By: Lori B.
** Another Guest Post from a wonderful member of the TOS Crew! I told you guys to be expecting some wonderful posts and I was not kidding! I have 2 guest posts per week scheduled through the end of August and each one comes from a member of this year’s Old Schoolhouse Crew! ~Kelli **
I love Yard Sales! Some people would be embarrassed if anyone knew nearly all of your children’s clothes came from yard sales, but not me. I love the fact that my kids wear mostly name brand, like new, clothes and I paid a fraction of the cost for them. This is possible because I am always looking for great yard sales. Furniture, tools, electronics, toys and games and more can also be found at yard sales. Everything but the kitchen sink; actually I have seen kitchen sinks, too.
The only thing better than finding a great yard sale is having one. They are a lot of work but definitely worth the effort. It is a great way to get rid of your unwanted items and make some extra money. Here are some tips for a successful yard (garage) sale.
** Check with your local government regarding laws. Some communities require permits or restrict the number of sales you are allowed to have. Some also have laws in reference to posting signs.
** People have to know you having a sale so ADVERTISE WISELY. Put an ad in your local paper or use Craig’s list to let everyone know. Be sure to list big ticket items. Baby stuff also usually attracts a lot of customers. Our grocery store in town has a bulletin board where you can place signs for free. Laundromats are also great places to attract customers. You will also probably need to make signs to hang up around town. Here is a great website with free signs that you can print.
** Write BIG so everyone can read it. Less is more when it comes to yard sale signs. All you really need is the date, time and place and a big arrow pointing the way. You will want to take all of your signs down when your sale is over.
** Start collecting items as soon as you can for your sale. The more stuff you have, the more customers you will attract. Our rule is if it hasn’t been used in 6 months, it is probably okay to sell it. Just don’t sell anything you will later regret. Never sell anything that doesn’t belong to you. This includes sisters, moms, and friends. Just because it has been at your house for years doesn’t make it okay to get rid of it. My sister and I put all of our old “treasures” from high school in plastic totes and put them in my garage. I was ready to get rid of mine. She wasn’t. Oops. It is very hard to get something back after it has sold. I’m still apologizing for that one.
** Have lots of change for your money box. Do this before the morning of the sale. Banks don’t open until 9 and stores don’t really want to give out all of their change. They also get a little suspicious if you buy a pack of gum with a $20 and ask for your change in quarters and ones. You don’t want to run out change and possibly lose a sale.
** Speaking of quarters. I never price anything under a quarter. Although everyone wants low prices, if it isn’t worth a quarter, it isn’t worth my time of marking it and putting it in the sale. Sometimes I group smaller items in Ziploc baggies to get around this. Hair bows and drive-thru toys are things that come to my mind.
** Price things reasonably if not cheap. My husband tells me not to take anything out that I care to bring back. He has been known to give bags of stuff away while I am in the bathroom. 🙂 This way I can take any offer at the end of the sale. I always end up with a free box on the final day. I hate hauling things back home. A church in our community will pick up everything you have left and take it for their annual yard sale if you let them know in advance. This is a great way to help out with a local charity.
** Decide if you will allow “early birds”. If I have a lot of help, I don’t usually mind them. But if I am trying to put everything out by myself it is hard to take money, organize things and watch what is going on. If you do not want to allow them, make sure you put it on your signs. Just remember, you may lose a sale if you are really adamant about this.
** Have lots of tables, and use them. We also have used saw-horses with plywood on them. A neat yard sale is a must. Generally, no one wants to look through a bunch of stuff thrown on the ground on a tarp. Use clothes racks if you have them available. They may think you don’t have anything worthwhile if you didn’t take the time to organize it. Try to keep it neat and re-straighten throughout the day also.
** Let the kids help. My kids always love to sell lemonade at our sales. This will help them make some money of their own. Most people can’t refuse a little kid. They look so cute. Just don’t let them bug people too much.
** Try to have something for everyone. Men LOVE yard sales too. Tools, antiques, electronics and buckets of nails and paint will reel the men in. Oh yeah, don’t forget fishing stuff too. The best yard sale I had was when my husband was trying to sell his four-wheeler. It seemed like every man in town came. And with men come their wives; they will let them stay longer if there is something for them to look at too.
** Either price everything or have tables designated for certain price items. No one wants to keep asking “how much do you want for this”. It is nice to have signs that say, for instance, Books, 25 cents or “All clothes are $1 each. We recently made $1500 at a yard sale with almost no big ticket items. Clothes were 50 cents each and the most expensive thing we sold was a lawn mower for $50. All of the money went toward a mission trip my sister is going on.
** Be aware of people who take things. I have seen people fill bags they were carrying with our stuff. It really isn’t worth an argument so be careful if you have expensive items. I wouldn’t recommend selling your diamonds at your yard sale.
Most importantly, have fun. It is so nice that one persons junk is another’s treasure.
Lori B. has been married to David for 14 years. She is mom to Griffin, age 10 and Bella, age 6. She enjoys reading, learning at home with her kids, scrapbooking, cooking and finding bargains. She tries to fill her home with adventures and love on her journey to please her Heavenly Father. You can read more about her family by visiting her blog at: www.lovinglearningathome.blogspot.com
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