Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yard Sale Tips

Yard Sale Refresher!
It's that time again! I've been getting itchy to do another yard sale and also to shop the yard sales... I've noticed a lot of really bad signage(no offense-if it was you, you probably didn't read this post before :) )... and realized if they don't put effort into the sign, they really don't usually have anything worth while so PLEASE... If you have AWESOME stuff and really want to sell it, read through these tips :)

Yard Sale Season is upon us. It's a great time to get rid of clutter, downsize, or empty out those storage units AND make some cash! I have done a few yard sales and plan to do one again soon.
I have read up on tips for yard sales and learned a few of my own.

These are the tips I suggest if you are going to be putting on a yard sale:
Some of these tips I learned from All Things Thrifty.

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1) Use Craigslist.org or a local classifieds(KSL.com) to post yard sales for free. I suggest listing it about 5 days prior to the sale and then the day before the sale. Include a list of the best items for sale, the time and location, and pictures if possible.

2) Use all the same color poster board and make sure they all look alike so your potential "customers" don't get confused. Cut them in half for major stop light areas, then in fourths as you get closer to the actual location (I posted them around the entire block where we were having our sale)

3)USE A FAT BLACK PERMANENT MARKER. Simply put Yard Sale with an arrow directing traffic(make sure you know which way the arrow should point)... I left some blank just in case I need to rethink the location of the sign. If the sign is a couple of blocks away, put a simple address under the arrow.

4)Make sure you are getting every angle for drivers- 4 signs are best but AT LEAST TWO for the different directions of traffic at the major stop lights near by. Be sure to keep the signs no more than 2 blocks apart so traffic can easily spot the direction they need to go without getting lost. 

DISPLAY:

There are different methods you can take for this one but these are the ones I like most.

1)ALWAYS SET UP EARLY. If your garage sale is at 8am... be there at 6am getting everything set up... PEOPLE WILL COME AT 7!!! Early bird catches the worm. Seriously! And that means YOU can get rid of more clutter.

2) Try to categorize by kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, clothing, electronics, shoes, baby gear, furniture, ect. If you have a baby crib, a stroller, baby clothes and accessories- put them all in an area of their own... just like at an actual store. This goes for everything you have for sale... have a computer desk and cords to sell? Put them together. Set up "rooms" with the furniture.

3) Clothing. This is my weak spot. I know you get more money if you iron and hang all your clothing up but the time spent doing that isn't worth it to me. So INSTEAD, I do try to hang clothing up if I have the space to do so but if not, I have a huge tarp to lay the clothing out on. Organize it by gender, size, and season. This just makes it easier for a buyer to spot what they might be looking for. 

4) Bring furniture- like dressers and couches clear out to the side walk area to draw people in. And wipe down any furniture as well.

Other tips:

1) Have an overall theme for your garage sale. Once I gave everyone a free magazine with their purchase(I had a lot that were about to hit the trash) or a free mini calculator(I also had an abundance of these) if they spent $10 or more. *Back to the clothing for a second, I often use the clothing to pull people in- $2 per grocery bag(which I would have available) of clothing or 10 CENT TOPS... that keeps them looking and they may just spot something else along the way that costs a little more. 

Other common themes are bake sales included with the garage sale, or hand made goods, or a lemonade stand- your kids will make it a success;)

2) Always ALWAYS try to have AT LEAST 2 families doing it together- then you can advertise honestly as a multi family yard sale... this is much more appealing because that triggers in the buyers mind- twice as much stuff to buy!

3) Pricing, I have tried both not pricing anything and pricing everything. I actually like pricing just the big ticket items, price them for MORE than you really want so the customers can haggle with you(it is part of the experience for lots of yard sale goers) then you will most likely end up with what you want for it.

4) Be sure to welcome them to your garage sale- as if they are walking into a store. Stores know what they are doing and that's why we buy from them.

5) For all the items without a price, have the lowest price in your mind that you are ok with selling it for so when someone asks, "how much?" You can either respond with "How much would you pay for it?" or you can give them a STARTING point to barter with.

All in all, be prepared, start early and have fun making some money!
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92 comments:

Just Jaime said...

These are great tips. I totally agree about the multifamily one too! The clothes sound so cheap, it makes me want to go yard saling. Thanks for sharing!

Eleni Poulakou said...

Organizing and categorizing helps sales, indeed. People feel more comfortable in a neat environment.

Stephanie @ One Sleepy Mom said...

