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Some people – like my grandmother, for instance – love yard sales. I am not one of them. To me, a summer Saturday spent trolling the neighborhood for bargains on odds and ends is a day wasted. If I want gently used goods at low, low prices I’d just as soon save myself the chaos and go to a thrift shop, thank you very much.
However, with a baby hopefully on the way, my husband and I recently discovered that we needed to do a bit of clearing out around the house. So despite my reservations, we decided to host a yard sale of our own yesterday. It was a stressful afternoon, to say the least – especially considering it’s right after the holidays – but thankfully by the end of the day we had cleared out a sizable chunk of our unwanted stuff and we made a decent amount of money for our efforts. I owe the success to the research I did online beforehand. Before we hosted the sale, I read up on how to make a yard sale successful and learned a few great tricks from professional yarders online. Now, I’d like to share them with you.
1) Advertise. If you want people to buy your stuff, then you need to make sure that they know you’re selling it. For our sale, we went a few steps beyond the tried and true “paper-signs-on-telephone-poles” trick. We advertised our sale in our local paper a week in advance as well as online on Craigslist. All in all, our marketing campaign drew a little more than 100 people to our yard over the course of the day. For a little town like ours, that’s a pretty good number.
2) Get a Mobile Card Reader. It’s a travesty how few people carry cash these days. To make sure we didn’t lose a sale to lack of tender, my husband suggested we get mobile payment by gopayment. The program gives you a little dongle to stick in your smart phone that you can use to process credit cards. In exchange, the company takes a small cut of every transaction. I was a little reticent at first, but the gopayments reader ended up being a hit. We processed over $130 in sales that might not have come to fruition otherwise.
3) Negotiate Fairly but Firmly. You’re not going to get rich by holding a yard sale, but you shouldn’t give your stuff away for free either. Customers will always try to bargain with you to get you to lower the price. Remember that they wouldn’t have approached you if they didn’t already want the item, so be a little rigid with your bargaining.
4) Display Your Stuff Like a Pro. Nobody wants to sort through a dusty garage for deals. Put your stuff out like a shop inventory in your yard and driveway. Use or rent collapsible tables to display your goods and organize everything categorically to make perusing easier for sale-goers.
Using these tips, you can help ensure that your next yard sale will be a resounding success. As one last tip, contact your local charity or Goodwill before your sale ends to arrange a pickup for all the stuff that is still on your yard. That way, you can end the day with more space and more money in your pocket!