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What do you do when you need to make cash quick? Like this weekend? While you can find lots of ideas for making money with side hustles here, the fastest way to do so may be a yard sale!
These tips are mainly things that I have learned in my years and years of hosting yard sales. I LOVE stuff, and that leads to having TOO Much Stuff. Ahhhh, it’s a vicious cycle, yall! My mother, grandmother and I consider ourselves yard sale pros by this point.
Most of us all have TOO MUCH STUFF. Unless you are OCD and clean out FREQUENTLY and immediately get it out of your house/garage (are these people out there?), chances are, you probably have some stuff you could stand to part with. Read on to find the in’s and out’s and in-between’s of making the MOST money you can from your sale.
Timing is everything. The best time to host a yard sale is typically a Friday and Saturday. Friday’s normally get the moms who have dropped children at school and daycare. Saturdays bring everyone else. On Friday’s a good rule of thumb is to host all day until approximately 5:30 and catch people coming home from work and school. Saturdays, start early and end around 1 or 2. By this point, you will be ready to crash and burn anyway! These things are tiring!
A good date to host sales is normally around the 1st and 15th of the month. Reason being-most people get paid on these dates. When we have money, we spend it, correct?
Fall and spring are the best seasons to host a sale. While I do like yard sales any time of year, these two seasons are normally the best due to the weather. It’s hotter than hades in Arkansas in July, and NOONE in their right mind wants to hang out away from air conditioning longer than they phycially have to. So unless you live in a wonderful climate all year long, (where is that, California?), stick to fall and spring for sales.
Don’t schedule your sale on any big festival weekend in your town. Everyone around our area knows that September sales don’t do well because this is when the county fairs and festivals are. Have a big homecoming weekend in your town with booths, games, rides, and vendors? Chances are that people won’t be yard saling that weekend.
If your town hosts a city wide yard sale, this is a great time to put your stuff out and make some moolah!
Location, Location, Location
Try to host your sale in a good neighborhood that is easily accessible to main highways and streets. Make sure it’s easy to turn in and off of, and parking is not a traffic accident waiting to happen. If you need, try to collaborate with a friend or family member that lives in a better neighborhood or spot.
For the best results, start with a clean slate in regards to your sale space. Clean your garage and driveway. If needed, pile personal items in a corner and drape a large cloth or sheet over it. Put a big “ NOT for SALE” sign on it if needed.
Be A Prepper.
Not that kind of prepper. But it’s fine if you are! Prepare your area for visitors. Clean up dog poop, tape down any cords or other hazards that someone could stumble on. Mow your yard.
Hang It All.
Do you have a lot of clothes? HANG EVERYTHING YOU CAN. If you don’t have clothing racks, two ladders and a pole or string will work as well. We have used this method numerous times. With ladders you can have multiple height racks. It’s a proven fact that things sell better when hanging. People don’t like to dig through piles.
Another cool way to hang things is to use a trampoline. This method just involves dragging the trampoline around front and hanging your clothes around the edge. Neato-mosquito, huh?
Another way to make a hanging space is to take a single ladder and place it on top of two sawhorses or two chairbacks. Voila! See, you can find ways to hang things, just look around your garage :_
Then, Organize Some More
Sort According to Size, Season, Room, Etc.
Have Christmas wreaths and ornaments? Stick like things together. You can make this into a game for your kids and that will help with the organization. Kitchen items such as dishes, pots, pans, glasses, should be grouped together as well.
For clothing, print or make signs that clearly state what size is what. While it may get picked through and messed up, it will increase sales to be more organized.
Keep children’s items together.
Not enough tables? You may can borrow enough but when you can’t, we have taken 2 sawhorses and a plywood sheet to make a table. Don’t have those things lying around? Look around and be creative. No one cares what the items are on. Just make it easy for people to view. Making customers bend over and squat to look at your goods is not good for sales.
Stage your items.
