details are set, you’ll need to advertise. No one will come if they don’t know it exists right? You can list your sale online, take an ad out in the local paper and post the details on free community bulletin boards. Use word of mouth by telling friends and neighbors to tell their friends and neighbors. Of course, still use signs too. Don’t overdress them and make them out a durable material. You’ll want people to be able to read your sign clearly and you’ll also want the sign to last.
  6. Make sure the items you’re going to sell are in decent condition. If something is dirty, wrinkly or just plain gross, it’s going to stop people from buy it. To ensure this doesn’t happen, wash all clothes you plan to sell, put any dishware through the dishwasher, clean off dirt and grime from things that have been sitting in a corner collecting dust and just give everything a general once over. Just remember, appearance can be a deal-breaker.
  7. Set the stage for your sale. It will look more organized and inviting this way. Anything antique put out on front; it will attract people. Set like items together. For example, group all clothes together and organize them by age and/or gender. Baby clothes, teenage girl clothes, men’s clothes, etc. Other groups can include movies, books, toys, shoes or household items. Use plastic baggies to organize small items like jewelry. Remember to put a price on every item and price it fairly because you want it to sell. Again, don’t let sentimentality for an item cause you to price it higher than it ought to be priced.
  8. Make sure you have enough change on hand to give back to people. You don’t want to look silly if you can’t make change for someone who’s willing to buy something. Head to the bank before your sale and get about $50 worth of coins and small bills.
  9. Although you mean business, you also want your yard sale to be fun. The more fun people are having, the happier they’ll be. And the happier they are, the more willing they are to buy! Bring out a stereo and turn up the tunes. Put some balloons out front on your mailbox. Make small talk with customers who stop by.
  10. Start a “to donate” pile. Most likely, you will not sell everything you set out. In this case, every hour or so, take the items that don’t seem to gain any interest and put them in a separate pile. You can call the Salvation Army to pick up the items or donate the items to different charities.
  11. Don’t host a yard sale alone. Unfortunately there are people out their who like to pull yard-sale scams so it’s always a good idea to have someone run the sale with you to keep an eye on things and keep you company.

Remember, your trash is someone else’s treasure. So get out those flashy, yet readable, yard sale signs, make some extra moving money and get rid of extra baggage before the big move!