Planning a yard sale that'll really get your goods gone

April 05, 2008|By Don Mayhew | Don Mayhew,McClatchy-Tribune

Planning a yard sale? Here are some tips for how to make it successful:

Analyze your inventory. Decide first if a yard sale is right for you. Unique items that are likely to interest a niche audience are best sold online.

Don't do it alone. Beforehand, you'll need help moving appliances and furniture and tagging items. During the sale, when there are lulls, you'll have company. When it's busy, it's easy to become overwhelmed if you're alone.

Consider advertising. Besides time, date and location, newspaper ads and Internet listings need to emphasize what's different about your sale. If you've included neighbors, mention that it's a multifamily event.

Pick the right day. Don't compete with big sports events or holidays. Saturdays are almost always better than Sundays.

Take care with signs. Unless you live on a busy street, you'll need to draw customers in with signs. Place them with arrows every 50 yards or so. After the sale, remove all signs.

Plastic grocery bags are golden. Customers can carry (and buy) more. Later in the day, when you're ready to discount everything, you can stuff merchandise into the bags and sell each for $1.

Start with enough cash to make change. You need at least $40 in coins and small bills.

Tag only expensive items. It's too much work to put prices on everything. Besides, if you want to discount later in the day, then you don't have to run around removing or replacing tags.

Haggle at will. Don't take it personally. Price items high enough that there's room to come down. Early in the day, stick to your prices. Later on, be more eager to drop them.

Jennifer Farrell, host of A&E's Find & Design, has tips for buyers:

Go early. Farrell says everything good is gone by noon. Or go late. "You'll get whatever's left for a song," she says.

Haggle politely. If an item is tagged, the seller is serious about the price. Don't offer less than 50 percent for it.

Don't go overboard. You don't want to buy so much that you have to have your own yard sale next month.

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