by Hal Salazar
If you intentionally avoid going into the garage, chances are, you have too much stuff collecting dust. The good news is that you can turn those boxes into big bucks by hosting an end-of-summer yard sale. Keep reading on how to make your free-market mercantile a success.
Your most important job is to determine which day, or days, you’ll open up for business. Traditionally, yard/garage sales are held on Fridays and Saturdays, but it’s not unusual to spread out from Thursday to Sunday. Avoid holiday weekends, since fewer people will be in town to browse through your belongings.
Here’s an opportunity to get the entire family involved in the planning process. Have each member of your family fill a box with possessions they no longer need. Make a rule that if it hasn’t been used within the last 12 months, it has to go. Money Crashers notes that everything from old perfume bottles to unidentified cords and cables has selling potential.
If you have a storage unit, go through it and pull out items you no longer need for the sale. You may also want to move things out of your garage temporarily to keep buyers focused on what is for sale. In that case, try finding self storage in Los Angeles before the sale. Look online and arrange to move items off your property at least a few days before the sale.
Once your children have determined which of their belongings can go, keep them engaged by giving them specific responsibilities during the sale. Many children will delight at the idea of selling small items on their own, such as Pokémon cards, Barbie clothes, or Hot Wheels. If they aren’t willing to give up their prized possessions, give them a $20-budget to open up a snack and lemonade stand. A word of caution, here, however: check with your local codes enforcement agency to find out if selling food and drink is legal in your area.
Even though you’re selling items you already own, there are plenty of accessories you need to make the day go smoothly, especially signage. The only way you’ll have a successful yard sale is if you have lots of people coming to check out your swag, so be sure they know how to get there by having plenty of big, bold signs with arrows that will direct them right to your home. Additionally, you’ll need price stickers, a cash box, and a calculator.
Now that you have your stuff together and your stickers in hand, it’s time to get to work with pricing. Avoid the temptation to allow your guests to name their own price, since that can be intimidating. Keep in mind that yard sale prices are typically much less than retail prices. For instance, baby clothes typically sell for approximately $.25 to $1, and you can expect no more than a Lincoln for your old hand tools, no matter the brand or condition. This yard sale pricing guide by My Frugal Home is a great reference sheet if you’ve never hosted a sale.
In addition to hanging signs around your neighborhood, advertise your yard sale on Facebook, Craigslist, and your neighborhood’s website. There are also yard sale specific sites, like Gsalr.com and YardSales.net that you can try.
You can also post fliers on community boards at your local rec center, church, or other neighborhood hangouts. Be sure to promote your sale at least a few days in advance so people can make plans to come by.
Perhaps most importantly, on the day of the sale, make sure your items are grouped according to function. Keep your stuff off the ground, too. This will make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for and for you to keep tabs on what’s hot and what’s not.
A successful yard sale is dependent upon a number of things you don’t control. Keep that in mind as you make your plans. Your homeowners association rules, unpredictable weather, and blatant disregard for your personal property by bargain hunters are all things to consider. Even with the negatives, selling your stuff from the comfort of home is a great way to earn a little bit of extra cash and make sure your home is organized while you hibernate through the long winter.
About the author:
Hal Salazar created Elders.Today to lend a helping hand to seniors via carefully curated resources. Hal is newly retired, and as he embarked on planning and preparing for his golden years, he realized there was a lot of information to keep up with so he started gathering it all on his website to help out his fellow seniors. When Hal isn’t working on Elders.Today, he enjoys walking at his local park, testing out new recipes with his wife, Marlene, and playing piano.