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Yard Sale Season

By Jennifer Snyder
The sun is shining, a light breeze is blowing, the world is awakening from a deep cold slumber.  We want to get out and move around; see and be seen.  It is Yard Sale Season.  Since my friends and readers know better than to further junk up their homes by acquiring more junk at a yard sale, we are going to get rid of our wanted things at our own.


I would like to go on record here saying that I strongly prefer donating unwanted items to charity because things get out of your space much faster and with less time and energy commitment.  Some financially dedicated folks still want to get something back for their original investment.  If you happen to be one of such people, at least do it right and I am going to tell you how.

Step 1:

Gather your merchandise.  You can't have a sale with nothing to sell.  This in itself should take several weeks if done properly.  Set up an inconspicuous holding area for such items.  Leave no door unopened, no cabinet is safe, and no box unopened.  If all that you have to offer are baby items or clothing, consider consigning or selling online.  You will do much better.  Yard Salers typically want Stuff!

Step 2:

Get the word out.  Advertise your sale.  In this step you will want a little more than a black pen on white poster board nailed to the telephone pole at the corner.  You want in the newspapers, free circulars, online with Facebook and Craigslist.  Print flyer and circulars.  This is going to cost some money so if you aren't of the mindset of spending money to make money then ditch the project now and donate to charity.

Keep in mind that you want your wording to be concise and succinct and your flyers to be eye-catching and interesting.  In this case the creative bird gets the worm.

Step 3:

Tag your wares.  As nice as it would be to pile all the DVDs or toys on one table with a sign indicating the price, this isn't really a good idea, especially if the DVDs and toys are at different price points.  Each item should be clearly marked with the price. I agree completely regarding the laborious nature of this task so I will remind you that this was your idea.  I tried to steer you otherwise.  You've come this far, do it right. Keep your prices simple: $5, $1, or in 25Ȼ increments.

Step 4:

Prepare your shop.  The day before your sale is to commence, go to the bank and get about $50 in change.  Tidy up your yard and get a clear idea of how you will set up.  Your patrons will arrive early (in the middle of the night, if you ask me) so the less you have to do that morning the better off you will be.

Step 5:

Be a master merchandiser.  Put like items together regardless of price.  Remember step 3?  Blankets are handy because you have hundreds of them but tables are better.  What your patrons see is something you respect at an incredibly reasonable price.  A blanket on the ground, not so much.  If you have the ability to purchase a long roll of plastic tablecloth I would recommend it.  You will make more money if your things look more appealing.  Small details can make a several hundred dollar difference for you.  Clothing should be displayed on hangers or strung up on a makeshift clothesline.

Step 6:

Ready set go!  About 30 minutes before your scheduled open time make sure you have had at least three cups of coffee and set up shop.  Patrons will arrive early…really early.  Make deals but don't give away the farm.  Save the last day for the real deal making and the last hour for the OMG Get It Out Of Here pricing.

During the sale the more friendly you are the more you will sell.  Don't ask me why nice people sell more, they just do.  This will also make the time go more quickly and be more pleasurable.

Keep your money close and remember to have all electronic devices and gadgets plugged in for demonstration.

With this you are ready to go!  If you must Yard Sale, let's get that clutter out of here!  Just remember not to spend your hard earned cash on more stuff that you will have to sell next Spring.

Have a Neat day!

Jennifer Snyder
Certified Professional Organizer
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts

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