YARDHOPPING’S GUIDE TO HOSTING A SUCCESSFUL YARD SALE
Know the Rules
Are yard sales allowed in your neighborhood? It is good that you know about it before starting with your plan. It happens that some areas require an official permit to arrange such sales or do not allow such activities at all.
Even after you get the required permission, it is important that you do not disturb your neighbors. We suggest that you arrange it in your backyard and use your front yard to greet and guide the people.
Pick the Right Schedule
The earlier the better, but this also does not mean that you hold your sale for the entire week. Everyone is busy and scheduling your sale around the weekend is an ideal way of getting maximum customers and sales. However, instead of starting on Saturday, plan to start the sale from Friday.
On Friday, the weekend is just around the corner and people are planning for their weekend activities. Mostly people hold their sale on Saturdays, and you will have less competition and more sale prospects on Friday.
Pick Your Spot and Check the Weather
Where will you arrange your sale? Will it be the front yard, garage, or backyard? Decide and pick the spot beforehand. Believe us, we know how difficult and weird things could get if you leave this detail for the last moment.
Our say? We would suggest that you organize it in your backyard. You will have more space, a chance to show the items, and people will have more space to move around. Second, always check the weather forecast before moving your plan forward.
You don't want your items to go waste or get ruined in the rain. Plus, no one will come to the sale in the rain or in bad weather.
Organize Your Merchandise Like a Store
Make everything look nice and tidy. Borrow or rent tables so shoppers don't have to bend over or crouch down to inspect items on the ground. Group similar items together; alphabetize books, movies and music; and sort clothes by size or type.
Put your big-ticket (highest priced items), and bright and colorful items closest to the street to draw people in. Put something equally eye-catching at the back of the sale like a large painting, mirror, or floor lamp. It doesn't have to be your best item but something interesting that shoppers will be willing to wander through your whole sale to see.
Shoppers will value your things a little more if they see you're putting your time and effort into your sale.
Keep It Clean
Break out the dust cloths and wipes and give everything a thorough cleaning. People may shop at yard sales for bargains but that doesn't mean they want to sort through someone else's dirty and dusty stuff.
Keep Calm and Let Shoppers Carry On
Doesn't it annoy you when store employees follow you around? Acknowledge shoppers at your sale with a smile or a wave to show you're available and then leave them to it. Be friendly and courteous and allow them to browse without any pressure. If they have questions, they'll ask.
Have Bags and Boxes Available for Customers
Keep leftover plastic grocery bags around for customers to carry their purchases. Small cardboard boxes may also come in handy for customers purchasing a set of dishes, several cables, or tools.
Price It Right and Offer Deals
Do not attach sentimental value to your stuff and overprice it in the process. A good yard sale rule of thumb is to sell items at 10% to 25% of their original value. You want to price your items, so they'll sell. Don't set the starting price high and expect shoppers to haggle you down. Many potential buyers will simply walk away from big prices and never even bother to haggle, causing you to lose a sale.
Price everything in quarter increments to make transactions simpler. Have plenty of change on hand: keep at least one roll of quarters, at least $20 in one-dollar bills, and at least a few $5 and $10 bills handy.
Shoppers are looking for deals. Offer discounts for buying in multiples. Be realistic about what people will pay at a yard sale. Remember, your primary goal is to get rid of it.
Watch the Clock
If your merchandise isn't selling as the day goes on, become more flexible. As it gets later, lower the prices and be willing to negotiate.
You may be out in the sun for hours preparing, hosting and then cleaning up, so be sure to make yourself comfortable. Wear comfortable clothing, shoes, a hat, and sunscreen. Also be sure to have water or other beverages handy.
Safety is Key
While most garage sale shoppers are good and honest people, don't let any potential bad apples cause problems. Don't let anyone into your home to use the bathroom and lock your doors while you're running the sale.
Safeguard your money. It's best to keep big bills in your pocket. Cash boxes will also work but you must be mindful to always keep an eye on it.
Accept Credit Cards
If you have a smartphone or table, you can accept credit and debit cards. Most shoppers may not carry a lot of cash. Accepting credit cards can greatly increase your sales.
Square is a popular service which requires a reader, which the company will send you for free. You will pay a small percentage in swipe fees, but this may come in handy if you have some big-ticketed (high priced) items.