There are a few simple steps you can take when organizing your sale that can make the difference between a few dollars and possibly hundreds of dollars in sales and a cleaner house!
Step One – Set a Date and come up with a plan for a rainy day, such as right in your garage or a “rain date”. Go through your house and collect everything you plan on selling off. Gather a few boxes for each room, and then go through each room and fill the boxes with things you have not used in a long time or things you simply do not want such as that ugly vase from Aunt Bertha!
Try to do this in the weeks before your yard sale. By having a date set you know you have limited time to get things organized, and many people work best when there is a time limit.
Step Two – Once you have everything gathered, take it to the garage or dedicate one room to your yard sale treasures. Now go through each item and take a good look at it. Clean it if it needs cleaning or put in a pile for washing if it needs washing such as with older clothes.
Washing any clothes you are thinking of selling will make them smell fresh and clean rather than that old smell they may have absorbed from the back of the closet or the basement.
Step Three – Put like with like. If you have video games that are in good condition, then put them all together with electronics. If you have clothes, put them all together with other clothes and even linens, or if you have records put them in one area.
Try to organize your yard like a department store. Rather than having everything In a big jumble on one long table with you sitting behind it, which puts many people off, try creating a store like feel. If you create a “store like” atmosphere, you are likely to keep potential customers at your house longer which means they are more likely to buy.
Step Four – Props! This is so very important. What this means, is make it easier for the customer to want to spend their money. If you have an “electronics” section of your yard sale, then take the time and run an extension cord and set up the games console and a small TV if need be so that people can check out the games, or check the video to see if it works, or simply have an extension cord so they can see if that curling iron works or that hair dryer you don’t use anymore.
You are more likely to sell electronics if you can prove the items work. Many people will steer away from electronics for that simple reason. So if you can set things up to try you make money off yard sales.
This will take some setting up time, but believe me it is well worth the hassle. This works for kitchen appliances as well that you are selling such as that toaster, or kettle. If they can test them, then you will sell them. But only test one thing at a time unless you can run 2 extension cords you don’t want to be popping breakers in the house.
Set up a Change area so people can try on your freshly washed clothes. I like to use a bit of fabric softener when washing them as it gives the clothing a nice fresh smell.
Make sure you have a decent portable rack for hanging the clothes on and sort if you can by gender and age. Clothes (other than baby clothes) just laying on a table don’t look too appealing. Hang them up make sure they are not crammed on the rack. It would be worth the 20 bucks to buy another rack or borrow one if you can. You need to display them well.
If you have lots of costume jewelry you could hang a necklace with the blouse as a suggestion and offer it as a package deal.
I always see piles of clothes at yard sales that are jammed into boxes or on racks that just never seem to sell. If you take the time and wash and press the item, hang it nicely with room around it, make sure the size tag is showing and add some accessories or have accessories such as jewelry, purses, scarves etc nearby then they are likely to sell together.
Step Five – If you have an item you wish to get more dollars for, then show case it. Put it separate from the other “departments” and have ropes around it, or have it displayed by itself to create curiosity.
I went to a yard sale where the homeowner had a “retro” style wedding dress from the 70s and she had it on a manikin with all the jewelry and had it on a stand with a rope fence around it. This created unbelievable curiosity and it sold very quickly for more than she was asking.
Just by separating it out from the everyday products in your sale and “showcasing” this product she was able to create a “stir” and lots of interest.
Step Six – Make sure you invest in lots of price tags. Make sure they are big enough to let anyone know at a glance your starting price, and if they are big enough you can write something about the product such as “handmade” or “antique” with a date type thing.
Step Seven – Try and sell as many items in bundles if you can for a good price. If you have a customer who wants your record collection and you are selling them for 2 dollars each and he wants the whole carton, then give him a deal. You want them out of your house right? They are obviously going to a good home, and you don’t want to be taking any of these things back in the house once the decision was made to sell off.
How to make money off yard sales? – Get organized, clean all the items, put in departments, make sure you have ways to test things or props as I call them, good visible price tags and showcase items that are special and worth more and have fun as you collect your loot!