Since summer time is right in the middle of yard sale season, I thought it would be pertinent to go over some tips for planning a successful yard sale. If you've never had one, you're probably thinking, "There's nothing to it. Why would I need tips?" But yard sales are actually a LOT of work. Hopefully these tips will lessen the stress. Today I'm starting with some basic tips about laws and planning.
-Check your local laws and neighborhood ordinances regarding yardsales. Many places require you to get a permit and have it displayed at your yardsale. If you fail to get a permit, you may get fined or have your yard sale shut down.
-Also, if you plan on having more than one yardsale, keep in mind that some places now have laws limiting the number of yard sales you can have in a year.
-In some areas there are also laws restricting sizes for signs or limiting the number of days that you may display your signs.
-It takes a lot of time and work to plan a good yard sale. Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to get everything ready. If you're planning to clean out your garage and attic, I recommend that you start going through boxes at least a month ahead of time. (I'm actually planning a project, where I'll be going through each and every box in our outbuilding to decide what will be kept and what will be sold. I'll be pacing myself and going through 1 or 2 boxes a week, so that we can have a yardsale next year. This may be a good option for you too.)
-At least a month ahead of time, you should line up tables and racks to be used at your yard sale. If you don't have any on hand, you can usually borrow some from a friend or family member. Or you can get some from a rental place.
-Throughout the year, keep an empty box in your house. Whenever you run across an item you don't want, you can just add it to the box. When the box is filled, label it and place it with your other yardsale boxes in the garage or attic. Then get a new empty box to put in the house.
-Don't forget to plan for rain. If it rains, will the yard sale go on as planned or will it be postponed? You should include this information in your newspaper ad.
-Don't plan to have your yardsale on a holiday weekend, as many people will be out of town or going to special events with their families.
-Decide on the exact date(s) and times for your yard sale, and make plans for taking a vacation day at work.
-Before deciding on a date to have your yardsale, look at the paper to see when the majority of people are having their sales. Friday seems to be the most popular day. If you can't get off work, then Saturday will do, but you probably won't get a lot of customers past noon. If possible, try to plan for a two-day sale that will run All Day Friday and Half the Day Saturday. Thursday and Friday is good too. You can try it on other days as well, but Thursday through Saturday is your best bet.
-Be sure to get plenty of change from the bank. There's no perfect amount to have. Obviously you'll need a lot of ones, but it's a good idea to have plenty of fives and tens, because at the begining of the day you are liable to get customers who will want to pay with a twenty. You should also have some twenties on hand in the event that you are selling furniture, antiques, or other more expensive items. And even if you're not selling any high priced items, it's likely that you may have someone who will spend a lot and possibly need twenties for change. (Also, before you go to the bank, check around your house and car for extra change. We always roll our coins as we get them and eventually take them to the bank; if you already have a lot of change at home, you might be able to save yourself a trip.)
-Be sure that you save plenty of grocery bags to put your customer's items in. If you don't save grocery bags, and you don't think you'll have time to save enough of them before your yard sale, you can probably get some from a friend, or you can go to your local grocery store and ask if you can get bags out of their bag-recycling box. You can also order grocery bags online from wholesale companies.
Coming Up: Advertising & Sign Tips
Labels: making money, planning