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Wednesday, August 25, 2010


One woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure. Sheila Conway, American Woman’s Go-To Money Saving Guru talks today about how to pull off a successful yard sale. -- AP

Thanks, Anastasia. As you all probably know by now, decorating editor Jeanie Sims is our yard sale queen. Jeanie loves hunting through yard sales to find all sorts of discards she can turn into useful treasures. If you’re one of those people who would make Jeanie drool if you let her loose in your basement, attic, and/or garage, why not put all that stuff you no longer use up for sale and reap the cash benefits?

Yard sale season is in full swing. Like Jeanie, many of your neighbors spend their Saturday mornings traveling around from one yard sale to the next. It only takes a little bit of work to entice them to fill your coffers while cleaning out your piles of unwanted clutter.

Here are some tips for having a successful yard sale.

*Display the items you have for sale in such a way that they entice people to take a closer look. Make sure everything is clean and set out on tables and benches.

*People will drive by without stopping if they see you’re only trying to get rid of what amounts to trash. Don’t offer dirty or broken items.

*Make sure all electronics are in working order. Have an extension cord and/or batteries handy so items can be tested.

*Display items either by category or price. All housewares together, all electronics together, etc. Or a $1 table, a $3 table, a $5 table, etc.

*Mark prices on all items. If someone has to ask about price, that person might walk away instead of asking.

*Don’t overprice items. You’re having a yard sale, not opening a designer consignment shop. All items should be at least 50% off their original price.

*Be willing to negotiate. Remember, accepting a few dollars less for an item you don’t need or want is better than not selling that item at all. You’ll only have to haul it back into your home or trash it.

*If items aren’t selling, don’t be afraid to drop the prices. Again, if you don’t sell it, you have to keep it or trash it. Isn’t it better to sell something on the cheap than not at all?

*Make sure you have lots of change. You don’t want to lose a sale for a $2 item because the prospective buyer only has a twenty dollar bill and you’ve run out of change.

*Get the word out. The night before the sale post signs in strategic spots around the neighborhood where drivers will see them. Use poster board and thick marker. Write a very big, bold
SALE and an arrow pointing the way. Add address, date, and times below. The morning before your sale, post it on Craigslist.

*Plan to get up early to haul everything out and set up. Die-hard yard sale devotees often show up well before the start time. You want everything set up before they start arriving.

Hmm...maybe I need to root through my attic. Thanks, Sheila! What about the rest of you? Anyone ever had a yard sale? How did it go? Post a comment to be eligible for a free book this week from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP 


Yard Sale Search said...

There are other, better-organized options for advertising your garage sale online than just advertising on craigslist. It's hard to sift through all their listings and actually find some I'd like to go to.


Thanks for mentioning this. Would you like to offer some better sites for our readers? I'm sure they'd appreciate the suggestions.

Janet said...

Another idea for a Garage Sale. At the end of the sale, I offer whatever can fit in a grocery sack for a $1 or $2. The excess seems to melt away. Another idea is to list what's left on Free Cycle and almost always, it is gone the same day.


Great suggestions, Janet! Thanks for stopping by.