Yard sales are a great way to make a few extra bucks while simultaneously de-cluttering your space. Having sold all our stuff to move abroad, we had many sales and became pros at both getting ready and also tearing down. There are some tricks to having a successful sale though, and there are also some things you’ll want to avoid, mainly these seven yard sale mistakes.
7 Yard Sale Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
Mistake #7: Not being ready on time
People WILL arrive early. You can advertise 8am all you want, and you can strictly tell people not to arrive before 8am, but some will be early, ready to pillage and plunder your sale like Vikings. Okay, maybe not so drastic, but there will be early-birds, and you should be ready for them.
Mistake #6: Not telling your neighbors
We had many sales over the course of a few months before we sold all our stuff to move abroad. For the first sale, we told a few neighbors, but after that it got to be a little old hat. Telling your neighbors helps because they may want to sell some stuff too, and multiple sales are better for traffic. Heck, you might even find that a whole slew of neighbors want to join in. Then you can have a “street sale”. The other thing telling neighbors does is that they’ll probably swing by your place to check out your stuff, and possibly buy some like many of ours did.
Mistake #5: No parking available
Move your car off your property and if you can, park it well down the street. Or if one of your neighbors has some extra space, see if you can park your car there for a while. Don’t waste prime parking on your own vehicle(s). It’s also a good idea to designate some space for people to be able to load their purchases.
Mistake #4: Poor signage
If you live on a very busy street, you’ll still want some signage, even a “yard sale ahead” with an arrow will cause some people to slow down and look for it. If you don’t have a sign out front and just a bunch of stuff on your driveway, you’ll miss a lot of traffic. Want to know a really cool trick about signage? Check out Chapter 7 in our quick and clever ebooks: Sell All Your Stuff and Move Abroad and Sell All Your Stuff and Become a House Sitter. (See below for your chance to win a free copy!)
Mistake #3: Talking too much
Getting stuck in conversations. Some people will want to talk your ear off, that’s just their personality. You don’t have to ignore them, but nor should you ignore other customers. Answering questions about prices or why you’re selling your stuff is one thing, but you’ll find people want to tell you things that, quite frankly, you could care less about. Sometimes these conversations happens at slow times, and you might be stuck listening, but this is where you busy yourself by moving sale items around, and generally tidying up. Chatty Cathy may continue blabbering, but if you provide short ‘yes/no’ answers or just nod your head, eventually she will get it. You don’t have to be rude, just busy yourself until the next wave of customers come.
Mistake #2: Not having change
You should be ready to take bills and coins of all denominations; moreover, you should be ready to provide change for all denominations. Have plenty of quarters, dollar bills/coins, five, ten, twenty dollar bills, and everything in between. You’ll want rolls of quarters, stacks of small bills, and possibly a cheesy-tourist fanny belt to keep it handy (and more secure) in.
Mistake #1: Poor pricing practices
You may end up asking too much for something. Do some research before your sale. Check websites like Craigslist and EBay for similar items and what their listing prices are. People will try to drive your prices down, so you’ll want to mark them slightly higher, fully expecting to get less. But be careful not to price it too high, you may price it out of reach for someone that doesn’t want to haggle. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure everything has a price on it. Local dollar stores are usually a great place to find pricing stickers, so spend a couple of bucks and make sure the price is right…and visible.
As the day goes by, you’ll notice your traffic start to dissipate, which means closing time is approaching. Even if you’re not selling all your stuff to move abroad, a yard sale is a great way to reduce your clutter of stuff. And if you avoid these seven yard sale mistakes, your sale should go smoothly, and you’ll make a few bucks in the process.
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