Make Money on Your Excess

yard saleYard sales are a great way to clean out the house and get a little extra cash for things you really need. Be sure to put some time and thought into the setup to get the most out of your sale:

Advertise: Place an ad in the paper, but keep it simple. Date, time, location is all people need and will keep your costs down. Another idea for cutting advertising costs is to solicit neighbors to hold their sales at the same time. Multi-Family or Community Sales will get higher traffic.

Signs: Use bright signs or make your own from all one color to distinguish your sale from the others. Be sure they are simple (too much detail causes them to be overlooked) and give good directions.

Price Everything: Most buyers won’t take the time to ask how much everything costs. Take the time to label everything with a price, but remember that they are here for a bargain so all prices should be negotiable. You can even purchase preprinted labels at most retail stores.

Clean Up: Taking the time to clean up your goods will fetch more money. A toy covered in crayon isn’t worth much at all, but that same toy after a magic eraser could fetch more than enough to compensate your time.

Think Retail: Display your items as you would find in a store. Group similar items together, place them on tables rather than the driveway and keep everything tidy. Lay out clothing by size and/or season so buyers can easily find what they need.

Entice Buyers: Place larger items such as furniture or baby items in the front of the yard so that they are the first thing drive-bys see.

Bundle Items: Smaller, inexpensive items will sell better together. A baggie full of baby toys will sell for $.50 while a single rattle on the table will be ignored. This works extremely well for clothes too. Sell clothes by the bag and they will fly off the table.

Grab Bags: You can also provide grab bag surprises that parents will buy up. Simply place a few small toys (such as kids’ meal toys or prizes) into a lunch sacks and staple shut. These sell well for $.25 and you’ll be surprised how much you can make on things you couldn’t otherwise give away.

Be Ready to Deal: Yard sale shoppers are looking for a bargain so be flexible. If you have something that is firm in price, you’ll likely still have it at the end of the day. If you have multiples of similar items, offer a deal on larger purchases. (i.e. $.50 each or 3 for $1.00)

Discount: After noon on the last day, put out large half price signs. You will ensure that you aren’t stuck with leftovers and make a little extra money at the end.

Donate the leftovers: At the end of the sale, box up the remaining goods and take them immediately to your favorite charity. Your time and space is worth money too so don’t fill it up with things you don’t want or need.