Monday, March 31, 2008

How to Have a Blow Out Yard Sale

by Katherine E. Tapley Click here to Visit her website

Knowing the tricks to having a successful yard sale.

Yard sales pop up in the spring and summer like mushrooms, but there is a knack to having a successful one. The reasons you may want to have a yard sale are numerous. Despite the hard work involved in getting the sale together, it is a chance to
have fun, meet your neighbors, make money, lose money, get skunked, recycle, and clean out the clutter that has been accumulating.

The first order of business is to get a pad of paper and a pen and start going through the rooms in your house. What room has the most junk? Is it the kitchen, bedroom, garage? Check every corner of the closet, the shelves, etc. and evaluate
everything honestly. Don't get overly sentimental. If you haven't used the thing in 10 years, why keep it around collecting dust? When listing your "inventory," make notes like "Must go," "Takes up too much room," or "Can't part with it." This will help you organize what items will go in the yard sale. The greater assortment of goods, the larger your profit will be.

How your organize your merchandise is important. Items that are heaped together on a table tend to repell customers. You should measure the width and length of your table space and take a sheet of paper and draw a plan of how you are going to
lay your stuff out. Organizing things by price is a good idea. You could have a 50-cent section that will be attractive to kids, a dollar section, two-dollar section, etc.

How to price items is an essential yard sale art. Generally, there shouldn't too many items over $10. The junk you really want to move should be under $2, depending on the item. Expensive items such as antiques, big household appliances, etc. would be better off advertised in a newspaper or taken to a second hand store.

If you have electronics like televisions, radios, record players and tape recorders, the yard sale price should be one third of the original sale price. Paperback books should sell at a quarter, and hardbacks can go at $1. Records such as 45s will go for a quarter, cassettes at $1, and CDs at $3. Clothing can be 50 cents up to $5 and knickknacks like vases, ashtrays, and novelties can fetch $2 or less. Don't be
insulted if the customers dicker about the price. It is part of yard sale culture. People enjoy trying to bargain with the proprietor.

Advertising your yard sale is essential if you want to pull in the customers. An ad in the local paper with an attractive hook does the trick. For example, you could claim that your yard sale is a "bargain hunters paradise" or mention some
attractive or unusual items that you have for sale. Be creative in your ad. But don't say things like "Early birds will be shot on sight!" Signs with easy to see printing and arrows are good. You could even get your kids to wear placards on them and go around the neighborhood advertising your sale.

At the yard sale, you will want to have lots of change in your moneybox. A selection of coins, lower denomination bills, etc. will do. If it's a big sale, you might need up to $50 on hand to make change. Wearing a wrap around purse with a zipper is a
good idea, since your moneybox could get pinched. If a customer offers you a check, you have to make a quick decision about whether or not you are going to take it. If you do take the check, you should have the customer's driver's license on the back of the check. Otherwise, you could accept a deposit of money and hold the item for a time limit of three hours.

If you have left over items after the yard sale and you don't want them back to clutter up your life again, arrange to have the Salvation Army truck to come after your sale. You can also give to local centers for the homeless, Goodwill, etc.
Leftover books can be donated to hospitals, nursing homes, women's shelters, or the public library. If you have some high priced things left, you can put advertisements for them on bulletin boards or in the penny saver papers. To get rid of some of the excess stuff, you can also leave a box at the end of your driveway saying "Help Yourself." Now all you have left to do put your feet up and count the profit!

Note from Lucy: I know that I have to much "stuff" and should get to work decluttering my house. A yard sale is a terrific way to do this. Note that a yard sale is only good for people willing to come to your location and look at what you have. Another way to sale your stuff is to sell it on Ebay. Instead of having just a local market, you have people from all over the nation looking to buy. Five or six years ago TF decided that we needed to find a way to finance a new computer. He had some old locksmithing equiptment that he didn't use any more and so we decided to give Ebay a try. I'm telling you, it is amazing what people are willing to pay for an item. We made $ 1,500. in a matter of weeks and was able to pay cash for our new computer. If you can write a blog and post pictures, then you can sell on Ebay. All you have to do is go to Ebay and down load the instructions and start selling.

Have a great week everyone.


At 7:41 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

So if I know how to blog and post pictures, I can sell on E-Bay? That's tempting. I have a ton of old junk I wouldn't mind getting rid of. We've done the yard sale thing pretty much every year, but usually it's not worth the time invested.

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how much do yards go for when your havinf a sale???

