Yard sales are a tricky business. They’re a lot of work, and often don’t have the biggest payout. This is fine if you’re only doing it because you’re downsizing or moving. But if you’re actually trying to make a chunk of change, you need a different strategy. Here are five ways to make sure your yard sale is worth the time and energy.
1. Hang Up Your Clothes
A yard sale is all about presentation, as is much of life, and especially when people are considering buying your hand-me-downs. Hang up clothes on a nice traveling rack, with all the same hangers, all facing the same way. It goes a long way in increasing the visual appeal of your sale.
Don’t waste your time trying to sell old T-shirts or other pieces of clothing that would be better donated to charity (or relegated to the rag pile). Only pick items that are relatively stylish, look extremely nice, and are only gently used. Nobody is going to buy your house dress with a coffee stain on it.
2. Use An Extension Cord
This is a great way to prove that all of your electronics at the yard sale actually work. Electronics can end up being a big portion of your profits, especially compared to less-expensive housewares. That’s why it’s crucial that you do everything in your power to make them attractive to a customer. You’re much more likely to sell a toaster that can be proven to work than a tarnished electric tea kettle sitting forlornly on the ground.
3. Schedule Carefully
Saturday mornings are prime time for garage sales, and while there are some devotees who drive around in search of treasures, it’ll be much harder to attract people to your specific, amazing yard sale when there are three other ones happening in your neighborhood.
You might want to consider timing yours to coincide with commuting hours, whether late morning or early evening. That way, you can grab parents who are taking their kids to school or leaving work, or other people who are looking for a good deal. And you won’t have to fight for telephone pole space with everyone else’s yard sale flyer.
4. Advertise Everywhere
Remember that telephone pole covered with flyers? That’s probably not your best bet when it comes to getting the word out about your yard sale, although you shouldn’t discount it entirely. Naturally you’ll want to promote it on your social media channels (and ask your friends to share the post!), but there are a number of other ways to make sure you get eyes on your announcement.
Consider using a site like Craigslist, local message boards in your town or eBay Classifieds. You can also use websites specifically for yard sales, like GarageSaleHunter and YardSaleSearch. And make sure you’re promoting the best stuff you’ve got! Whether it’s furniture, old comic books or your collection of Hummel Figurines, there’s something out there for everyone. Consider putting in photos (as long as they’re good ones) of any big-ticket items you’re trying to off-load.
5. Sell Your Really Nice Stuff Elsewhere
Don’t try to extract a decent price on a relatively new gaming set out of passers-by. Save that kind of thing for eBay or a secondhand store. The people at a yard sale are looking for a bargain, and your item won’t sell if it’s priced at 80 percent of the original value.
If you don’t want to deal with eBay, try Craigslist or even sell it to family or friends. The same goes for nice clothing. Take it to a designer consignment store; don’t sell it for a couple bucks on the sidewalk. But don’t get big ideas about a gently used Gap button-down. Some things really are meant for a yard sale.