When spring is bursting with new life, it’s the perfect time to revitalize your home by clearing out the old and bringing in the new. Instead of consigning your once-loved knickknacks, kitchenware and furniture to the trash can, why not set up a yard sale to help them find new homes? Like-minded householders are looking to refurbish their homes this time of year, so with careful planning and organization, you can quickly generate enough cash to go on your own shopping spree. Follow these simple yard sale tips to make sure your spring event is a success.
When to Have a Garage Sale
For a springtime sale of household items, go for early in the yard sale season (March or April in most areas), and choose a day near the start of the month, as it's closer to payday for many shoppers. Saturday is the most popular day for a yard sale in a typical residential area. Fridays can be good if you live in a high-traffic area, but most dedicated yardsale-ers go hunting on Saturdays. For a lot of people, Sundays are taken up with church and family. If you miss out on spring, don't despair. The second Saturday of every August is National Garage Sale Day — a clear indication of the popularity of summer sales.
What Time of Day?
Be prepared for an early start. The most successful yard sales typically take place between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., and most yard sales wrap up by lunchtime. If you aim to start later, you could end up with a queue of people eagerly waiting while you're still setting up. Generally, it’s only worth staying open in the afternoon if you have some major price markdowns to tempt buyers.
Before you finalize your date, check with your neighbors to see whether they're planning any yard sales or major events. If you run your yard sales at the same time, you stand a good chance of attracting a large number of buyers to your area. Likewise, if you can avoid clashing with major spring events your neighbors have planned, you can ward off potential problems with customer parking. Plan joint advance publicity in your local garage sale listings, and set up direction signs on the day to attract buyers.
In the days before the yard sale, price up your goods with clearly marked price tags using waterproof ink to prevent smudging and to avoid anyone making sneaky changes. If you’re sharing your yard sale with a neighbor or running a group sale, keep a log of items for sale in a record book, and check off each item sold along with the price to ensure everyone gets the correct payment at the end of the day. This also helps you spot anyone who swaps an original price tag for a cheaper one.
On the Day
Set your goods on tables where possible so they're easy to view and more accessible to buyers. Ideally, place items in their original boxes along with any instruction manuals. Place small, loose items such as collections of toys or jewelry in clear plastic storage bags to keep them together, and consider stapling the bags shut to ensure items don’t become separated.
Put out some chairs tagged "Not for Sale" for weary shoppers to rest their legs while contemplating purchases. Also, be prepared for the weather. If it’s a scorching hot spring day, encourage the neighborhood kids to run a lemonade stand to keep customers refreshed. If spring rain threatens, keep a supply of plastic covers, umbrellas or even a tent on hand to protect your items and shelter your purchasers.
A carefully planned yard sale is a great way to clear the decks and make enough money to refurbish your home. Choose your sale date and time with care, being mindful of your neighbors’ plans. Price up your items clearly, display them attractively, and maintain careful sales records. It's also good to keep an eye on the weather and look after customers. Most importantly, enjoy the experience and have fun at your spring event.
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