At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

p,s. that was the putz not me anon

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I've never bought or sold anything on ebay. I am really behind the times!
I love that part about early birds being shot on sight.
I cracked up over that. I guess that would NOT be a good thing to say in an ad.
I experienced yard sale paradise (or overload, depending on how you look at it) when we went on the World's Longest Yard Sale this past summer. It was so much fun!
We don't have enough junk at the moment to have a yard sale. Isn't that GREAT??!!
We do have a bunch of boxes in storage in CA. One of these days... months... years... we will go through those and have a lot to sell.

At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Jahn said...

"Signs with easy to see printing and arrows are good."

That part can't be emphasized too much. I can't tell you how many yard sale signs I've seen that couldn't be read from 6 feet away, let alone 100 feet at 30 mph.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I personally feel that Yard Sales are incredibly time consuming and the returns are rarely worth the hard hard HARD work...! The alternative of Ebay is really something to consider, and you not only have all of this country, but many other county's too!

Very informative post, Lucy!

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Adi said...

Jim has a bunch of stuff to get rid of. He wishes eBay had been so popular nine years ago when we moved from the south end to the north end of Houston (Friendswood to Montgomery).
That probably would have financed our house. We had been at Friendswood for 23 years!
So far he just buys off eBay and hasn't sold anything. His youngest son sells things.
Jamie needed dispair. I'm just a little jealous. NOT THAT I WANT TO PREACH, MIND YOU! I almost called Lambie a 'Mutton Head' over there but I recanted.

I don't like mutton, but Mrs. Jim likes all kind of lamb, Jim will eat a lamb chop when it is cooked nicely.

At 10:14 PM, Blogger Cliff said...

My entire house is begging for a garage sale. All I need to do is put 25 cents on everything and leave. It talked of tv's. At one time I really wanted a small color tv for the kitchen. Now I have about4 good ones sitting in the farm shop begging for a new home.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Jess said...

Hi Lucy...I have seen your comments a couple of times on my blog...I wanted to visit...and my..what great advice!!! I am looking forward to visiting more and getting to know you...thank you for visiting me.

At 9:37 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Great advice Lucy! I need to have a yard sale. Some of the stuff I need to sell is stuff I have bought at yard sales! Looks like there's a lesson there for me, don't you think? HA!! I love going to yard sales but I have decided to NOT buy unless I actually need the item.

I have bought and sold on EBay. You can usually find about anything you are looking for.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger JunieRose2005 said...

I need to have a yard sale! Have had several in the past- but not for a few years now!

Have bought a lot off Ebay but have never sold! I honestly think your items would bring in more $$ sold through Ebay (I certainly have paid high prices for some junk that way! )...but it has always seemed it would be confusing and a lot of work to go that way...besides you'd still have your stuff around for awhile.


At 5:39 PM, Blogger LZ Blogger said...

One of my wife's girfriends never met a "Garage Sale" she didn't love! In fact, I don't think she ever saw one she didn't stop for either! ~ jb///

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Cecil said...

Lucy... I have had a few yard sales and done quite well... it's been a long time though... I love to go to them but the main day they have them here is usually Friday and Saturday and I have to work... oh well.. keeps me from picking up clutter I guess... Yes, we tend to spoil Emmy a bit.. she is precious!! I love her to pieces.... Cecil p.s. glad you stopped by!! And glad you like my blog... yes, our family is very close... as you can tell!

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Merle said...

Dear Lucy ~~ Great tips for those wanting to hold a Yard Sale. We call them "Garage Sales" here. I used to love going to them, but these days I don't get to many. Thanks for your visit and leaving a comment. I did
enjoy seeing my cousins as we are all getting older. Bill is almost 80
and his sister Pam near 70, Michelle is the baby only 66. I'm getting near
74. Take care, my friend, Love, Merle.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

I have been wanting to have a yard sale but didn't know where to start. Now I do. Thanks Lucy!

At 11:21 AM, Blogger Putz said...

don't forget conferance tommorow and sunday

At 8:10 PM, Blogger D... said...

I really should sell on ebay but I've never gotten the "courage" to do just that.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad I could help spread the awareness about the Lily plant & cats.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Howdy, Lucy!! I'm blogging from GA where we are on vacation.
I hope you are having a nice weekend.
I'll be back home on Wed.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Jim said...

How is your class coming? Isn't it about time to be tested?
I covered the dream/nightmare thing for this time. Will read up on it.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Mountain Mama said...

You have posted some good advice. I used to have yard sales when I was younger but now I dread the thought of all the work involved even though my attic is about to burst at the seams!

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm getting ready to have a yard sale of my own and these tips are sure to help!



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