These are some great tips. In my area, we have town-wide yard sale days. I like to go to the wealthy neighborhoods and score designer clothes for pennies. By the way, I've taken a look at some of your other posts, and if there is such a thing as a blogging twin, I'm pretty sure you're mine! We have many of the same thoughts! Have a great day and thanks for sharing!

Hopkins family said...

These are great tips. I also love to sell stuff, although my hubby may or may not love to as well. :) I like the colors of your blog!

Julie said...

Awe thank you guys! I love "meeting" you and finding more new blogs! I still feel very new to the blog world although I have been trying to work on it for a couple of years now!

Eschelle said...

oh the thought of a yard sale freaks me out, only if i am hosting, thankful i live in an apartment with no possibilities of a yard lol!!!! do they have balcony sales??

Nikki said...

Fantastic tips, thank you! I have so much stuff to get rid of and really need the money, so as soon as the weather gets a little better, I'm definitely planning a yard sale.

Britni @ Our Eventual Homestead said...

Thanks for the great tips! We'll be participating in a few yardsales this summer to clear out some clutter

kristin said...

Great tips! I wish I had known some of them for our last yard sale. We got up super early...for nothing, but it was our first and we hadn't prepped well. I'll be ready this year!

Julie said...

Good luck to all of you on your upcoming yard sales! It is a great way to de-clutter and make money for doing it:)

Kristin- no worries. You learned from the past yard sale and now you are set for the next one! Way to go!

One thing I didn't really mention is that with my last yard sale I had a total mind set of "get rid of it or it's just more clutter" and that helped me be reasonable with my prices, most people didn't even barter because I was giving a low price:) and what use to go for a quarter can now go for a dollar. Most people don't carry change anymore:)

Julie said...

I just wanted to say thank you to you guys for looking up my blog even though the link wasn't working! You all are awesome. I just figured out that one number was wrong in the link and I had been wondering why there weren't more posts, lol! You guys rock!

Jacqui Gonzales said...

Great tips! Our apartment complex does a big yard sale once a year where we can rent a table. We don't have a lot of clutter due to size, but it is fun to walk around the complex and see what others are selling.

Wendy @ AMFT said...

Great tips! My husband also saves our signs from sale to sale and writes little notes on the back about where he places them, so he doesn't have to think about it again. Easy!


Wendy
Around My Family Table

Becca@CreatingFamilyConnections said...

Good tips! I like the part about organizing your sale like a store (ie baby items all together). Sounds like your sale would be a fun one to go to! :)

Kecia said...

Now I want to have a yard sale lol...We have had a few since we moved into our home, with very little success. I love the tip of selling a bag that customers can stuff with as much clothing as they can. Also, I have learned the hard way about people arriving early!

Julie said...

Jacqui, I was laughing when I saw your post "we don't have much clutter due to size"... we have a tiny condo that is more apartment like BUT we have 5 of us so I'm always trying to get rid of stuff! lol.

Wendy- I totally forgot to mention that one! If you don't put specific dates on your signs you can reuse them- of course, glad you mentioned it. we'll be using our signs again next month!

Becca- You can come to my next yard sale:)

Kecia- I'm glad I can encourage you to try again! It can be worth it. Location is important too so if you are in a difficult place to find, maybe try seeing if you can use an empty parking lot near lots of traffic or a families home(we used my MIL's home) Also- it always cracks me up how people all of the sudden are in a buying mood when you have a little "sales pitch" like the bags to stuff full. They love it and will buy more things for sure! I haven't ever had anyone buy just clothes.

Shelly said...

Great tips for garage sales. I think having he sign posted clearly is something that really needs to be done. I hate it when I try to find a sale only to drive around a neighborhood and have a hard time finding it. My husband hates to have garage sales so I have to do them with my parents at their house. But it is more fun to have others there to help.

Clarinda Olenslager said...

These are some good tips. I need to hold a garage sale this year for all the toys we have and all the other STUFF.

Jing Jing said...

i also love doing mom 2 mom sales in mi. it is like one huge rummage sale sponsored by moms for anything child related. i bought most of my childrens clothes second hand during mom to mom sales. second hand shopping is the best

See You In the Garden said...

Not only does having two families mean more stuff, but it also means another person there.

Thanks for the tips.

FWIW, I actually tend to not buy, or buy less, if things are not marked. I don't like having to continually ask what the prices of the items are. Not everyone thinks that way though.

