There once was a time when, every sunny Sunday afternoon, it seemed like you could find a yard sale. Now fewer and farther between, it’s a real treat when you see the oh-so-familiar homemade signage and drive up on a lawn well stocked with beloved treasures.
In the age of eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, many people turn to the internet to get rid of unwanted goods and valuable possessions they’re ready to let go. And it’s certainly a good option for finding the right buyer for your big-ticket items. Yet there’s nothing quite as effective for a seller with a lot of stuff — or as enjoyable for a buyer looking to find treasures — as a good, old-fashioned yard sale.
Throwing a successful yard sale is a skill that requires the right combination of planning, creativity, advertising and bookkeeping. It’s a fun event that takes hard work. But at the end of the day — after you’ve passed off once-beloved toys to eager faces, gotten rid of the all the clutter and built up a big wad of cash, it all becomes worth it.
To help you throw a successful yard sale, we’ve compiled a list of four key tips to ensure it goes off without a hitch and you clear off your yard by the end of the day.
Advertising and Signage
Find the right mix of advertising/signage for your yard sale depending on your home’s location. If you’re in a large, neighborly community like BeechTree, signage is a great way to go. Neighbors will pass by your house naturally, and the sizable population of the development is an easy audience to convince to stop by your yard sale since you share that mutual connection.
Additionally, stop by the clubhouse (if your community has one) to post a notice on the bulletin board and make sure it gets announced in your community newsletter. It’s also a good idea to leverage social media and create a Facebook Event to invite your network of friends beyond those who pass by.
As signage goes, it’s up to you how far you want to go to draw attention to your yard sale. Be sure to check any HOA limitations regarding signs, and be sure to remove them afterward. That said, if your artistic skills are lacking, we’d suggest picking up pre-made garage sale signs. You can probably find them at your local hardware or online on sites such as Amazon. You don’t want someone to turn away because they couldn’t read your handwriting.
Another key material to get is pricing stickers. This keeps things simple and will help you avoid customers trying to haggle later. Set items for a nice, flat dollar amount and you won’t have to waste time making change.
Find More Stuff to Sell
Have you gone through your attic and all storage areas? Once you compile all the goods you plan to sell, take a hard look and determine if your inventory is interesting and varied enough. You want your yard sale to attract customers and intrigue them to stay and sort through your collections and assorted trinkets. The more people on your lawn or driveway, the more people will want to stop in and check it out.
If you think inventory is lacking, why not invite a neighbor to join you? Team up with double the items and you’re certain to have more success.
No Cash? No Problem?
One of the problems you might run into holding a yard sale in 2018 is that fewer people carry cash around with them. That means, once they see your sign, they’d have to go by their bank ATM before returning back to your yard sale, and not many people will take the time to do that. Yet it’s super easy to counteract this issue.
Square, Paypal, Intuit and many other brands offer affordable mobile card readers for processing credit card payments on the go. Or you could even use Venmo for instant card-free transactions, too. The more options you offer your potential customers, the more likely that no items go unsold because your customer left their cash at home.
Good luck and happy selling!