Preparing for a yard sale can seem like a daunting task. Preparing for a yard sale when you have the pressure of moving hanging over you is often even more intimidating. But it doesn't have to be! Whether you've been prepping for months, slowly organizing things and thinking about what you can get rid of, or you're hard-pressed for time and have to get everything things orderly at the last minute, we've got you covered. Here we've put together our top 8 handy tips for sellers to prepare for the best yard sale — ever.
You might think that combined events like multi-household or neighborhood yard sales just add to the competition — but in reality, this type of collaboration actually yields better results. If your community doesn't have an annual sale or anything similar coming up, try organizing one yourself. Who knows? Your neighbors may have been looking for the motivation to get rid of their stuff as well — and this could provide a great opportunity for trading. Even a sale put together by two or three families can garner more interest than a standalone sale.
You should approach your advertising strategy from all angles — online and offline. Go for the traditional; banners, signs, and balloons; make them as eye-catching and engaging as possible. You could also create events for your garage sale on social media; believe it or not, people in your community are very likely actively looking for second-hand items and your sale might be the perfect spot for them to find what they're searching out. However, be prepared to answer questions about your inventory if you advertise online.
Theme Your Items
When people look at a chaotic jumble of miscellaneous items, they typically don't imagine that they're going to find a great buy within it. More likely, they picture that chaotic jumble of miscellaneous items in their own house and steer clear of it. Disorderly piles of random objects simply look like junk; it's hard to see the potential of individual items, especially at yard sales where many people are only stopping by quickly. Presentation is everything; you have to do the work for your buyers. Sort your possessions into themes; sports equipment, entertainment equipment, kids' toys (even by age!), non-fiction books, fiction books. Be as detailed as you possibly can and you're much more likely to see people leaving with hauls.
Plan According To Season
This goes hand-in-hand with theming your items, but there are a few additional factors. Focus on buyer comfort; if it's summer, provide some shade or refreshing beverages — people are not going to want to stand around in direct sun for very long; they'll need some relief. In fall or even winter, you'll want to go in the other direction — provide hot chocolate and an upbeat atmosphere with lighting and music, or people will want to leave. You can also use seasons to place emphasis on certain items that may be in more demand, whether that's winter sporting equipment or back-to-school supplies.
Be on hand to demonstrate how things work. You're the go-to consultant who buyers will look to prove that things function to standard. If they're confused about how something works, there's no salesperson or manual to look to. If an item is dated, there may be no resources available to help a new owner out. If you're available to show them just how useful a given item can be, they'll be much more comfortable with the prospect of buying it. If you're selling items that you don't know how to use — perhaps they belong to kids or a spouse who won't be sitting outside with you — make sure you learn how to use it first.
One underlying theme of any successful yard sale is that the more work you put in, the more you'll get out of it. Adding an incentive to the garage sale gives buyers one more reason to come check out the stock. Put out cookies, muffins, or punch. Create "deals"; if you're in a rush to get rid of stuff, give buyers the opportunity to pick something of equal value for free, for every purchase they make. Put out a free box or dollar box, filled with giveaway or cheap items. Be creative — this will function just like any retail store, so the more deals the better. But remember — nobody wants to fill their homes with more junk. Pick out high quality items, the type that you'd buy. If your nice items are diluted with too many scrap items, the entire event can become less appealing.
Organize Items As You Would Inside
Organize and display your products the way they would be kept in a house; not only does this allow buyers to picture how items would fit in their house; it maximizes visual exposure to the inventory. If possible, hang clothing on hangers, place videos on stands, and display shoes on racks. Big boxes or carts that people have to rummage through are annoying for buyers and don't allow them to see their options; the same goes for garbage bags filled with clothes. Plus, if you can show buyers how beautifully items can be organized, they're less likely to look at it as excess clutter.
Arrange Donation Truck Post-Sale
Arrange for a donation truck to pick up any leftover items. By doing so, you'll not only be helping out the community, you'll be giving your sale a clean finish where you're no longer struggling to sell those last few items. Plus, it takes away the stress of cleaning and packing up all the unbought bits and pieces at the end of the day; your sale will feel much more successful.
Do you have any expert tips for a successful yard sale? Share them with us in the comments section below!