Fall is the perfect time of year. If you live in an area that has seasons, there is a certain crispness in the air, leaves are starting to change, and everyone needs an end of the season yard sale. Spring can also be a great time for sales, but in Colorado, you might encounter snow, making late summer or early fall a better option. EBay or Craig’s List are good ways to sell if you have a high quality items, but sometimes it’s easier to put everything out at once and have a mass exodus. Anyone can have a yard sale, but there are a few tips that can make a great one.
Be Involved With a Charity
If you don’t care about taking home money for yourself, charity yard sales are an easy way to get rid of stuff. The local humane society that I work with has a yard sale every spring and fall. It is in a church annex, so the weather is not a consideration. It spans three days, we take donations for about a month beforehand, and usually pocket around $5000. These events take lots of volunteers, but one person doesn’t have to do everything. Charity yard sales are a great way to get rid of clutter, especially if you don’t have enough for a full yard sale of your own, and you get to help out a great cause. You can even get a tax deduction. Ask the charity for a receipt of you donation. Remember that you have to list the donated item’s current value, not the original purchase price.
Have Lots of Stuff
If you have tons of stuff and need some cash, you should consider your own sale. Better yet, gather your friends or co-workers to bring their stash as well. Everyone I know wants to have a yard sale, but no one wants to go through the trouble of organizing one. Many would love to let you do it for them, and having more items makes a better sale. In my experience. furniture is the best mover. People love any used piece that is in good shape and will take almost any crappy piece if it is cheap enough. Other items that do well are collectibles, dishes and pans, camping and sports equipment, luggage, baby and children’s items, and children’s clothes. Don’t plan on making much from clothes at a yard sale. People won’t pay much over a dollar for any clothing item, so if you are selling designer jeans, eBay or consignment might be less painful.
Location, Location, Location
If you live out of town or on an unfamiliar street, you won’t get as much drop by traffic as you would in a prime location. If a friend or relative is on a busy street, you might consider doing the sale there. It would mean transporting your goods, but if you made more profit, it might be worth it.
Yard sales may be the one item that needs to go in the classified section of the newspaper. Hard core yard salers in our area use this as their bible. The Thursday paper actually has a map with all the yard sales listed. People plan their weekends around them. Signs work great as well, but if you have a good location, people will find you.
Have Change and Be Ready to Haggle
Always keep a supply of small bills and quarters available, as peope will be paying in cash. I wouldn’t recommend taking checks unless you know the person. Haggling is a yard sale culture, and seasoned veterans would never pay sticker price. If you need tips on how to score bargains, check out Michelle’s weekly posts at IHeartBudgets. At a sale, you will have shoppers who come very early, scope out the goods and come back right at closing time to haggle further over remaining items. At the end of the sale, I take just about any offer so I don’t have to haul things back inside.
Plan for Leftovers
Although, you can make money at a yard sale, the real reason for having one, in my opinion, is to de-clutter. Make sure you have arrangements with a thrift store or charity to take your leftovers at the end of the sale. If you feel the need to rent a storage locker to store yard sale surplus, you might need a visit from Dr. Phil. Just get rid of the excess, and you can start over with a clean slate.
We are having a sale this Saturday at my office building. I am going in with two other people, and we have quite a bit of furniture and office supplies. The office basement is bursting at the seams, so hopefully we will do well. Any money we make will be going to replenish the coffers after our rental house purchase. The Humane Society Yard Sale is next weekend, and the leftovers are going straight to them. It will be lots of work in a month where I have no time, but it needs to be done, and I’m a little excited. I always love a good haggle!
How do you get rid of clutter? Can you believe I wrote over 800 words about yard sales?