I don't know about your part of the country, but here in rural Idaho, yard sales are very popular. It is common to look have 30 or 40 going on in town on any given Saturday during the Summer months. In a town of only about 55,000 that's a lot of yard sales. With so many going on, you want yours to stand out. Here are some helpful hints.
First and most important is the advertising. You need to let people know about your sale. In most city newspapers it is a free listing in the classifieds. However the best way to advertise is with signs posted around town. It is important the signs are large enough to read. I see people putting up little notebook size signs that you can't even tell what they say. Go to Wall-Mart or Fred-Meyer, or even a local dollar store and get some poster boards. They are pretty inexpensive especially if you hit up the Dollar store.
The color selection is important. Avoid pastel colors like purple, aqua blue or dark green. The very best color poster board to use for advertising is astro bright solar yellow. Using a permanent black marker on astro bright solar yellow will stand out very well. If astro bright solar yellow is not available then the next best selection is white. Put several of your signs at major intersections in town close to streets leading to your home. If there are ordinances against you putting signs on poles, then mount them to a large empty cardboard box and set them on sidewalk far enough away from corner not to hinder driver visibility. It is a good idea to put some weight in the box. Keep it simple. Just write yard sale the day and time and an address. As people get into your neighborhood, have more signs hanging up. I learned a valuable lesson, people may not no where an address is and not everyone has a GPS. So, on the signs closer to your neighborhood, just put directional arrows and skip the address. These simple signs are sure to attract people to your yard sale.
Once you have them in your yard, it is important that you are prepared. Make things look organized. Tables are a great way to display smaller items, but blankets spread on the ground work just as well. Try to have some large items available, this is where you will make your money. Have an idea what you want for these items but it is not necessary to have everything priced. In fact you don't want a price on everything. This gives an interested prospect an excuse to talk to you. They will ask you how much you want for the item, then you can throw out a price and negotiate a little. Remember to be flexible in your pricing. Make the customer think they got a great deal. Remember that your reasons are two fold in holding the sale. You want to make a little money, but also you want to get rid of stuff too.
Make sure that things are clean. If possible hang clothes up. Wash old toys and wipe dirt off of old furniture. Having your items clean and organized in a presentable manner is very important. It is just a yard sale, but there is so much competition that people will not even stop to look if you have a bit heap in your yard. It is a good idea to have smaller items likes old toys, clothes and things marked. Remember your goal is not to just make money , but also to get rid of stuff you don't want anymore, so be reasonable and flexible in your pricing.
Make sure that you are well prepared with some change. Go to the bank prior and have plenty of loose change and some extra bills on hand. I have run out of change before and it is frustrating. Take advantage of the day and pick up some bottled water and some soda's. Put them on ice and put up a sign advertising cold drinks for sale. I once had a friend that held an annual yard sale. She went all out and brought out the barbecue grill, and offered hot dogs and even hamburgers for sale. It became a tradition in her neighborhood and the family always made enough money to go on a small family vacation. She said the food sales brought more in than the yard sale items.
It is a personal thing, but I have a policy when I hold a yard sale. At the end of the day I put nothing back in the garage or in the house. Everything gets loaded in the back of a truck and is set to haul off to the closest Good Will store or Salvation Army. You can ask for a receipt, and give them an approximate value and you can get a small tax write off for your contributions. Having a yard sale can be both fun and a great way to make a little extra money. Continue to follow this writer for more useful yard sale techniques in the future.