Author: Whitney Hollingshead
As you know, summer is the best season for yard sales. Let’s examine a few reasons to plan a yard sale and discuss the best tactics you can employ to make your yard sale a smashing success this summer:
REASONS TO PLAN A YARD SALE
1. You Have Too Much Stuff – If your home is bursting at the seams, it’s time for a yard sale. If your closets are stuffed full of piles, it’s time for a yard sale. If your kids have outgrown most of the clothes, toys, and other items in your home, it’s time for a yard sale.
2. It’s Time to Move – Do you have enough room in your current home? Check out this post with several scenarios that might ring too true with your family. If your family needs more space, and you can afford a change, it’s time to move. When it’s time to move, it’s time to plan a yard sale. You will definitely want to lighten the load you have to move.
Organize Your Items
If items are easy to see and sort through at your sale, your customers are more likely to stay longer AND buy more items. Whenever possible spread the items out so that they can be seen quickly at a glance. While some people love searching for the perfect find, many potential customers may give up if they have to do too much work to find a great item.
Consider stringing up clothesline or twine to hang up clothing items. If you fold items on a table, the folding won’t hold up for long. If you don’t have a way to spread clothes out or hang them up, separate them into plastic bins or boxes. Divide by gender and then by sizes. Clearly mark each box or bin.
Make sure that you clean your items so that they appear in their best condition. If you have items that have broken parts, or need new batteries to work, make sure you label this information on the item.
Make Pricing Simple
Create simple categories to describe all of your items. Next designate one price for the entire category. Try to limit the number of categories to as few as possible to make the sale easier on you and your customers. For example, all books are $1.00, all clothing items are $3.00, and all toys are $0.50. If you have obvious divisions within the categories, you can create additional categories; however, make sure that each category you use is truly necessary.
By selecting a flat price for each category, you can post simple signs near the category of items to advertise the price. This means you do not have to mark each and every individual item.
Have a simple pricing key available for anyone collecting money at the sale to quickly reference the price for items in each category. Make sure that person also has adequate change on hand to give to paying customers.
Advertise the Sale
Think of all of the yard sale signs that you have seen posted around town. Focus on the aspects that stand out to you. Keep the information simple. Post the words “Yard Sale”, the address, and the date(s). Make the lettering clear and easy to read from far away. Consider bold black lettering on a brightly colored poster board. Don’t make your sign too artsy or too cutesy. Passersby will have a few mere seconds to process your message.
Post your signs in multiple locations. You may want to add a large arrow on the sign pointing the direction to your sale from the point the sign is posted. Make sure you post the signs in places that are legal to post.
Pitch your yard sale on your social media accounts. Keep your pitch simple, but specific. Rather than just stating you are having a sale, tell all of your friends a few of the items you will be selling. Don’t beg your friends to come, rather make your status updates sound interesting and enticing!
Here are a few examples of promotions you could offer to your customers:
List a special deal for your friends on facebook. If they mention your post then they get the deal (ie. a discount, or a free item with their purchase, etc.)
Post signs promoting item bundles. You could list that all clothing items are $2.00, or buy 3, get 1 free.
Consider bundling multiple categories together. For example, for every three kitchen items purchased, the customer can pick out a free clothing item.
Upsell Your Customers
Train the person accepting the cash to get customers to spend more. This can be done through upselling invitations. Don’t put pressure on your customers! Simply invite them to purchase more and receive an incentive for doing so. For example, if a customer buys three infant sleepers, you can ask if they had a chance to look at the baby toys. Follow up by saying that if they purchase an infant toy, you will give them two additional infant toys for free.
Make your invitation to buy more and get more as relevant to the customer as possible. If you notice a specific customer keeps looking at an item, but doesn’t bring the item up to be purchased, make them an offer. You can tell the customer that based upon their existing purchase, the item they were examining is now available at half price.
If customers want to bargain with you, the best practice is to fairly consider their offer. If you think you can easily sell the item to someone else at full price, tell them that you would be open to lowering the price for them if the item is still around the last day of your sale.
ONE FINAL THOUGHT
Take some time to consider what you hope to gain from your yard sale. If you are hoping to make a set amount of money, keep that in mind as the sale proceeds and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you simply want to get rid of your stuff and make some money, you may want to be open to accepting your customers’ bargaining tactics.
Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you’re here you’ll find something that makes your #momlife easier!