Starlene said...

Great suggestions, especially the ones about using a thick black marker and the same color poster board. That makes it a LOT easier for yard sale shoppers to find the yard sale. I have had a few yard sales in my life but now we live in a rural area where there isn't a lot of traffic. I like the idea of a yard sale, but they can be a lot of work. Thanks for these great tips!

Suzy Myers said...

Great post! I loved all your tips. Especially the one about stuffing all the clothes you can in a bag for one price. Seems that some of the stores in my area are using that tactic and it really brings in the crowds!

suzy

Johnnie said...

Good stuff! I love garage sale season. I wish everyone followed your sign advice. My junkin buddies and I end up on fruitless scavenger hunts trying to find sales with poor signage.

Thanks for the great tips.

Kerry Fountain said...

Great Ideas. I do like your post about the signs. I just wish it was that easy for us-- we live close to a large retail area but are in a small subdivision down a curvy country road. I haven't attempted a garage sale here yet- I am afraid it just wouldn't work out.

krystle said...

Great tips! I need to have a garage sell one day soon. I haven't had one in years. They are so fun to go to though...it is like a treasure hunt!

Sarah@ropeknits said...

Excellent suggestions. Have to say, though--I'm less likely to buy something if I have to ask what it costs. I get aggravated if I have to ask "How much?" over and over again, especially if it's crowded/hectic. But I'm with you on everything else!

Shannon said...

Great tips! I love yard sales! You can save a bundle!

Julie said...

Thank you all for stopping by! A few people are saying that they don't like shopping a sale when not everything is priced. That is the one gray area that I think is totally personal but I find that when I spend tons of time pricing, it ends up wasted because people see the price and continue on. If they don't see a price, it's negotiable so they ask. And I give em a LOW LOW price:) I also let the crowds know(like a speaker system in a store) what "deals" there are:)

I love the extra tips everyone is giving too!

And if you are in a hard location(which is key) try using a parking lot in town or a friend or neighbors house in a better location:) We used my MIL's house just for that!

Carrie said...

Great tips! We really need to have a garage/yard sale this summer. Way too many years of accumulating stuff! I like the idea of making it multifamily, and I had never thought of offering "specials" or baked goods. My kids will love that!

Thanks for sharing!

Tiffany HealthynBalanced said...

Great tips...I really really need to have a yard sale this summer!

Anonymous said...

Your comments are great! I rarely host a yard sale due to my location, but love to go to them!

Krissy Sherman Bonning said...

Great tips! Especially the one about the signs. I hate it when people write too much on their signs and you can hardly read them.

Erin @ My Mommy World said...

I'm so glad I read this post today! I was just telling my husband that we should have a garage sale and get rid of all the extra junk around here :) Thanks for all the good tips!

Jeanette said...
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Lou Lou said...

Well spring time is coming, (along with a baby) so maybe it's time to clear things out... I like the idea of having baked goods... I just hope I don't eat them all in my state!

The Cookinglady said...

This is the best way to clean up and get ready for the summer. Good luck, and make lots of money

Maura said...

Advertising would be key for me since I live on a dirt road in the middle of no where!!

Laurie said...

I really need to have a garage sale. If you could only see my basement, you would freak. I just moved in June and I am still in the process of finishing our basement and I desparately need to get rid of some junk. I will remember your tips. Have a blessed day!

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

We need to have a garage sale this May before our second baby is due. We need to get rid of all the girl stuff we stored in our garage and make room for new boy stuff! ;)

Thanks for these tips. I appreciate them.

April said...

Great tips! We really need to have a yard sale - we have boxes of stuff for it!

mammamilk said...

Great tips! We were just talking about having a garage sale this summer! I will remember these ideas!

Julie said...

Oh I love this! Thank you for stopping by and commenting! It is so fun to see all of these remarks!

lou lou- I so would have that same problem and I'm not preggo, lol. But you can always put someone else in charge of the baked goods:)

Yannie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yannie said...

I haven't tried it. But I will suggest to my sister that we`ll do it this summer. Sound fun. Thanks for the tip

Marian said...

I suggest you hang the clothes a week before the garage sell. this will help reduce the wrinkles

DebtPrincess said...

You have some great tips! My mom runs AMAZING yard sales. Using her tips, I once brought in well over $750.

One additional tip I would add about the signs is to make them sturdy. Use cardboard rather than poster board. Poster board can flap around in the wind and that makes it hard to see . Also use nails that have a larger, flatter head to them when you are tacking your signs to a telephone pole so they are even sturdier.

Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns said...

Fantastic! It's obvious you've done a lot of garage sales in the past! While my family hasn't done one for a couple of years now, we've lived in an area with mainly older folks who often have estate sales. So now I'm looking forward to spring weather for some serious garage saling. : )

Corinne Rodrigues said...

This was really interesting.
I live in India and yard sales are not a common feature here. We normally sell things either by word or mouth or having what we call a bangar-wala (a scrap dealer) who goes from street to street regularly looking for things to buy. With no other options we give away things to people we know who need them or to a charitable organization.

Katie said...

Great tips. I have already started cleaning out the house and I've made a yard sale box. But I have never had a yard sale myself. I'll have to come back and read these tips over again once it gets closer to yard sale season.

brett said...

great tips!

we call them tag sales here - it always amuses me how people go about the setup of these sales in their yards. especiall y

Julee said...

We LOVE yard sales. My kiddos will walk forever with the promise of a yard sale at the end!
Great tips for hosting one of our own!

Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures said...

Great post! Yard sales are lots of work.

Keep It Thimble said...

Great tips, especially about the signs. I am always surprised when people put out yard sale signs that you can't read from the car. The print needs to be big and readable.

Amanda said...

Great tips! Another is to have a lot of change on hand.

Tabitha (a.k.a. Penny) said...

Great minds think alike! I wrote a post with most of the same tips last year. They really do work. Of course, lately, I have been too lazy to set everything up and have sold more through Facebook. Who knew that social media could even impact yard sales? ;)

Katie said...

We have not had a yard sale in a long time. Our neighborhood used to organize one yearly but whoever was in charge has now moved. It was a fun time, sell your stuff and then go to the neighbors to buy more!

Dawn Storey said...

These are all great ideas! I especially like the one about sorting everything into logical categories. I'll try that next time we have a yard sale, for sure. Thanks for sharing! :)

AMBER EDWARDS said...

This is great! Those are awesome tips that will definitely help make our next garage sale go much faster!

In our old house, we set everything up on tables and what not in our garage the week of, so that the morning of, we merely opened the garage and pulled the tables and all out of the garage into the driveway to make it easier on set up. Boy do I miss that feature!

Clarissa D said...

I have only been to a couple yard sales, but I think these are definitely great tips!! I hope we can have one one of these days, babies outgrow items so quickly!! I will keep these tips in mind.

Dianna@practicing frugal said...

These are great tips. I plan of having a yard sale here soon and hope to use some of your tips when getting ready. I do find that clothes sell best when hung.

Anonymous said...

These are great tips. I love the same colored poster board and large arrows pointing in the right direction. I am having a yardsale this year. Bookmarking your post!

www.busymomonthego.com

My SoCal Life said...

great tips! We love to shop at garage sales! it's crzy to me how early people arrive at garage sales

113tidbits said...

I learned my haggling skills in Korea. It's pretty much expected to haggle for everything sold on the streets.

Judith said...

I enjoyed this post, from a foreign-culture type of view. We don't do yard sales in The Netherlands and I love to read about it in your post.

I'd love to visit one some time. Sounds really good fun!

Mrs. Accountability said...

I like your theme idea, and I especially think the tip to sort everything by type is required! I have been to a few yard sales where everything was in a such a jumble it was just too confusing trying to look through. I think an organized yard sale will do much better at selling if only because the similar items will be together and people might buy more than one. For example, if I were looking for towels and there were five of them together, I would probably buy all five. But I wouldn't go looking all over the yard sale to find five towels here and there. Great tips, thank you for sharing.

Victoria M said...

We have a large group yard sale in July so I will use some of your tips. You can have a sign with a price range for clothes if you do not want to tag them. Thanks
Easy2Save

Layne said...

I haven't gone yard sale-ing in forever, and your post makes me want to :)

Julie said...

Victoria w/ easy to save, yes a sign with a price range for clothes is a great idea. I may need to do that next time around! Thanks. Somehow that never occurred to me as I was just setting up and pulling everything out at 6 in the morning, lol! I also like the idea about laying everything on tables the night before and storing in the garage(if you have the room in the garage...we just didn't) but I have in the past and it does help a ton for the morning of the yard sale!

Daily Citron said...

