Spring is here, and for most of us that means clearing our homes of clutter we’ve acquired over the winter. If you find yourself with items you don’t need, consider throwing a yard sale. When organized well, a yard sale is a great way to recycle your stuff and make some cash. Having a successful sale takes a little extra effort, but you’ll make back your energy investment in sales. Karen West offers 120 garage sale tips in her guide Yard Sale Success!, available at KW Inspirations. Here are a few tips from the booklet:
1. Consider everything for your inventory because anything might sell! Creative people often buy secondhand things to serve as “raw material” for something else they’re going to make.
2. Inform customers of problems that might not be obvious. If you’ve had problems opening a dresser drawer, attach a note that says “drawer sticks.” People will appreciate your honesty and may more seriously consider other things you’re selling.
3. To make payment easy, price all items in multiples of 25 cents, and ask for less than the actual total. If a purchase totals $5.50, ask $5. It’s a nice surprise for a customer who is not expecting it, and it may motivate customers within earshot to buy more.
4. Start before 8 a.m. and end before 2 p.m. If you open earlier than other sales, you will attract the serious shoppers (with money to spend) to your sale first. If you start early, you don’t have to sell all day. Most shoppers will visit before noon.
5. Post signs on busy streets and intersections and near other neighborhood sales. Consider posting signs on your family vehicles and parking them in strategic locations, especially where posted signs aren’t allowed but parked cars are.
6. Keep an extension cord and charged batteries on hand to prove that all electrical and battery-operated items work.
7. Give parents with small children a chance to shop. Fill a box (remove top flaps) with toys, and post a “25 cents each” sign. Set the box to the side but within view so parents can shop while children rummage. You might also give children an item for free when parents spend at least $1.
8. Donate whatever items didn’t sell. Local charities always need contributions. You might even be able to arrange a pickup the same day as your sale.
Reprinted with permission from Mother Earth News.
The Price is Right: Garage Sale Prices
Don’t ask too much or too little. Here’s the going rate on popular garage sale items according to Garage Sales Tracker. Check out their entire list at the Garage Sales Tracker website.
T-shirts: 25 to 50 cents
Jeans: brand name $3; plain $1
Dresses and skirts: $5
Shoes: dress $5; tennis $3
CDs: $1 each or 10 for $5
Books: paperback $1; hardcover $2; five for $4
Computer: $50 to $150 (depending on age)
Kitchen table: $25