Have an old couch you are selling? Find some throw pillows and add a lamp beside it. couch with pillows and a lamp with table beside it. Make it look more homey and someone might actually be able to picture it in their home and BUY it!
Lay out jewelry separately.
Find a way to display jewelry that is not in an old shoe box. Lay it out or hang it neatly. Also, make sure to keep it close to the checkout area. Unfortunately, this is one item that is easy to pocket at yard sales. Search on pinterest for cool ways to display your jewelry.
Use a thread spool (to hang necklaces), like in this cool picture.
Promotion is everything. You need awesome signs everywhere. Make sure your signs have the arrows pointing the right way. This is easier said than done, believe me. Work on your signs the day before and put them out the night before. When constructing signs, it is best to find something that will stick in the ground to place at corners.
We use my husband’s campaign signs from the recent election and staple the poster board on each side. These are perfect as they have little metal legs that slide perfectly in the ground.
You can also make one page flyers to place at public spots that allow promotion. Make sure to ask before placing a sign ANYWHERE.
Craigslist is a great method of advertisement. Some small towns don’t have a nearby Craigslist, so a local paper ad is another good way to promote your sale.
This, along with the sorting and organizing, can be hard work. Make it easier on yourself and do mass pricing. Color coding and basic item pricing works great. Make large signs with color system, such as all red dots are 1.00, etc.
If you have large number of books, DVD’s, stuffed animals, etc, price these as a group. For example, all books are .50 cents. It is much easier this way. Make your signs large and post them around a lot. People buy more when things are priced or easy to see the pricing system.
Save plastic grocery bags months beforehand. People like to take their goods home in an easy to carry way. The bags also come in handy if you have a large amount of clothing or miscellaneous things that you want to sell in a “stuff your bag for $5” sale.
Start with $50, mostly 1’s and quarters. Keep up with what you start with in order to not inflate your earnings. A great Idea that I saw on pinterest was to have a muffin tin and keep nickels, dimes, pennies, quarters and dollars separate. This will work if you have two people working your yard sale, which is always a good idea….I mean, what if you have customers and you need to visit the potty?? Have one stationary person with the muffin tin and another with a money bag in an apron or fanny pack. Yes, I know they aren’t cool. But you want to keep your money, don’t ya??? Fanny pack it is…..
Have a notebook handy at checkout to write down sales. If you are partnering with someone, putting initials by each person’s item will help in the end when you figure out earnings.
Have a calculator handy, no matter how high you scored in high school math. You’ll be sleep deprived, exhausted, and people will try to confuse you while checking out. Just use the calculator
Another good tip for checking out is to have a child or someone else to bag purchases as soon as you write it down. This will speed the checkout process, and help prevent clutter in the checkout area.
Get Kids Involved
If you have kids, grandkids, neighbor’s kids, or whoever’s kids, get them involved. Set up a little table and let them sell lemonade, muffins, cookies, hot chocolate, bottled water, candy, popsicles, fresh produce from your garden, or really anything they want to sell.
Kids love to be involved, and MOST (not all) people will buy something just to make them happy.
General Tips For Success
Be kind and speak to everyone that comes by your yard sale. Speak when they walk up to the sale. They may not want to chit chat about all your grandma’s old dishes, but they will notice if you don’t at least offer a greeting.
Have music playing in the background. This breaks up the silence. Silence can be awkward, so have a radio or music playing softly on your phone in the background.
Check with your local city government to make sure you have the correct permits to host a yard sale. In our previous town, we were required to buy a permit for each sale.
Don’t sell anything that’s stained, torn or should be trashed. Just don’t.
For small toys or other items that you would price less than a quarter, start a FREE box and put near the front. Adding a neon poster board with the word “free” on it will attract some on-the-fencers to stop and peek. And most of all, People LOVE free stuff.
Large ticket items need to be placed where everyone can see them! This is like Walmart placing their bikes and pools out front so kids BEG for those things before you go in. No, not to make their mommas crazy, but to grab the buyer’s attention. Ride on toys, furniture, bikes- place them out front.