Great tips! Considering organizing an annual block sale on your street- you can pull in huge crowds that way. Our street does this every year.
-Viva recently posted Homemade Pizza Dough

penguinsandladybugs said...

Having a yard sale with a friend or two is more fun, too! These are good tips. I wish I could make it worth my time to have a sale. Haven't had much luck in the past to make the kind of money that would motivate me to have a sale. So much easier for me to donate to the Salvation Army :)

Julie said...

Yes, I know the feeling... I was ready to take it all to a donation center but I'm glad I didn't... that extra $300 for just about 6 hours of work on my part... well worth it... and what's left I do end up donating, except here it is called the D.I.--- basically the same idea as Salvation Army.

Carrie said...

I've been thinking (a little!) about doing a yard sale...do you know anything about regulations? I've heard you have to get a special permit or something from the city and part of me is wondering if that is just too much work. :-)

Elaine said...

These are great tips for having a yard sale. I LOVE going to yard sales, but I'm hoping that I never have to have another one again for the rest of my life. :)

Lindsay said...

Good ideas! Thanks for sharing.

Becky Fisher said...

Great tips! Thanks!

Jill said...

Great tips there for garage sales!
And so true that people get there and hour before you advertise it starts!

Julie said...

Carrie- I'm not sure where you live but in Utah I don't know of any such law. And sooo many people do yard sales each and every weekend I'm sure if there was a law that required a permit, it isn't enforced. Not that I suggest breaking a law if there was one. To my knowledge though, there is not.

Emily said...

These are great tips! I love going to garage sales, but I have never had one myself. If I do, I will be back to remind myself of these! Thanks!!

Melanie said...

These are great tips! One of the most helpful things for me is when sellers put distance on their signs if they're farther than a block or two from an intersection. Otherwise, and this is especially true if it's late in the day, I'm afraid they've shut down and I've missed it.

-Melanie from Melanie's Musings

SalemMomma said...

I totally agree with Advertising #4! Too many times I've seen signs more than 4 or 5 blocks apart from each other!

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@Oh! My Heartsie
Karren

Janet K said...

What great tips!! Now if I could only find someone to just do all of this for me... I want to do a garage sale so bad, but I just don't think I have the energy!!

Millie said...

Great tips! I had awesome garage sales when I lived in the city. My motto was 'nothing goes back in the house!'
Now we live a good half hour out of town and I'm not sure a garage sale would work here. But I'd love to have one. It seems the junk, I mean wonderful treasures, just keep accumulating.

Jamie Northrup said...

Thanks for the tips, we moved to our new house 2 years ago, and ever since then I have a bunch of stuff and never had time to do a yard sale, but will definitely be doing this this spring or summer.

Tracy @ usingtimewisely.com said...

Great tips! We will be hosting a community garage sale in May. I will be coming back for a review.

Jen said...

Wow these are great tips. We are about to have our first garage sale so this was a nice post to read!!! Perfect timing. I really like the magazine idea, we have a TON and it would be a nice way to get rid of them.

Katy @ Experienced Bad mom said...

Nice tip to have a theme! I've never sold clothes(don't feel like I have enough to sell) but would try it with a good sales technique like the theme.

My Little Bit of Life said...

My clothes don't sell at garage sales, people have actually told me that I need to get fat and then loose the weight so that I can sell those clothes. (I don't think it's worth the hassle!) I'm going to have to check out the etsy cash envelope, mine is getting pretty worn down!

Kate a.k.a. Gwenelle said...

I'm not much of a garage sale person, but if I was, these would be fantastic tips :)

kendra30752 said...

You are a total pro! I loved your tips and a lot of these would never have crossed my mind.. this is making me want to have a yard sale! Lol. I haven't ever actually had one. Why have I never had a darn yard sale?! That's crazy. Lol. I so may have to try throwing a yard sale now.

Thanks for the fab tips! I don't think ironing the clothing would be a necessity. If I were out yardsaling and planning to buy clothing, I wouldn't be turned off if it weren't ironed and neat. :)

Kangaroo Mama said...

Those are great tips. I have never been successful at a yard sale either I price too high and people don't want or price too low and I make pennies-not worth my time and effort kinda low. Next time I join a yard sale (don't actually have a yard or garage of my own), I will have to try these tactics! Thanks!

Adelina Priddis said...

I LOVE yard sales! both having them and going to them. These are some great tips!
Is it really yard sale season already? I'm still waiting for a big storm to hit, I'm positive one will come just when I go to have a yard sale.

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